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Sedlak, V. (1995). Mental Space. : By Salomon Resnik. London: Karnac Books. 1995. Pp. 111 + xxi.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 76:1073-1074.

(1995). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 76:1073-1074

Mental Space. : By Salomon Resnik. London: Karnac Books. 1995. Pp. 111 + xxi.

Review by:
Victor Sedlak

Salomon Resnik was first trained in Buenos Aires. Then, after a short stay in Paris, he had further training in London and now he works in Paris, but other environments—particularly Italy—are also important to him. The book reflects this pluralistic psychoanalytic and cultural background and is richly illustrated by the author’s interests in classical mythology, contemporary literature, philosophy, science and above all modern painting, which he uses liberally to illuminate his arguments. So rich is this profusion of influences and associations that the reader has to work at times to follow the thread of an argument, but the byways into which Resnik’s thinking leads are nearly always interesting.

The book began as a series of seminars that the author gave at the Sorbonne, which were then modified by the discussion and further thinking that they provoked. Above all, it is a book about certain pathological states of mind characterised by lifelessness, a greatly impaired capacity to emote, imagine, think (particularly introspectively but also about the external world) and dream. The author’s interest is in the destruction or distortion of the mental space in which these functions can be exercised. He is careful to associate this with psychic distortions of physical space such as can be seen in claustrophobia and with the perception or misperception of internal physical space that underlies hypochondriacal concerns.

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