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Richards, B. (1990). Voices: Psychoanalysis. From the Channel 4 Television Series, edited by Bill Bourne, Udi Eichler and David Herman, Nottingham: Spokesman; and Atlantic Highlands, NJ: The Hobo Press, 1987, 105 pages, pb £ 4.95. Free Associations, 1U(20):198-202.

(1990). Free Associations, 1U(20):198-202

Voices: Psychoanalysis. From the Channel 4 Television Series, edited by Bill Bourne, Udi Eichler and David Herman, Nottingham: Spokesman; and Atlantic Highlands, NJ: The Hobo Press, 1987, 105 pages, pb £ 4.95

Review by:
Barry Richards

This book contains the transcripts of the discussions which composed the 1987 Voices series on psychoanalysis. One duo and five trios of clinicians and/or writers about psychoanalysis met under the deft and lively chairmanship of Michael Ignatieff to mull over a series of themes concerning the present state of analysis and its social significance.

The transcript has probably been considerably cleaned up, but some of the halting and awkward language of discussion remains here to trouble the reader. Many viewers of the programmes not already well-versed in the debates under discussion probably found them difficult to follow, and they will not find the book very much easier. None the less, the programmes were a substantial success in bringing to a television audience the ideas (and physical selves) of a good sample of people, inside and outside the analytic world, with interesting things to say about the wider social relations of analysis. Many important problems are authoritatively stated, and some current debates vigorously and subtly defined (reflecting in large part an informed and skilful choice of participants to be together in each session).

The themes and participants are as follows.

1 Freud: for or against? (Bruno Bettelheim and George Steiner)

Steiner is a clear winner on points here. He puts the strongest anti-analytic arguments with none of the spite and ignorance that too often accompany them (see Gellner, Eysenck, et al).

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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