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Levy, R. (2008). Language and the Construction of Thought by José Renato Avzaradel Casa do Psicologo, Sao Paulo, 2006 285 pp; R$ 37.00. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 89(4):889-894.

(2008). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 89(4):889-894

Language and the Construction of Thought by José Renato Avzaradel Casa do Psicologo, Sao Paulo, 2006 285 pp; R$ 37.00

Review by:
Ruggero Levy

This book is a creative production that approaches in detail and depth the study of the genesis of thought, enriching it in the process. The authors make use of a number of psychoanalytic and non-psychoanalytic sources. They resort to philosophy, literature and linguistics to deepen the psychoanalytical understanding of the genesis and development of thought and language. They often come close to clinical practice, which is the major purpose of our activity.

Image—according to Bionian contributions—is regarded by a number of authors as the nodal point from which meaning evolves. Pictograms matter not as images linked to affects originating in experience, but because of the bonds they express. They combine and associate meanings, generating new meanings. As Chuster and Elias da Rocha Barros aptly state, these successive, virtually infinite, transformations constitute the subject.

The question of the intersubjective construction of meaning is dealt with even in texts of a more literary nature, which render manifest that it is through the interplay between sender and receiver that meaning is generated. The receiver interacts with the text produced by the sender and thus, dialogically, meaning is fabricated. “Human reality is a product of human interactions”, states Avzaradel in the introduction to his book (p. 18).

A veritable dialogue unfolds, as one reads on, between different fields dealing with the construction of meaning: psychoanalysis, literature and philosophy. Their common denominator is the notion that the meaning of human experience is built around a bond—the space shared by subject and object. In the meeting of the two, creativity occurs.

The work under discussion is not merely a compilation of creative, interesting, consistent and well-structured pieces of writing. This collection of articles mirrors the impeccable job carried out by its editor, patently based on a solid knowledge of the topic, as is corroborated by the selection and organization of the works, which convey a variety of trends in the study of the construction of meaning.

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