Splitting [Spaltung]

(204 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

Splitting [in German Spaltung] is a key psychoanalytic concept in the work of Melanie Klein and her followers, building upon certain recognitions in Freud. It is related to the terms Projection and Introjection and refers to the infant.s defensive response to anxiety which divides whole objects (such as the mother.s body) into good and bad part-objects (e.g. the good breast, the bad breast) which are then treated as if they were not part of an original whole. This early prototype of the good and bad (the helpful and gratifying versus the annihilating and persecutory) then becomes a …

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Editors. "Splitting [Spaltung]". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 October 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1617, accessed 29 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Psychoanalysis