chapter  12
9 Pages

Primary love

The assumption of primary narcissism-though offering us a neat, tidy, and logical theory-has landed us into insoluble contradictions and uncertainties. In our theoretical considerations we can easily indicate the source of libido, namely the id, but it has proved impossible to define topologically either 'the great reservoir of the libido' or the anchorage point of primary narcissism. The various descriptions given by Freud himself are contradictory and inconsistent, and the new propositions of Hartmann, Kris, and Loewenstein on the one hand, and by James Strachey on the other, while solving some problems, have created new ones. The other insoluble contradiction is about dating: primary object relationship, primary auto-erotism, primary narcissism, were each described by Freud in turn equally categorically as the earliest, most primitive form of the individual's relationship with his environment.