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Aragno, A. (2014). Metaphor and Fields: Common Ground, Common Language, and the Future of Psychoanalysis edited by S. Montana Katz Routledge, New York and London, 2013; 244 pp; £26.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(6):1321-1326.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(6):1321-1326

Book and Journal Reviews

Metaphor and Fields: Common Ground, Common Language, and the Future of Psychoanalysis edited by S. Montana Katz Routledge, New York and London, 2013; 244 pp; £26.99

Review by:
Anna Aragno

This book is primarily a collection of papers previously published in two 2013 special issues of Psychoanalytic Inquiry (31(2) and 33.(3)), the first focusing on ‘metaphor’, the second on ‘field’ concepts especially as applied to the psychoanalytic situation by Baranger and Baranger, to whom the book is dedicated. These papers attempt to create a merging point linking ubiquitous metaphoric processes to the ‘field’ concept as general organizing principles for the clinical situation.

The editor's introductory remarks, however, belie a broader, more expansive ambition threaded though this collection, namely, the use of these two concepts - one, a functional process of mind, the other, a descriptive term originating in physics - to fashion an ‘umbrella field’ for readers to become immersed in the resulting framework. This goal, which generates theoretical implications that go far beyond the discussion of the two stated topics, is bound to invite curiosity in analysts invested in the current state of our science/art and will, undoubtedly, incite critical debate amongst those whose ideas run counter to the trends here presented. A characteristic disparity of starting points and basic premises of opinions, writing styles, and depths of articulation are amply displayed here. This collection is as much a sampling of the interpretive liberty prevalent in our current pluralism as an example of the ideological diversity of backgrounds and schools that all converge on a therapy in urgent need of epistemological clarification.

[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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