Reading list: Oedipus complex

Key papers by Klein

For full references for Melanie Klein’s works see Melanie Klein’s publications.

1923b Klein, M. ‘Early analysis‘. Klein still using classical model. Oedipal material, often pregenital in its nature, observed in children. Centrality of phantasies and fears about the ‘primal scene’.

1926 Klein, M. ‘The psychological principles of early analysis‘. ‘Incipient Oediups tendencies’ described at beginning of second year. Early, severe and cruel superego activity.

1927a Klein, M. ‘Symposium on child analysis‘. Onset of Oedipus complex dated at weaning.

1927b Klein, M. ‘Criminal tendencies in normal children‘. Oral and anal sadistic impulses contributing to distorted and frightening versions of sexual intercourse.

1928 Klein, M. ‘Early stages of the Oedipus conflict‘. Klein’s first paper devoted to the Oedipus complex. Idea of maternal body phantasised by child as site of sexual activity. New conceptions of female sexuality.

1929b Klein, M. ‘Infantile anxiety-situations reflected in a work of art and in the creative impulse‘. First explicit mention of the combined parent figure.

1932 Klein, M. The Psychoanalysis of Children. Sexual development of boy and girl further explicated.

1933 Klein, M. ‘The early development of conscience in the child‘. Superego development uncoupled from the Oedipus complex. Begins to emphasise the importance of love/hate conflict, using Freud’s life and death instinct concepts.

1935 Klein, M. ‘A contribution to the psychogenesis of manic-depressive states‘. Begins to see the Oedipus complex as inextricably linked to the depressive position.

1945 Klein, M. ‘The Oedipus complex in the light of early anxieties‘. Third and final paper devoted to the Oedipus complex. Now seen as beginning to be worked through when love comes to the fore, at onset of the depressive position.

1952 Klein, M. ‘Some theoretical conclusions regarding the emotional life of the infant‘. Reciprocal and beneficent relation between Oedipus complex and depressive position.

1957 Klein, M. ‘Envy and gratitude‘. Deleterious effects of envy on the oedipal situation.

Further exploration

Bion, W. (1957) ‘Differentiation of the psychotic from the non-psychotic personalities’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 38: 266-275.

Bion, W. (1959) ‘Attacks on linking’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 40: 308-315.

Bion, W. (1962) Learning from Experience. London: Heinemann.

Bion, W. (1963) Elements of Psychoanalysis. London: Heinemann.

Birksted-Breen, D. (1996) ‘Phallus, penis and mental space’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 77: 649-657.

Britton, R. (1989) ‘The missing link: Parental sexuality in the Oedipus complex’, in J. Steiner (ed.) The Oedipus Complex Today. London: Karnac, pp. 83-101.

Britton, R. (1998) Belief and Imagination. London: Routledge.

Britton, R. (2003) Sex, Death and the Superego. London: Karnac.

Freud, S. (1897) Letter 71 from ‘Extracts from the Fleiss Papers‘. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 1. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 265.

Freud, S. (1900) The Interpretation of Dreams. S.E. 4/5. London: Hogarth Press.

Freud, S. (1905) ‘Introductory lectures’. S.E. 16. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 358-372.

Freud, S (1910) ‘A special type of object choice made by men’. S.E. 11. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 163-175.

Freud, S. (1918) ‘From the history of an infantile neurosis.’ S.E. 17. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 3-123.

Freud, S. (1919) ‘A child is being beaten’. S.E. 17. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 175-204.

Freud, S. (1923a) ‘The infantile genital organisation: An interpolation into the theory of sexuality’. S.E. 19. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 139-145.

Freud, S. (1932b) ‘The ego and the id.’ S.E. 19. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 3-66.

Freud, S. (1924) ‘The dissolution of the Oedipus complex’. S.E. 19. London: Hogarth, pp. 173-179.

Freud, S. (1925) ‘Some psychical consequences of the anatomical distinction between the sexes‘. S.E. 19. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 243-258.

Freud, S. (1939) ‘Moses and monotheism’. S.E. 23. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 3-137.

Freud, S. (1940) ‘An outline of psychoanalysis.’ S.E. 23. London: Hogarth Press, pp. 141-207).

Money-Kyrle, R. (1968) ‘Cognitive development’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 49: 691-698.

Money-Kyrle, R. (1971) ‘The aim of psychoanalysis’, in The Collected Papers of Roger Money-Kyrle. Strath Tay: Clunie Press, pp. 442-449.

Mandlebrot, B. (1982) The Fractal Geometry of Nature. New York: W.H. Freeman.

Rusbridger, R. (2004) ‘Elements of the Oedipus complex: A Kleinian account’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis. 85: 731-747.

Sodré, I. (1994) ‘Obsessional certainty versus obsessional doubt: from two to three’. Psychoanalytic Inquiry. 14: 379-392.

Steiner, J. (1985) ‘Turning a blind eye: The cover up for Oedipus’. International Review of Psychoanalysis. 12: 161-172.

Steiner, J. (1990) ‘The retreat from truth to omnipotence in Oedipus at Colonus’. International Review of Psychoanalysis. 17: 227-237.

Steiner, J. (1993) Psychic Retreats: Pathological Organizations in Psychotic, Neurotic and Borderline Patients. London: Routledge.