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Hoffman, I.Z. (1999). Response. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(3):907-920.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(3):907-920

Response Related Papers

Irwin Z. Hoffman

One of the rewards of writing a book is that, along with inviting thought-provoking criticism, it creates more than the usual opportunities to hear one's thinking reflected back in a manner that is illuminating. It's quite challenging to hear one's ideas formulated in fresh ways that capture and reveal nuances that seem in accord with one's intentions but that also introduce something new. In truth, much of what Benjamin, Friedman, and Sass offer in their reviews does more than meet the standard implied when we say “I couldn't have said it better myself.” A good deal of what they convey is not only in keeping with my own viewpoint but also articulates ideas that I have not stated as well, as beautifully, or as powerfully. I think some of these articulations bear repeating, and I want to quote just a small sample.

I am moved by Jessica Benjamin's reflections on the quality of musing that she feels I encourage. Her account of her inner dialogue is gratifying for me to hear, because, in her own very personal way, it so well communicates and elaborates my intent: “what is consistent is [Hoffman's] tendency to highlight the conflicts and contradictions of the analytic position, to weigh the pros and cons of any polarity while striving to maintain a tension between them. I get the feeling of listening in on an internal dialogue or argument that runs like a familiar murmur in my head, saying ‘yes, but what if,’ and ‘and also this,’ and ‘if I do this I might be overbearing, but if I do that I might be abandoning,’ and ‘this makes me uncomfortable, but avoiding it might not be right.

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