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Buren, J. (1994). In these Pages …. Am. J. Psychoanal., 54(2):107-108.

(1994). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 54(2):107-108

In these Pages …

Van Jane Buren

In this issue of the Journal—for which I am pleased to serve as Guest Editor—we gather around a collection of papers written by women from a variety of backgrounds who share an interest in psychoanalysis and its interface with the internal landscapes of women.

Leading off, I consider in my own contribution to this collection the etiology and functioning of family legends that are passed through generations by the processes of projective identification or intersubjective communication. I want to understand how female subjectivity is engendered. I propose that gender concepts are fashioned into individual and group signs that start at the level of unconscious legends and fantasies. It is my idea that the legends transmit urgent messages to the subject's inner world. For women, these legends carry the invariant fantasies of sexual difference and its resolution through sacrifice. The impact on woman's knowledge of her female self is explored theoretically and through the discussion of a young woman's relationship to her body and such related themes as her flawed ground of being, pregnancy, and sexual difference.

Similarly, storymaking is the critical factor in Harriet Kimble Wrye's paper, “Narrative Scripts: Composing a Life with Ambition and Desire.” She focuses on the labyrinthine barriers in both men and women to the expression of woman's ambition and desire. Complementing my own paper and that of Juliet Flower MacCannell, which follows, Wrye proposes that rigid concepts of women's life stories have been constructed to avoid anxieties about women's potency.

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