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Orange, D. (2019). The Lab, the Lecture Hall, and the Art Gallery: Warren Poland’s World: A Review of Intimacy and Separateness in Psychoanalysis by Warren S. Poland. Psychoanal. Self. Cxt., 14(1):86-89.

(2019). Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context, 14(1):86-89

Book Review

The Lab, the Lecture Hall, and the Art Gallery: Warren Poland’s World: A Review of Intimacy and Separateness in Psychoanalysis by Warren S. Poland

Donna Orange, Ph.D., Psy.D.

Warren S. Poland often repeats that philosophy is the lecture section for its laboratory, clinical psychoanalysis. Although his mingled metaphor appeals to me, since I have lived in both halves, it omits his own third home in the arts, particularly in the visual arts and even more in language. In his voice, though he might not say so, everyday words become almost magical. But let us save the style and the music for later, defying the adage that life is uncertain, so eat dessert first.

What does this practitioner and observer of psychoanalysis over its last fifty-some years have to tell us about our beloved and sometimes beleaguered profession? Some themes are familiar to Poland’s readers: witness, the staying alongside the other when fate deals intractable blows; working always in the service of the separate other, never to be treated as an aspect of oneself; and outsiderness, ranging from a common aspect of the human condition to the misery effected by shunning and exile. Poland’s sense of respect, even reverence, for the separate and unique otherness of the patient, not to be assimilated to my theories, pervades the entire book.

Poland works and writes in what some characterize as the American independent tradition, whose other leaders have included James McLaughlin, Hans Loewald, Theodore Jacobs, Nancy Chodorow. Freudians all, each has read Freud anew. Each has been willing to risk critique while maintaining strong ties to the psychoanalytic tradition.

[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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