Karen Horney by Professor Bernard J. Paris
A Psychoanalyst`s Search for Self-Understanding

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Karen Horney (1885-1952) is regarded by many as one of the most important psychoanalytic thinkers of the 20th century. Her early work, in which she quarrelled with Freud's views on female psychology, established her as the first great psychoanalytic feminist. In her later years, she developed a sophisticated theory of her own which provided powerful explanations of human behaviour that have proved to be widely applicable. Yet through these years of intellectual achievement, Horney struggled with emotional problems. This study of Horney's life and work draws on newly discovered materials to explore the relation between her personal history and the evolution of her ideas. Bernard J. Paris argues that Horney's inner struggles - in particular her compulsive need for men - induced her to embark on a search for self-understanding, which she recorded first in her diaries and then in her covertly autobiographical psychoanalytic writings. Although this search brought Horney only partial relief from her problems, it led her to profound and original insights into the human psyche. Paris describes Horney's life - her childhood and adolescence in Germany, marriage to Oskar Horney, motherhood, analysis and self-analysis, emigration to the United States, founding of the American Institute for Psychoanalysis, ostracism by the psychoanalytic establishment, and her many romantic liaisons. At the same time he examines the various stages of Horney's thought, showing how her experiences influenced her ideas. Focusing particularly on Horney's later work, Paris shows her mature theory to be an important contribution to the study of literature, biography, gender and culture, as well as to psychoanalysis and psychology.

About Professor Bernard J. Paris

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Bernard J. Paris is professor emeritus in the department of English at the University of Florida. His fields of interest include Victorian and comparative fiction and the psychological study of literature. He is author of numerous books, including Rereading George Eliot; Imagined Human Beings; Character and Conflict in Jane Austen's Novels; and Karen Horney: A Psychoanalyst's Search for Self-Understanding.
Published October 26, 1994 by Yale University Press. 296 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Eminently useful, although somewhat contradictory, this admiring intellectual biography of an iconoclastic psychoanalyst recapitulates the strengths and weaknesses of its subject's thought.

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Kirkus Reviews

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For Paris, Horney's ideas represent her effort to come to grips with her own problems--to perform, as her best-known title has it, a ``self-analysis.'' After a lucid account of Horney's youth in Germany, Paris treats her early, relatively orthodox essays and her subsequent development of a theory...

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Publishers Weekly

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This biography of the pioneer psychoanalyst attempts to reconcile her troubled private life with her professional accomplishments.

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London Review of Books

She filled the gap with studying, religious zeal and, after she lost her faith, with ‘eternal crushes’ – on teachers, an actor, a friend of her brother, a musician, the lodger her mother took in after leaving Wackels and undergraduates she met studying medicine.

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