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McLaughlin, J.T. (1990). The Empathic Imagination: By Alfred Margulies. New York: W. W. Norton. 1989. Pp. 171.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:549-553.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:549-553

The Empathic Imagination: By Alfred Margulies. New York: W. W. Norton. 1989. Pp. 171.

Review by:
James T. McLaughlin

This brief book skilfully engages the empathic responsiveness of the analyst reader who will find himself, and where he may have been, come alive as he follows Alfred Margulies, Bostonian and psychoanalyst, in an exploration of the reaches of empathy.

It is an artfully crafted tale that takes him and us from his peak of wild surmise about what is to be searched for, through a groping into what it is like to seek intersubjective resonance with the inner psychic life of another; then doubling back with him to his Darien to explore the interior of his own inner life where he encounters the paradox that to empathize with himself he needs the empathic presence of another.

He does not promise easy travel. But the trip is worth it. To make the journey manageable, Margulies provides a mapping preface, literally postscripted upon the book's completion. He discovers that the narrative he has wrought is 'a personal odyssey through the terrain of the intersubjective' (p. xii).

Quickly he begins to show the personal blaze that will mark his track.

[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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