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Wilson, E., Jr. (1983). Le Temps D'Une Psychanalyse. (Psychoanalytic Time.): By Olivier Flournoy. Paris: Pierre Belfond, 1979. 245 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:260-266.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:260-266

Le Temps D'Une Psychanalyse. (Psychoanalytic Time.): By Olivier Flournoy. Paris: Pierre Belfond, 1979. 245 pp.

Review by:
Emmett Wilson, Jr.

The Swiss psychoanalyst, Olivier Flournoy, has produced in this book a fascinating study of time in psychoanalysis. It is not an easy book. It is repetitious, yet condensed, allusive, and cryptic. The thesis is not very well worked out. Still, it goes no small way toward developing a schema for understanding an important aspect of the intersubjective experience of the psychoanalytic process. It is much easier to place Flournoy's work on a conceptual map than to explicate his specific arguments. Placing the book within the conceptual framework of contemporary criticism of psychoanalytic theory might clarify why it is an important effort despite its difficulties and failings. Some of its shortcomings can be seen as a consequence of the newness of the epistemological problems with which the author is trying to deal.

There have been many sorts of criticism of psychoanalysis of late. One of the more persistent and noisy critiques on this side of the Atlantic has been about the scientific status of psychoanalysis. There has been question about the type of science that psychoanalysis represents. There has been criticism about the kind of theory we find in psychoanalysis. Some say it is hopelessly antiquated, hobbled by a nineteenth-century conception of science, and that something like computers or information theory would furnish a better model. Others have sought solace in linguistics. Still others would throw out all of metapsychology, arguing that psychoanalysis is not a science at all. They would opt for some sort of humanistic approach to psychoanalysis, revising our theoretical discourse with such barbarous neologisms as "personhood."

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