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Hart, H.H. (1973). La Sexualité Perverse: Études Psychanalytiques (Perverse Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Studies): By Ilse and Robert Barande, Joyce McDougall, Michel de M'Uzan, René Major, Christian David, Sidney Stewart. Paris: Payot, 1972. 256 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 42:461-462.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:461-462

La Sexualité Perverse: Études Psychanalytiques (Perverse Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Studies): By Ilse and Robert Barande, Joyce McDougall, Michel de M'Uzan, René Major, Christian David, Sidney Stewart. Paris: Payot, 1972. 256 pp.

Review by:
Henry Harper Hart

This book by seven authors aims at an exploration of the problem of perversions, sadomasochism, inversion, and fetishism. It claims to be the result of group discussion but it demonstrates very little coördination of viewpoint and contains very little clinical data. Instead, generalization is piled on generalization with little reference to cases.

Only one case, a masochistic pervert of sixty-five, is described in detail. This man tattooed self-humiliating phrases all over his body, mutilated his penis with a razor to enlarge the outer meatus, had his breasts burned off by red-hot irons, and contracted tuberculosis from his equally masochistic wife. Nevertheless he was able to have normal intercourse; the intensity of his orgasm coincided with the peak of his suffering. Contrary to Reik's observation, he showed remarkably little richness of fantasy. But even this case does not contain the clinical data that a good modern seminar gives us. To illustrate the naïveté of the discussion, we find that in this case a constitutional factor is assumed because the patient, his cousin whom he married, and his father were all masochists.

The most obscure and least satisfactory contribution is titled The Language of Perversion and the Perversion of Language. Actually, there is little said about distortions of words, sentences, styles, mannerisms, etc., which linguistic research, such as has been done in schizophrenia, has brought to light. It is claimed that visual imagery is more important to perverts than acoustic imagery, but no case material is offered to support the claim.

What is most valid in the book is that which is most familiar.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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