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Moss, D. (1998). Editor's Introduction. Am. Imago, 55(1):1-1.

(1998). American Imago, 55(1):1-1

Editor's Introduction

Donald Moss

For at least fifty years now, in Europe and the United States, psychoanalytic thought, while not losing its potential pertinence, has, in fact, lost its actual place amongst the discourses which collectively constitute a critical, progressive force—discourses which, notwithstanding Foucault's influence, aim to preserve, refine, and realize a democratic ideal.

Within the profession, market forces go essentially unopposed and thus practitioners and institutes grow more self-enclosed, less drawn to the cultural margins, each, in turn, averting the continuous labor of self-construction in favor of the more expeditious tactic of borrowing serial identities from respectable predecessors.

The pull of the cultural center is fierce, individual resistance nearly unbearable.

In 1995, hoping to glimpse something other—an emerging democracy, perhaps, a progressive psychoanalytic presence—I spent five weeks in South Africa.

The people I met who leaned at all on the country's very palpable and very dense fragments of Euro-American critical thought, leaned also on psychoanalysis.

These essays are, for me, a marker of hope, when read, as I read them, from within a wounded profession.

I am deeply grateful to James Sey for his efforts both in collecting these essays and in writing one of his own. His essay is a rarity: a concise, theoretically elaborate introduction.

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