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Zabarenko, L.M. (1995). Music and the Mind by Anthony Storr New York: Free Press/Macmillan, 1992, xii + 212 pp., $22.95. Psa. Books, 6(2):326-330.
(1995). Psychoanalytic Books, 6(2):326-330
Music and the Mind by Anthony Storr New York: Free Press/Macmillan, 1992, xii + 212 pp., $22.95
Review by: Lucy M. Zabarenko, Ph.D.
When a Jungian analyst with a literary bent very much in the Oxford tradition takes on the topic of psychoanalysis and music, any experienced reader can predict what will happen: lots of waltzes with straw men; a trip to the bar for dueling toasts to see who can quote the most Plato, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Proust; and an invitation to step outside for the traditional Freud bashing. In Music and the Mind, Anthony Storr disappoints none of these expectations. And if for me the scholarship and exposition leave something to be desired, threaded through the familiar tapestry are glints of arcane information and at least one chapter useful as a teaching aid.
For analysts with a serious interest in music, the organization of references is vexing. Using footnotes may be a matter of style, but for most contemporary readers, all but the most cogent are a distraction, interrupting the flow of reading. Either the material is important enough to be included in the text, or it is dispensable. Moreover, if you are searching for a specific topic in this book, you have to sift through three pools: the bibliography, the index, and the footnote references, given as usual by chapter. Sometimes the sorting is worth the tedium. For example, in the footnotes there is a treasure trove of works by musicians: Bartok (p. 190), Bernstein (p. 191), Busoni (p. 192), Menuhim (p. 191), Sessions (p. 192), Stravinsky (pp. 189, 191), and Tippett (p. 197).
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