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Kluzer, G. (2012). Somewhere Else: The Secret Places and Times of Uncanny Familiarity. Ital. Psychoanal. Annu., 6:7-17.

(2012). The Italian Psychoanalytic Annual, 6:7-17

Somewhere Else: The Secret Places and Times of Uncanny Familiarity Language Translation

Giampaolo Kluzer

Translated by:
Philip Slotkin, M.A.

Apatient nearing the end of his fourth year of analysis comes along for his last session before the summer break, sits down for a moment to write out a cheque for my fee, lies down on the couch and immediately remarks in a half-amused, half-worried tone of voice: «Do you know that I forgot your correct name just as I was thinking about writing the cheque for you today? The same thing happened to me once before. As I was coming up in the lift, I thought of Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata, and then the name Kluger occurred to me. Before I finally arrived at Kluzer, the English words closed and closer came into my mind - as if English, which I know well, sounded more familiar to me than German, which I don't know at all well, and that helped me to remember your correct name. How can you suddenly have become so unknown and unidentifiable?» After a pause, he goes on: «I'm thinking about the holiday break, which might be the last one in the analysis [the patient has recently begun to consider terminating in the near future]… and I wonder if I'll be able to cope by myself, to be my own analyst… At the same time I suppose I'll have to try to think of you as someone to keep close to me, who can help me carry on my self-analysis».

In the ensuing silence I hear inside me the echo of the two English words closed and closer, as if they are particularly meaningful, while at the same time acknowledging that, in both their sound and the language to which they belong, they are seemingly quite remote from any objective resemblance to my surname. I disregard other possible interpretative hypotheses that might, for example, link the forgetting of my name to experiences of ambivalence or hostility towards me just as the patient was paying for his sessions, which inevitably call to mind my temporary disappearance for the holiday period. So I draw the patient's attention to this apparent paradox in relation to the analyst, who seems to be at one and the same time closed - that is, inaccessible in terms of his identity - and closer, perhaps even closer precisely during the holiday break, characterized as it is by distance.

I

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