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Brenner, C. (2001). An Inspired Savoyard. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 82(5):981.

(2001). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 82(5):981

An Inspired Savoyard

Charles Brenner

Dear Sirs,

I'm sending you this poem with the hope that you will publish it for the entertainment and edification of your readers. Since many subscribers to the International Journal, for whom English is not their mother tongue, may not know of Gilbert and Sullivan, I include the following information, culled from a volume called The Complete Annotated Gilbert & Sullivan, published in 1996 by Oxford University Press. Their operetta entitled ‘Patience’ premiered in London in 1881. It is a satire on what is called the aesthetic movement in art and literature that flourished in Great Britain between 1870 and 1890. To quote: It is essentially a satire on the affectation and excesses which can accompany artistic movements and cultural fads and of which we have certainly not been free in the latter part of the twentieth century. ‘Patience’ inaugurated the new Savoy Theatre and Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts, of whom I have long been one, have thenceforth been known as Savoyards.

Lines inspired in an elderly savoyard by reading recent issues of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis (incorporating the International Review of Psycho-Analysis), in particular the issue containing the pre-published articles to be discussed at the coming congress of the International Psychoanalytical association at nice in July 2001. (With thanks and apologies to W. S. Gilbert.)

If you're anxious for to shine in the analytic line

As one of talent rare,

You must dig up all the germs of the chic post-modern terms

And plant them everywhere.

You must lie among the daisies and discourse in cryptic phrases

Of your obfuscating state of mind.

What you say it doesn't matter if it's only idle chatter

Of a tri-millennial kind.

And everyone will say, as you walk your foggy way,

If this strange being expresses itself in words too deep for me,

Why what a most profoundly deeply analytic thinker

This analytic colleague must be.


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