Reading Klein (e-Book) book cover

Reading Klein

By Margaret Rustin, Michael Rustin

© 2017 – Routledge

200 pages

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Paperback: 9780415452946
pub: 2016-12-23
Hardback: 9780415452939
pub: 2016-12-12
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pub: 2016-12-08
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Reading Klein provides an introduction to the work of one of the twentieth century’s greatest psychoanalysts, known in particular for her contribution in developing child analysis and for her vivid depiction of the inner world. This book makes Melanie Klein’s works highly accessible, providing both substantial extracts from her writings, and commentaries by the authors exploring their significance.

Each chapter corresponds to a major field of Klein’s work outlining its development over almost 40 years. The first part is concerned with her theoretical and clinical contributions. It shows Klein to be a sensitive clinician deeply concerned for her patients, and with a remarkable capacity to understand their unconscious anxieties and to revise our understanding of the mind. The second part sets out the contribution of her ideas to morality, to aesthetics and to the understanding of society, introducing writing by her associates as well as herself.

The book provides a lucid account of Klein’s published writing, presented by two distinguished writers who know her work well and have made creative use of it in their own clinical and extra-clinical writing.Its aim is to show how substantial her contribution to psychoanalytic thinking and clinical practice was, and how indispensable it remains to understanding the field of psychoanalysis.

Reading Klein will be a highly valuable resource for students, trainees in psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic practitioners and all who are interested in Melanie Klein and her legacy.


"This is an impressive exposition of Klein’s ideas. The authors write with great clarity and thoughtful understanding, making Klein accessible to a wide range of readers. A valuable source book and a real contribution to our knowledge of Klein’s psychoanalytic work."-Michael Feldman, Chairman, Melanie Klein Trust.

"Melanie Klein’s contribution to psychoanalysis is rooted in her pioneering work with children. In this remarkable book the authors provide both a clinical and academic perspective on the evolution of Klein’s thought, showing the impact of her insights into the early development of mind on her work with adults, and clarifying her position on questions that have often been misunderstood, including the importance of the environment and the role of envy."-Maria Rhode, Emeritus Professor of Child Psychotherapy.

"Reading Klein" is more than just a guide to Melanie Klein. It provides through close reading and sophisticated analysis a succinct and lively introduction to one of the founding figures of psychoanalysis. The authors bring out Klein’s main theoretical contributions and their relation to current psychoanalytic understanding and to our sense of what it is to be human."-Elisabeth and Elias Da Rocha Barros, Training Analysts, Brazilian Psychoanalytic Society.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction and Biographical Note

  3. Klein’s Early Work: Children’s Upbringing, Education and Child Analysis
  4. Epistemophilia – the Love of Understanding and its Inhibition
  5. Technique in Child Analysis
  6. Mourning, the Discovery of the Depressive Position and its Implications for the Theory of Oedipal Development
  7. Splitting, the Paranoid-Schizoid Position and the Concept of Projective Identification
  8. The Unique Status of Narrative of a Child Analysis
  9. Envy and Gratitude
  10. PART TWO

  11. Introduction to Part 2: Ethics, Aesthetics, Society
  12. Kleinian Ethics: the Morality of Love and Hate
  13. Kleinian Aesthetics
  14. Klein and Society

Suggestions for Further Reading

About the Authors

Margaret Rustin is a child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and a child analyst at the British Psychoanalytical Society. She trained at the Tavistock Clinic in London and worked there from 1968 to 2009, becoming Head of Child Psychotherapy and Dean of Postgraduate Studies. Since retiring she continues to teach and maintains a private practice.

Michael Rustin is Professor of Sociology at the University of East London, and a Visiting Professor at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Essex. He is an associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and like Margaret Rustin, is the author and editor of many books and articles.

About the Series

New Library of Psychoanalysis Teaching Series

Through the Teaching subseries, the New Library of Psychoanalysis publishes books that provide comprehensive, yet accessible, overviews of selected subject areas aimed at those studying psychoanalysis and related fields such as the social sciences, philosophy, literature and the arts.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child