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Ogden, T.H. (1994). The Taming of Solitude: Separation Anxiety in Psychoanalysis: By Jean-Michel Quinodoz. Translated by Philip Slotkin. London/New York: Tavistock/Routledge and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1993. Pp. 221+x.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 75:163-165.

(1994). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 75:163-165

The Taming of Solitude: Separation Anxiety in Psychoanalysis: By Jean-Michel Quinodoz. Translated by Philip Slotkin. London/New York: Tavistock/Routledge and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. 1993. Pp. 221+x.

Review by:
Thomas H. Ogden

This volume is an impressive contribution to the development of the psychoanalytic discourse concerning anxieties related to separation and object-loss and the transformation of the experience of solitude through the analytic process. It was originally published in French, in 1991, before being translated into English by Philip Slotkin for its current publication as the most recent volume in the New Library of Psychoanalysis.

Before discussing the content of this book, I would like to draw attention to Quinodoz's style of writing, which combines erudition and humility in a way that generates an exciting sense of intellectual aliveness and reflects the author's willingness to learn from all psychoanalytic quarters—he makes extensive use of the work of Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Fairbairn, Bion, Bowlby, Mahler, Anna Freud, Segal, and Rosenfeld. Although never doctrinal, the book is not without a theoretical point of view. Quinodoz seems most identified with the 'post-Kleinians' and he emphasises the importance of interpreting the transference as a 'total situation' (as described by Betty Joseph). Nevertheless, in both the theoretical discussions and in the clinical work that is presented, Quinodoz speaks with a voice that is uniquely his own.

Quinodoz's book takes as its focus the complexity of the human dilemma involved in the developmental movement from the full dependence involved in very early object relations to the experience of separateness and individuality. This momentous psychological shift inevitably involves the fear of finding oneself alone.

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