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The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Reed, G.S. (1997). The Babel Of The Unconscious: Mother Tongue And Foreign Languages In The Psychoanalytic Dimension. By J. Amati-Mehler, S. Argentieri, and J. Canestri. Translated by J. Whitelaw-Cucco from La Babele Dell'Inconscio: Lingua Madre e lingue stranieri nella dimensione psicoanalitica (Milan: Raffaello Cortina Editore, 1990). Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1993, 322 pp.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 45:623-627.

(1997). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 45:623-627

The Babel Of The Unconscious: Mother Tongue And Foreign Languages In The Psychoanalytic Dimension. By J. Amati-Mehler, S. Argentieri, and J. Canestri. Translated by J. Whitelaw-Cucco from La Babele Dell'Inconscio: Lingua Madre e lingue stranieri nella dimensione psicoanalitica (Milan: Raffaello Cortina Editore, 1990). Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1993, 322 pp.

Review by:
Gail S. Reed

Words are central to psychoanalysis. Freud based his topographical distinction between unconscious and preconscious on the difference between word- and thing-presentations. Words are also the medium of the therapy. The arrangement of verbalized free association constitutes the pathway to analysts' and patients' access to the content and affect of pathogenic unconscious fantasy/memory complexes. Given the centrality of words, it may come as a shock to realize that this book is the first to explore the significance of multilingualism (the ability to speak more than one language in childhood) and polyglotism (the ability to speak languages acquired after childhood) in psychoanalysis. In addition, the authors' excellent literature review makes clear that very few analysts have considered this topic at all.

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