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October 2021

The intrauterine dimension in human existence and psychoanalysis: A homage to Bela Grunberger

Journal/Book: Psyche Z Psychoanal Anwend. 1999; 53: Rotebuhlstrasse 77, D-7004 9 Stuttgart 1, Germany. Klett-Cotta Verlag. 101-136.

Abstract: Although Bela Grunberger's theory of narcissism indicates possible responses to issues left unresolved by Kohut and Kernberg, it has not been accorded much attention in English and German-speaking countries. In the first section, the author outlines Grunberger's main train of thought and his central hypothesis whereby manifestations of primitive narcissism can be traced back to ''prenatal coenesthesia.'' Prenatal coenesthesia encompasses the satisfaction of all the needs of the foetus, which on account of the absence of drive tensions leads a subjectively bodiless existence in the womb. Only at birth is it forced to emerge from the purely narcissistic dimension and recognize the limitations of its physical, drive-governed ''equipment''. In the second section, Kaminer goes on to describe a further aspect of the dialectic of narcissism and drive in Grunberger's thinking, the ''monad''. The term is used to refer to the ''dual unity'' existing between mother and child. As the infant's drive development progresses, the monad disintegrates and is transferred first to the family and later to the surrounding culture. The author demonstrates the way the monad operates with reference to various cultural and clinical examples.

Note: Article Kaminer I, Melemstr 7, D-60322 Frankfurt, GERMANY

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