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Hartogs, R. (1965). Unobtrusive Communication: Essays in Psycholinguistics. By Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D. Assen, Netherlands: Van Gorcum, Ltd., 1964. 198 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 52C(3):161.
   

(1965). Psychoanalytic Review, 52C(3):161

Unobtrusive Communication: Essays in Psycholinguistics. By Joost A. M. Meerloo, M.D. Assen, Netherlands: Van Gorcum, Ltd., 1964. 198 pp.

Review by:
Renatus Hartogs

This collection of essays on facts and problems of interpersonal communication represents the sustained attempt of the well-known author, a psychiatrist, to understand the dynamics of verbals as well as pre-verbal and non-verbal signal input and output. While the scientific and especially the linguistic value of these essays varies considerably from one to the other, the over-all impression which these delightfully obtrusive communications on unobtrusive communication make upon the critical reader is one of unconditional admiration for the author's vast knowledge in this specialized psycho-social field, as well as his sensitive awareness of predominantly intangible facts and factors in human communicative motivation.

Particularly informative and valuable are the essays on the psycholinguistics of free association, silence and confession, symbol appeal and mental contagion, the meaning of crying and of reading block. This seemingly modest collection of essays, published and printed in English in the Netherlands, is actually an outstanding contribution to the comprehension of subliminal communicative factors, as they enter into, interfere with and promote the psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic encounter between the patient and his therapist.

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