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De Rosis, L.E. (1982). Through My Own Eyes, by Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D., New York: Macmillan, 1962, 250 pp., $12.95.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 42(3):271-272.
(1982). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 42(3):271-272
Through My Own Eyes, by Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D., New York: Macmillan, 1962, 250 pp., $12.95.
Review by: Louis E. De Rosis, M.D.
In this book Dr. Rubin openly and unabashedly reveals many of the twists and turns of his own development by means of a fictionalized autobiography. Despite his sophisticated and wide-ranging grasp of people's convoluted ways of being, a refreshing ingenuousness pervades the narrative. Thus, while we are being Informed as to the specific details of his growth, we are also given a sense of the process of development itself, an effect which the writer may not have intended.
The material is not presented in chronological form. Rather, it is a back and forth story, not unlike the associations a patient makes during the course of an analysis. For example, he tells of a woman dying of cancer; and within a short space, he leaps to an incident in which he has played and lost at a gambling casino. He passes from the sublime and tragic to the ridiculous, thus jolting the reader out of an existential apathy that increasingly threatens the human condition.
Another threat he refers to Is “neurotic residuals.” With tongue in cheek, he makes it sound as if these residuals were only that, minor leftovers, mere scraps of compulsions, like crumbs on a plate after the cake is all gone. All the while, one senses that the author feels there are no such residuals-only an ongoing alertness; for in a moment of unguardedness, one could be catapulted out again into the maw of the neurotic process. It is a similar vigilance that is required, in a political sense, to prevent the explosion of a fusion bomb. Rubin's message is loud and clear. The two happenings are not distinctly unrelated.
In the same vein, the author struggles with the concept of death as an avoidance of life. Initially, the neurotic mode of being evolves as life-affirming; but it Imperceptibly transforms Itself into anti-life. Implacably, Dr. Rubin addresses various forms of this anti-life, and he is out to expose them all, in terms of his own growth.
“Whatever happened to treats? Where have they gone?” the author asks. “I don't even hear the word anymore.” The word itself seems to have disappeared.
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