Vicious circles of punishment: a reading of Melanie Klein's Envy and gratitude.Psychoanal Q. 2008 Jan; 77(1):199-218.PQ
Staged as a moral drama, Melanie Klein's Envy and Gratitude (1957) straddles two eras: one reflecting a simpler more concrete, historical method, and the other an approach of greater complexity, focused on the transferential moment. Embedded within the transference are the vicious circles of envy and punishment that are the hallmark of Klein's text. Punishment itself which is always punishment of both self and other, creates its own vicious circle, set in motion by a single act. In the sadomasochistic enactments that result, the moral force of Klein's categories fuels the countertransference. A detailed clinical hour is presented.