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July 1981

Discussion of Alfred Adler's Preface to The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(7):836-841. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780320116015

• In his preface to The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky, Alfred Adler (1) found his theory of the dynamics of schizophrenia supported in the Diary, (2) alluded to Nijinsky's prepsychotic personality, and (3) briefly touched on the possibility and conditions of recovery. To add to the understanding of Adler's "Preface," this discussion (1) expands his theory of schizophrenia, (2) gives some concrete data of Nijinsky's prepsychotic personality, (3) describes two episodes of recovery subsequent to the "Preface," and (4) introduces an important aspect of Adler's theory, which he had to omit out of consideration for Nijinsky's wife, Romola—namely, her role in her husband's disorder. With the larger theoretical and historical context established, Adler's "Preface" can be appreciated for its predictive validity.