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Reis, B.E. (2004). You Are Requested to Close the Eyes. Psychoanal. Dial., 14(3):349-371.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 14(3):349-371

You Are Requested to Close the Eyes

Bruce E. Reis, Ph.D.

Freudian, Lacanian, and Kohutian approaches to the subject of seeing another and being seen by the other are reviewed and critiqued. The mirroring metaphor, so often invoked in psychoanalysis, is brought under scrutiny and concluded to be naive to the complexity of interaction actually occurring when one is seeing oneself being seen. Utilizing infant research findings and currents in Continental philosophy, a case is made for a reading of Winnicott's mirroring conception as a relational event: embodied and embedded in an intersubjective matrix of prereflective immediacy. Breaking with analytic rigidity emphasizing opacity and abnegation, Winnicott embraced the visual rather than inherently mistrusting it, advancing the dark analyses of vision beyond their pessimistic appraisals of the impossibility of an encounter with alterity.

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