D. W. Winnicott is increasingly recognized as one of the most important psychoanalysts since Freud, but the relevance of his Independent version of object relations theory to psychoanalytic literary criticism has not been sufficiently appreciated. As Peter L. Rudnytsky notes, "There must be ten literary critics conversant with Lacan's ecrits for every one who has read Winnicott's Playing and Reality." Transitional Objects and Potential Spaces begins to redress this imbalance. The title and subtitle of this collection highlight three of Winnicott's key concepts: transitional objects, potential space, and the use of an object. Because Winnicott is unique in respecting the integrity of art as an autonomous human activity while continuing to insist on its infantile origins, he may be said to offer the first adequate psychoanalytic account of aesthetics. This volume is organized into three sections: The Analytic Frame, Literary Objects, and Cultural Fields. Beginning with Winnicott's "The Location of Cultural Experience," it features essays by a distinguished group of contributors, including Marion Milner and two
current leading members of the British Psycho-Analytical Society, Christopher Bollas and Patrick J. Casement, as well as such eminent critics as Richard Poirier, Murray M. Schwartz, Ellen Handler Spitz, and Madelon Sprengnether. Transitional Objects and Potential Spaces makes a timely and persuasive case for the power of Winnicott's ideas. In defining for the first time an independent tradition of psychoanalytic criticism, it will reorient future work in literary and cultural studies.
--- from the publisher