Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To save articles in ePub format for your eBook reader…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To save an article in ePub format, look for the ePub reader icon above all articles for logged in users, and click it to quickly save the article, which is automatically downloaded to your computer or device. (There may be times when due to font sizes and other original formatting, the page may overflow onto a second page.).

You can also easily save to PDF format, a journal like printed format.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Robinson, K. (2014). Uncertainties, Mysteries, Doubts: Romanticism and the Analytic Attitude by Robert Snell. Published by Routledge, London, 2012; 220 pp; £28.99 paperback. Brit. J. Psychother., 30(2):267-269.

(2014). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 30(2):267-269

Book Reviews

Uncertainties, Mysteries, Doubts: Romanticism and the Analytic Attitude by Robert Snell. Published by Routledge, London, 2012; 220 pp; £28.99 paperback

Review by:
Ken Robinson

This is a book about what it is to attend, listen, be receptive psychoanalytically to patients. It is a subject not often enough approached directly in the analytic literature but one that is especially important, as its author recognizes, in the face of the current push towards the manualization and audit of psychotherapy which threatens to replace listening to the patient with an open mind with listening for preconceived material. The author is concerned with listening to, and takes a highly original approach. Instead of using clinical examples he explores works by carefully selected artists and writers that confront us with particular challenges: Goya, Hölderlin and Novalis, Baudelaire, Poe, Alfred de Vigny and Keats. The challenge represented by each is offered as a reminder of, or as a sort of refresher course for, an aspect of the analytic attitude that the author proposes.

The author presents Goya as requiring ‘us to endure our anxiety, as he finds ever more inventive ways of confronting us with what lurks in the shadows: the repressed and denied, rage, perversity, malignant narcissism, the power of the collective and social unconscious’ (p. 65). He sees the collision of reason and unreason as the generating impulse in Goya's work. In the case of Hölderlin the collision is between a ‘striving for classical clarity’ and a ‘“Romantic” … recognition that such clarity was no longer compatible with truthfulness of utterance’ (p.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.