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Karen Horney

A Psychoanalyst`s Search for Self-Understanding

Bernard J. Paris

View Inside Price: $32.00


August 26, 1996
314 pages, 6 x 9
16 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300068603
Paper

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Cloth

Karen Horney (1885-1952) is regarded by many as one of the most important psychoanalytic thinkers of the twentieth century. Her early work, in which she quarreled 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 behavior that have proved to be widely applicable. Yet through these years of intellectual achievement, Horney struggled with emotional problems. This engrossing 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.

Bernard J. Paris is professor of English at the University of Florida and former director of the Institute for the Psychological Study of the Arts. A leading Horneyan literary critic, he is the founder and director of the International Karen Horney Society.

"This engrossing 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."—International Erich Fromm Society Newsletter

"Bernard Paris has given us a succinct, balanced and workmanlike account of Horney's life and relates it to the development of her ideas."—Stephen Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

"The definitive work on Karen Horney, written with admirable clarity and a driving narrative thrust that held my attention from beginning to end."—Phyllis Grosskurth, author of Melanie Klein

"Paris's textual analyses are among the best in explanatory writing of complex psychoanalytic theory that I have ever read. He has concisely summarized and interpreted Horney's professional writing in a lucid and interesting manner. the book moves smoothly and provides insight into her personal life and her work. Horney emerges from this book as a contrary, opinionated, highly intelligent and deeply unhappy woman. . . . An excellent introduction to the life and thought of Karen Horney."—Elizabeth Friedman, Lambda Book Report

"For those unfamiliar with the writings of Horney, Paris's clear and detailed presentation is a very good introduction. He also gives the reader a sympathetic picture of this complex and compelling woman."—Nina D. Fieldsteel, Contemporary Psychology

"Students of psychoanalysis will be captivated by Paris's unique portrait of Karen Horney. . . . Read this book for its enjoyable hint of scandal, intriguing singular life story, and rich theoretical outline. You will come away with greater knowledge and appreciation for Karen Horney's contribution to psychoanalysis and perhaps a more beneficent view of your own self and personal foibles. . . . This biography is a psychotherapeutic experience."—Kathryn J. Zerbe, M.D., Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

"Dr. Bernard J. Paris has created a superb unity, an integrated work which combines the life, development and times of Karen Horney, her theories, the changes she made in them, and their continuing influence."—Eleanor Yachnes, M.D., The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis

"Writing with both admiration and candor, Paris has linked Horney's life and work as a means to revaluing her ideas. He set himself a complex task, and the result is well worth reading."—Marcia Westkott, ISIS

"Dr. Bernard J. Paris has created a superb unity, an integrated work which combines the life, development and times of Karen Horney, her theories, the changes she made in them, and their continuing influence."--Eleanor Yachnes, M.D., The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis

"One may use this book to become better acquainted with the breadth of Horney’s contributions to psychoanalysis or to study in greater depth a particular area such as feminine psychology. It can be read cover to cover or selectively in accordance with the reader’s interests."—JAPA (Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association)

"Paris provides a brilliant and clear description of Horney's theories, their evolution and their place in her personal history. . . . A very readable and interesting story of Horney, the troubled woman, as well as Horney, the creative and actualizing analyst."—Virginia Hunter, Women, Gender, and Psychoanalysis

"A valuable and lucid picture of a restless and adventurous mind. . . . In giving us an overarching survey of her work, Mr. Paris reminds us of its richness, range, and sheer intelligence."—Eva Hoffman, New York Times Book Review

"Avoiding the hagiographic impulse, the founder of the International Karen Horney Society gives a valuable and vivid portrait of an early psychoanalyst that reveals her powers of exploration and the connection between her ideas and her inner world." -- "Notable Books of the Year:  1994," New York Times Book Review

Received Honorable Mention for the 1994 PSP Award, given by the Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers

Named a Notable Book of the Year (1994) by the New York Times Book Review
The Therapeutic Process

Essays and Lectures

Karen Horney; Edited by Bernard J. Paris

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