In this classic work, the author presents and develops his theory of the importance of 'the Skin-ego'. Just as the skin is wrapped around the body, so the author sees the 'Skin-ego' as a psychical wrapping containing, defining and consolidating the subject. From this perspective, the structure and functions of the skin can provide psychoanalysts and general readers with a fertile and practical metaphor. The author's concept of the Skin-ego is the answer to questions he regards as crucial to contemporary psychoanalysis: questions of topography which were left incomplete by Freud; the analysis of fantasies of the container as of the contained; issues of touch between mothers and babies; extending the concept of prohibitions within an Oedipal framework to those derived from a prohibition on touching; and questions pertaining to the representation of the body and to its psychoanalytic setting. This new translation of Le Moi-peau is based on the second and last (1995) edition.
Didier Anzieu (1923-1999) was a French psychoanalyst and theorist whose work brought the body back to the centre of psychoanalytic enquiry. He was the author of numerous books and articles, on areas ranging from Freud's self-analysis, group psychology, and psychodrama to theories of creativity and thought; he also published short stories, literary criticism, a drama, a book of cartoons and a study of May 1968 written from the heart of Nanterre. His research was always conducted alongside his academic and clinical practice, both characterised by inclusivity, curiosity, a broad mind and a gentle manner. Naomi Segal is a professor of modern languages, specialising in comparative literary and cultural studies, gender, psychoanalysis and the body. In 2004 she created and directed the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, University of London. She has published fifteen books, of which the most recent monographs are 'Consensuality: Didier Anzieu, Gender and the Sense of Touch' and 'Andre Gide: Pederasty and Pedagogy'. She is an Academic Associate of the British Psychoanalytical Society, a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes academiques and a Member of the Academia Europaea.