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Petrella, F. (2009). On: The comments of Michel Sanchez-Cardenas. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(3):637-640.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(3):637-640

On: The comments of Michel Sanchez-Cardenas Related Papers

Fausto Petrella

Dear Editors,

I wish to thank Michel Sanchez-Cardenas for his careful reading of my paper (Petrella, 2008) and for the ideas his letter has aroused in me. I am not surprised that he was, as he says, “delighted” with my contribution. He is, after all, the author of a book whose intriguing title translates as ‘A journey to the centre of Mother-Earth: Jules Verne in the psychoanalyst's consulting room’ (Sanchez-Cardenas, 2005), about a novel in which the phantasy of the mother plays a decisive part. Having read my paper, Dr Sanchez-Cardenas suggests some further interpretations of the pages of Freud which I examined. By an approach that differs appreciably from my own, he eventually arrives at the phantasy of the female and maternal body, and concludes that what is involved is not only the mater nuda, but also, and in particular, the mater mortua, associated with an unconscious phantasy bound up with the impossibility of mourning for the dead mother. In his view, the text is replete with suggestions of this phantasy.

While Dr Sanchez-Cardenas undoubtedly presents some interesting ideas and more far-reaching interpretations, these go some way beyond the aims and intentions of my contribution. His proposed interpretations, which are admittedly ingenious and not unsupported by evidence, now provide me with an opportunity of briefly explaining the purport of my paper in more specific terms and of drawing attention to certain characteristics of analytic interpretation that I regard as important.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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