Selected Papers of Donald Meltzer: Volume 2: Philosophy and History of Psychoanalysis

Author(s) : Donald Meltzer, Editor : Meg Harris Williams

Part of The Harris Meltzer Trust series - more in this series

Selected Papers of Donald Meltzer: Volume 2: Philosophy and History of Psychoanalysis

Book Details

  • Publisher : Harris Meltzer Trust
  • Published : February 2021
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 192
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 95508
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912567874
  • ISBN 10 : 1912567873

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Also by Meg Harris Williams

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This new selection from the papers of Donald Meltzer spans his working life and serves as an introduction to all his key concepts, such as: aesthetic conflict, the claustrum, adhesive identification, thought disorder, the nature of symbol formation, and his revised theories of sexuality and dream life.

The contents of the three volumes are grouped not chronologically but under the headings of ‘Personality and Family Structure’, ‘Philosophy and History of Psychoanalysis’, and ‘The Psychoanalytic Process and the Analyst’. Together they present his interpretation of the ‘Kleinian development’ from Freud, through Abraham and Klein, to Bion and the post-Kleinian model; and within this evolution, his view of the natural history of the psychoanalytic process, the aesthetics of the method, and his insights into the operation of the transference and countertransference.

Meltzer saw the psychoanalytic process as a new method that contributes alongside more traditional art-forms to our scientific knowledge of the mind. Working with both adults and children, he viewed psychoanalysis in developmental rather than narrowly therapeutic terms, with potential for both analyst and analysand. All his theories derived from clinical work, above all from dream-reading and children’s phantasy play; and owing to his extensive international teaching experience, his own material was enriched by that of many supervisees. This collection of papers, read as a whole, invites new readers to follow and partake in what he called ‘the most interesting conversation in the world’.


1. Why history? (1975)

2. On creativity (1992)

3. The post-Kleinian extension of Bion’s metapsychology (1986)

4. Dreaming as unconscious thinking (1984)

5. Psychoanalysis acknowledges its poetic forebears and joins the artistic family (1989)

6. Concerning the stupidity of evil (1988)

7. On thought disorders (1997)

8. Does Money-Kyrle’s conception of misconception have any unique descriptive power? (1981)

9. Concerning the distinction between conflicts of desire and paradoxes of thought (1987)

10. Bion’s Grid (1995)

11. Concerning signs and symbols (1995)

12. On symbol formation and allegory (2000)

13. Invention and discovery (2002)

14. People

15. APPENDIX: James Gammill’s recollections of the psychoanalytic training in the 1950s

About the Author(s)

Donald Meltzer (1923-2004) is widely known as a psychoanalyst and teacher throughout Europe and South America. He is the author of many works on psychoanalytic theory and practice, including The Psychoanalytical Process, Sexual States of Mind, Explorations in Autism, The Kleinian Development, Dream Life, Studies in Extended Metapsychology, and The Claustrum, all published by the Harris Meltzer Trust.

More titles by Donald Meltzer

Meg Harris Williams, a writer and artist, studied English at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and art at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, and has had a lifelong psychoanalytic education, working closely with Donald Meltzer. She has written and lectured extensively in the UK and abroad on psychoanalysis and literature. She is a visiting lecturer for AGIP and at the Tavistock Centre in London, and an Honorary Member of the Psychoanalytic Center of California. She is married with four children and lives in Farnham, Surrey.

More titles by Meg Harris Williams

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