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Malater, E. (2007). Introduction: Special Issue on the Internet. Psychoanal. Rev., 94(1):3-6.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Review, 94(1):3-6

Introduction: Special Issue on the Internet

Evan Malater

In this special issue of the Psychoanal. Rev., we consider many unsettling questions about the Internet's influence on our sense of reality along with implications for psychoanalytic thought and practice. But before setting out on such daunting topics, we should pause to acknowledge the simple and rather obvious fact that this issue itself has been in large part compiled and created through the use of the Internet. Through its mediation, articles were solicited, sent, and reviewed. E-mails went back and forth discussing ideas and revisions. Attachments could not be opened, or were sent and resent along with various e-mail mutterings and curses. Reading the somber indictments of the Internet's cultural influence contained in many of the articles, it was easy to imagine that these technical snafus were the Internet's protest against having to carry so many ill tidings about its own character, against having to declare its culpability in propagating massive social narcissism and schizoid disconnection while thanklessly performing so much of the behind-the-scenes work. Still, in even the most suspicious accounts of the Internet, there are moments of genuine appreciation for its power and promise, just as the most affirmative accounts contain striking reflections on its darker side.

Each of these articles leaves us with a sense of the unique relationship that the writer has forged with the cyberspace. Some face it warily, like a dangerous drug to be studied with grudging admiration and caution, while others speak ecstatically, thoroughly immersed in the experience, as if seeking to allow the Internet to speak with its own voice.

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