On some relationships of fantasies of perfection to the calamities of childhood.Int J Psychoanal. 1991; 72 (Pt 2):313-23.IJ
In this paper narcissism conceived of as a fantasy of perfection is further redefined within an evolving structural model of psychic conflict. In pursuit of this goal a number of related propositions are explored. 1. A fantasy of perfection is best thought of as a compromise formation. 2. Fantasies of perfection have a development that is influenced, in part, by the development of the calamities of childhood. 3. Fantasies of perfection function as defences to diminish unpleasure associated with conflict. From this perspective a fantasy of perfection is a component of compromise formations. 4. The threat of the loss of the fantasy of perfection evokes anxiety while the sense the loss has occurred is associated with the experience of depressive affect. 5. Fantasies of perfection are important aspects of the compromise formations that constitute the superego. They are also important components of masochistic and narcissistic compromise formations characteristic of aspects of the ego. These compromise formations are intimately related to defensive identificatory relationships between the ego and superego. Analytic data are presented to demonstrate the value of these theoretical considerations.