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Azevedo, A.M. Vannucchi, A.M. Sandler, E.H. (2005). ‘Yes, we have bananas!’. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(4):993-1009.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(4):993-1009

‘Yes, we have bananas!’

Ana Maria Andrade Azevedo, Ana Maria Stucchi Vannucchi and Ester Hadassa Sandler

This paper takes as its starting point ‘identifying markers of Latin American psychoanalysis’. The authors see this theme as a compromise between two diverging approaches. On one hand, the conference at which the content was presented provided the opportunity for Latin American psychoanalytical thinking to be discussed and, as a reward to the best papers, to be published. On the other, both the conference and the reward are more indicative of the observer's biases than of the object's peculiarities. The authors consider that the conference mistakenly focused on the search for minor differences (secondary identifications) instead of looking for invariances (identities). Considering that uncertainty, pluralism and complexity are issues relevant to the whole of psychoanalysis in its current stage of development as a scientific discipline, the authors think that treating these elements as ‘identifying markers of Latin American psychoanalysis’ is evidence of prejudice brought about by a coloniser-colonised relationship. To develop their argument, the authors discuss a paper on editorial criteria by Tuckett as a clinical case, and use an episode of Brazilian history as further illustration. They address issues such as conformity to cultural patterns; the search for certainties and proofs; the domination of some groups over others; and editorial power—more specifically, its influence on the acceptance or rejection of scientific ideas. These issues have distracted attention away from the fundamentals of psychoanalysis by introducing other, extraneous aims. Publication plays a key role in feeding a possibly vicious circle wherein only a small proportion of scientific contributions manages to reach a wide audience—exactly those contributions that conform to established patterns. The act of publication turns that portion into official knowledge, while unpublished ideas become increasingly excluded.

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