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Dufresne, T. Genosko, G. (1995). Jones On Ice: Psychoanalysis And Figure Skating. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:123-133.

(1995). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 76:123-133

Jones On Ice: Psychoanalysis And Figure Skating

Todd Dufresne and Gary Genosko

This paper rescues Ernest Jones's largely-unknown book, ‘The Elements of Figure Skating’ (1931/1952), from relative obscurity and argues for its place in the psychoanalytic literature. In the first section, the authors situate Jones's passion for figure skating by turning to various historical and biographical sources, and to personal correspondence with Jones's son, Mervyn Jones. In the second section, they offer the first textual reading of Jones and skating within a psychoanalytic framework. This approach, they argue, is long overdue since Jones explicitly claimed that the ‘Elements’ was motivated by his interest in the ‘psychological’ problems of the beginning skater, and with the task of instruction therein. The authors rely heavily on passages from the ‘Elements’, in part because the book is out-of-print and unavailable to most readers, but also because Jones's own words are an exemplary instance of his intense transference to psychoanalytic theory during his extra-professional time as a skater. They conclude the paper by arguing that Jones ultimately advocates a position beyond psychology when he idealistically embraces ‘exact knowledge’ as the royal road to masterful skating.

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