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Slavin, M.O. (2006). Shattering the Analytic Mirror: Corinna and the Interweaving of Trauma and Tragedy in Psychoanalysis: Commentary on Paper by Maurizio Pinato. Psychoanal. Dial., 16(4):431-443.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16(4):431-443

Shattering the Analytic Mirror: Corinna and the Interweaving of Trauma and Tragedy in Psychoanalysis: Commentary on Paper by Maurizio Pinato Related Papers

Malcolm Owen Slavin, Ph.D.

In Maurizio Pinato's beautiful, clinical narrative, the partially crippled Corinna, wounded early like Oedipus, has the rare ability to carry her analyst into the transitional space of dreaming—the space where we mask in order to unmask, where real repair begins to happen. Corinna dismantles her analyst's initial, less fully real identity as a gentle, hushed mirror. He eventually responds without retaliating, and she further extends her creative power in her life.

The analytic mirror that was crucial to the repair of trauma must sometimes be shattered because, like all vital human constructions, it can become an impediment to change and growth. As in the ironic twists of classical tragedy, seeing becomes not seeing. Empathy becomes—because, partially, it always is—a hiding of what is more fully real. The ideal becomes a mask, an obstacle to a greater sense of realness. After the unmasking, and the Other's survival, we may view ourselves and others, as Pinato puts it, “con uno squardo un po piu rispettoso,” with a bit more respectful gaze.

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