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Richmond, M.B. (1993). Being Human: The Art of Feeling Alive. By Haskell E. Bernstein. New York: Gardner Press, 1990, ix + 220 pp., $21.95 (paperback, $14.95).. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:298-304.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:298-304

Being Human: The Art of Feeling Alive. By Haskell E. Bernstein. New York: Gardner Press, 1990, ix + 220 pp., $21.95 (paperback, $14.95).

Review by:
M. Barrie Richmond, M.D.

Bernstein presents an innovative classification of affects. The primacy of feelings, their adaptive function, and the centrality of love in the hierarchy of psychic life are his suppositions and subject matter. In a disquisition written for both the psychoanalyst and sophisticated nonprofessional reader the author, a senior Training and Supervising Analyst on the Faculty of the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago, presents new formulations about feelings, transference, boredom, and autonomous functioning.

For Bernstein, feelings are the prime movers to action, and take precedence over cognition, drives, and fantasy to explain human motivation in psychic life; ideas have only secondary importance by providing direction for our actions. He reformulates transference and boredom. Transference results from the fear of novelty. The apathy and restlessness in "chronic boredom" derive from defenses employed against feelings.

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