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Bergstein, M. (2004). Response to Dr Pacheco e Silva. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(1):200-201.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(1):200-201

Response to Dr Pacheco e Silva Related Papers

Moshe Bergstein

Dear Sirs,

I thank Dr Pacheco e Silva for his comments, which add different dimensions from my own to the analysis of Rigoletto. I agree that, in analyzing works of art, many points of view and considerations may always be added. Dr Pacheco e Silva approaches the protagonists of the opera as separate individuals, and his analysis leads to viewing Rigoletto's violence as generated from conflicts originating in the schizoid-paranoid position. My own approach to the protagonists is that of internal representations, which lead me to a different conclusion, which stresses primitive mental functioning, and attempts to further the understanding of so-called ‘mindless’ violence.

This difference in our approaches touches on a question which occupied me while writing the paper—that of the validity of the use of art and fiction in furthering psychoanalytic theory (as opposed to just using psychoanalysis to analyze art). I have already mentioned some of the considerations which support such use in the opening part of the paper. The most notable example for this would probably be the extensive use of the Oedipus myth in psychoanalysis. However, even after accepting such a position, it seems necessary to consider how such an analysis is to be carried out in order for the conclusions to have validity. I would think the most important condition must be an attempt to view the art work as a totality, or perhaps, to use Joseph's words, to view it as a ‘total situation’ (1985).

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