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Pickles, P. (1998). KULKARNI, C. Lesbians and Lesbianisms. London & New York: Routledge, 1997. Pp. x + 246. Pbk £14.99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 43(3):421-422.

(1998). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 43(3):421-422

KULKARNI, C. Lesbians and Lesbianisms. London & New York: Routledge, 1997. Pp. x + 246. Pbk £14.99.

Review by:
Penny Pickles

Kulkarni has written a detailed and thorough study of a subject, which, as she points out, is rarely found in the indexes of Jungian literature. The chapters in the book present alternately her personal, philosophical and theoretical investigation with interviews with six lesbian women, of whom she asks the question, ‘What is it like for you to love another woman?’ The author states that she is not out to prove any hypothesis about lesbianism and rejects any concept of causes relative to it. Without claiming to explain or defend it, the book aims to present lesbianism both as ‘a legitimate path toward individuation and as playing some role in collective life’ (p. 10).

The author approaches her work from a post-Jungian, feminist stance and aims to deconstruct Jungian heterosexism and find a feminist Jungian methodology. Her theoretical framework is drawn from Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics and the concepts of the hermeneutic circle and foregrounding. Kulkarni is influenced too by Samuels's view of pluralism. She does not expect many readers to be familiar with Gadamer and her explanations and applications are clear and convincing. Gadamer, the author tells us, demands that we should rigorously examine the prejudices and premature formulations with which we inevitably approach a text or other. This is a reciprocal and circular process. It does not mean that we disregard our own point of view, rather that we use it to become conscious of the tension between ourselves and the other in order to be open to a new consciousness and a deeper understanding of the other.

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