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Krausz, R. (1994). The Invisible Woman. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:59-72.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:59-72

The Invisible Woman

Rosemarie Krausz


This paper explores the meaning of experiences of invisibility in women. It was inspired in the course of psychotherapy with a woman who felt invisible in her feminine identity and who hid her feminine desire within an imaginary paper bag. Her visual imagery traces a pattern of pathological feminine development through a faulty sensory connection between her body, the external world, and her unconscious symbolic self-representation. Questions about her invisibility have evoked an exploration of two developmental models of visual thinking—a cognitive and a psychoanalytic model. A study of the myth of Persephone contributes a literary prototype for the understanding of the transmission of invisibility across the generations of mothers and daughters. Furthermore, the analysis of several literary passages from the work of Angela Carter serves the purpose of drawing the reader into the experiential world of femininity as it moves from the invisible to the visible. The paper blends together ideas from various, often contending, theorists in a way which highlights how theories can complement one another in explaining clinical phenomena.

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