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Levenson, E.A. (2005). Response to the Commentaries. Contemp. Psychoanal., 41(4):749-750.

(2005). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 41(4):749-750

Response to the Commentaries Related Papers

Edgar A. Levenson, M.D.

I wish first to express my gratitude to the editor of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Donnel Stern, and to Irwin Hirsch and Victor Iannuzzi for the tremendous effort and obvious affection that went into this undertaking. I am also very grateful to Drs. Stern, Lionells, Friedman, Rothstein, Schwartz, Gedo, Fast, Maroda, and Feiner for their trenchant and varied commentaries on what has not been a particularly perspicuous body of work.

Largely, I did feel wonderfully elucidated, clarified, extended, and, mirabile dictu, understood. There are certainly minor issues that I would like to disagree with or clarify, but it feels to me not only caviling and ungracious to pick at such generous offerings, but really unproductive. I believe I have been more than fairly represented, and, if an author goes somewhere else with what I've said than I would have, so much the better. I am a great believer in—and practitioner of—Harold Bloom's concept of “misprision” i.e., the unwitting, creative misreading of a previous author (Bloom, 1973; Feiner, 1977, 1988). I would be flattered to be the jumping-off point of someone else's originality.

One small point: Dr. Maroda regretted the lack of personal disclosure in the interview. I would remind her that, out of time considerations, it was the decision of the interviewers to limit personal inquiry. I did contribute a more personal perspective to Reppen's compilations of psychoanalysts' histories (Levenson, 1998).

I do wish, however, to elaborate on what has been commented on as my modesty. I never considered humility as among my more prevalent shortcomings. But, it is true, I am quite diffident and uncomfortable about discussing what I have written. Consistent with my concept of resonance and enactment, I believe that I arrive at what I write very much as I arrive at clinical insight.

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