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Tip: Books are sorted alphabetically…

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The list of books available on PEP Web is sorted alphabetically, with the exception of Freud’s Collected Works, Glossaries, and Dictionaries. You can find this list in the Books Section.

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Orgel, S. (1984). Self Inquiry: By M. Robert Gardner. Boston and toronto: Little, Brown and Co. Atlantic Monthly Press Book. 1983. Pp. 121. $12.95.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:378-380.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:378-380

Self Inquiry: By M. Robert Gardner. Boston and toronto: Little, Brown and Co. Atlantic Monthly Press Book. 1983. Pp. 121. $12.95.

Review by:
Shelley Orgel

Robert Gardner's ideal analyst would regard every analytic hour as a piece of the first analysis ever undertaken between two people. A psychoanalysis might be defined as one form of attempt, shared by both participants, to advance toward fuller mutuality. Gardner's vision is of an adventurous voyage to the edge of awareness in a vehicle powered ultimately by the love of inquiry for its own sake. 'The psychoanalyst's main aim, now as in Freud's time, is, or might well be to advance his or her own self inquiry to help his or her patients to advance their self inquiry to help him or her to advance his or hers. And so on. And so on' (p. 7).

The enemy of inquiry is authoritarian certainty—intellectual, moral, group sanctioned and enforced, weighted down by the repetitions demanded by unexamined history. The ally of inquiry might be called a penchant for doubleness which clears the air for wonder. 'Where opposite becomes apposite, we know and our patient knows, the chances for inquiry are most promising' (p. 33). 'Seeing double, we see most clearly' (p. 35).

There is no explicit psychoanalytic theorizing in this book, no word requiring even a lay reader to seek a dictionary or psychoanalytic glossary. The book grows, however, in a soil fertilized by a psychoanalytic conception of the human mind, its development and ways of changing, and it is obvious that the writer is a master student of a literature which has sprung from Freud's own flexible inquiry into himself and his patients.

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