Melanie Klein and Marcelle Spira: Their Correspondence and Context includes 45 letters Melanie Klein wrote to the Swiss psychoanalyst Marcelle Spira between 1955 and 1960, as well as six rough drafts from Spira. They were discovered in Spira’s library after her death in 2006. As only a few of the letters that Klein wrote to her colleagues have been preserved, this moving, historically important correspondence sheds new light upon the last five years of Klein’s creative life.
The common theme of the letters is their discussion of the French translation of The Psycho-Analysis of Children by Boulanger in collaboration with Spira. The translation, first undertaken by Lacan, went through many ups and downs until it was published in 1959 by the Presses Universitaires de France. Klein also discusses her current work, in particular Envy and Gratitude (1957). She encourages her pioneering Swiss colleague Spira to be patient in the face of the resistance shown towards Kleinian thinking. Identifying herself to some extent with her younger follower, Klein reveals a very touching autobiographical account of the difficulties that she herself had encountered in her work and how she overcame them.
In Melanie Klein and Marcelle Spira: Their Correspondence and Context, Jean-Michel Quinodoz brings together these important letters. This rare collection of their correspondence is a valuable contribution to the history of psychoanalysis and will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, trainee psychoanalysts and lay readers with an interest in the work of Klein and Spira.