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Ogden, T.H. (2012). Psychoanalysis as a Pocket of Resistance Against Inhumanity: Commentary on Paper by Rachael Peltz. Psychoanal. Dial., 22(3):291-295.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(3):291-295

Psychoanalysis as a Pocket of Resistance Against Inhumanity: Commentary on Paper by Rachael Peltz

Thomas H. Ogden, M.D.

In this commentary I discuss ways in which Rachael Peltz makes use of a work of art—John Berger's The Shape of a Pocket—to glimpse “the absent,” Berger's word for the inarticulate living core of human experience. I first take up the idea that art must overcome the existent as “an act of resistance instigating hope” (Berger, 2001, p. 22). Each of the mediums in which art (including the art of psychoanalysis) is made involves the artist's effort to overcome the resistance inherent in transforming one form of experience (e.g., an analyst's reverie experience) into another (e.g., an intervention or an analytic essay). Peltz describes the state of mind necessary for such transformational movement as “an attitude of receptivity to whatever is about to happen,” but never completely comes into being. A second strand of thought that I discuss is the idea that disappearance is as important a part of the human condition as is appearance. Dreams, for example, would lose their mystery and power if they were not just out of reach, perpetually receding. And finally, I comment on how Berger and Peltz share the belief that each of us is personally responsible for making our own individual effort to come together with others to create acts of resistance against man's inhumanity to man.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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