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Civitarese, G. (2008). Immersion Versus Interactivity and Analytic Field. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(2):279-298.

(2008). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 89(2):279-298

Immersion Versus Interactivity and Analytic Field

Giuseppe Civitarese

Losing oneself in a story, a film or a picture is nothing but another step in the suspension of disbelief that permits one to become immersed in the ‘novel’ of reality. It is not by chance that the text-world metaphor informs classical aesthetics that, more than anything else, emphasizes emotional involvement. On the contrary, as in much of modern art, self-reflexivity and metafictional attention to the rhetoric of the real, to the framework, to the conventions and to the processes of meaning production, all involve a disenchanted, detached and sceptic vision — in short, an aesthetics of the text as game. By analogy, any analytic style or model that aims to produce a transformative experience must satisfactorily resolve the conflict between immersion (the analyst's emotional participation and sticking to the dreamlike or fictional climate of the session, dreaming knowing it's a dream) and interactivity (for the most part, interpretation as an anti-immersive device that ‘wakes’ one from fiction and demystifies consciousness). In analytic field theory the setting can be defined — because of the weight given to performativity of language, to the sensory matrix of the transference and the transparency of the medium — the place where an ideal balance is sought between immersion and interaction.

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