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Bucci, W. (1995). Commentaries. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:987-1001.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:987-1001


Wilma Bucci

The action takes place at the home of Dr. Nomological Network, in a newly renovated loft building in Soho, during the Labor Day weekend. We first meet Drs. Hermeneut and Philo. They enter a large elevator, decorated like a Victorian bird cage. Dr. Philo speaks first.

Philo: Haven't seen you in a while; where have you been? I felt sure you would have been invited to those soirees (spoken with a deeply rolled r) of di Sapienza's in Amagansett. I of course never leave the city in the summer.

Hermeneut: Who is di Sapienza?

Philo: I'm not surprised you haven't heard of her. She thinks of herself as something of a philosopher of science. My colleague, Dr. Link, who apparently has some interest in her ideas, has told me that she views psychoanalysis as a rational (sic) enterprise—comparable to teaching or governing—whose subject matter is humanity, and which is dedicated to bringing about adaptive change. It is distinguished, in her view, from applied or basic sciences, which require replication and systematic testing, and quite different from your kind of work, Hermeneut. It is also distinguished from art, in that psychoanalysis works with material that has a will and purpose of its own, while the artist works with inert material, which she transforms in the light of her own aesthetic vision.

Hermeneut: Enough, I get the idea. Perhaps di Sapienza can justify her view that education and government are rational enterprises, though I would expect someone who lives on Long Island to know better. However, I must say that she seems mired in a predeconstructionist conception both of art and of my work. I have much more I could say about her ideas, as I am sure you do, and this is all very interesting, but haven't we been in this elevator quite a long time? I believe our position in this shaft has not changed. Is there some meaning for this? (They begin to look around them.)

The scene shifts to the lobby of the building. Entering together are Dr. Brain and Dr. Mind. They notice an “out of order” sign near the elevator, infer that it is not working, and decide to take the stairs. Mind speaks.

Mind: Times have certainly changed, for us to be invited to the same gathering. It used to be that anyone who was interested in one of us would have ignored the other, and I was generally not invited to respectable scientific meetings, anyway.

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