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Lassmann, W. (2020). Psychoanalysis, Apathy and the Postmodern Patient by Laurence Kahn, translated by Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz. Published by Routledge, Abingdon, 2018; 118 pp, £32.99 paperback. Brit. J. Psychother., 36(1):161-165.

(2020). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 36(1):161-165

Psychoanalysis, Apathy and the Postmodern Patient by Laurence Kahn, translated by Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz. Published by Routledge, Abingdon, 2018; 118 pp, £32.99 paperback

Review by:
Wolfgang Lassmann

In a 2013 paper, Udo Hock (p. 942) attempted to give a balanced synthesis of the current state of a major French debate - with Laurence Kahn as one of the key participants - for an international audience. What was remarkable, he pointed out in a telling aside, was the intensity and the volume of the polemics involved, practically inconceivable to non-French readers. Although Laurence Kahn has now presented a book that in its English title places the words psychoanalysis and apathy in close contiguity, mitigated by the mere slenderness of a comma, this should not lure the reader into a false sense of tranquillity: there is nothing apathique whatsoever in the stance the author deploys from the very first pages. In a style not quite unusual in France, a complex topic worthy of our attention is presented in an all-out attack on the apparently insufficient foundations of received thought so far accepted by far too many for lack of a real challenge to its entire structure.

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