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Goldberg, D.A. (2008). This Art of Psychoanalysis: Dreaming Undreamt Dreams and Interrupted Cries. By Thomas H. Ogden. London/New York: Routledge, 2006. 144 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 77(1):343-350.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 77(1):343-350

Book Reviews

This Art of Psychoanalysis: Dreaming Undreamt Dreams and Interrupted Cries. By Thomas H. Ogden. London/New York: Routledge, 2006. 144 pp.

Review by:
Daniel A. Goldberg

This book is a collection of eight chapters, all but one previously published. Ogden is a prolific writer (of at least thirty-two books and papers since 1979), and his and others' writing—method, style and content—is a (central or lesser) focus in many of these essays.

However, this is not simply a convenient assemblage of papers. Rather, the reader gets the sense (and not just from Ogden's twenty-two publications listed in the bibliography) that the author has been working for many years, thinking and writing about the method, process, and reporting of psychoanalysis. These writings, overlapping but not significantly redundant, interweave recurrently around topics (countertransference, dreaming, the analytic third) and authors (Freud, Bion, Winnicott, Jorge Luis Borges) who interest him. A prominent advantage of this overlapping and interweaving is the opportunity for Ogden to revisit difficult issues from varying perspectives, and for the reader to better understand his take on those matters. This is particularly true for Ogden's discussions of the work of Bion.

Dissatisfied with the sterility and jargon of psychoanalysis, Bion promoted his own language to depict unconscious mental processes. Considering his starting point of disillusionment and the creation of a whole new language, it is curious that Bion (and Ogden) chose dreaming as a center point, using the same term with an entirely novel definition and meaning. Ogden notes that “Freud's dreamwork allows derivatives of the unconscious to become conscious, while Bion's work of dreaming allows conscious lived experience to become unconscious (i.e., available to the unconscious for the psychological work)” (p. 100).

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