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Akhtar, S. (2015). Boundaries and Bridges: Perspectives on Time and Space in Psychoanalysis. By Andrea Sabbadini. London: Karnac Books, 2014, xxiv + 162 pp., $ 37.95 paperback.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(4):819-825.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(4):819-825

Boundaries and Bridges: Perspectives on Time and Space in Psychoanalysis. By Andrea Sabbadini. London: Karnac Books, 2014, xxiv + 162 pp., $ 37.95 paperback.

Review by:
Salman Akhtar

The clinical work of psychoanalysis takes place in the realm of imagination but is grounded in sober reality. It seems timeless and yet a clock keeps its stern eye over the proceedings. It never moves out of a fixed location, even while encouraging mental travels far beyond the plebeian strictures of such space. Boundaries are maintained, but talk of transgression is pervasive. the work necessitates profound intimacy but “must be carried out in abstinence” (Freud 1915a, p. 165). Two notable vectors within such clash and contrast are those of time and space, elements that are the basis of Andrea Sabbadini's book. A London-based psychoanalyst of Italian origin and former film review editor of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Sabbadini (2003, 2007) is better known for his work in the realm of psychoanalysis and cinema. I therefore welcome the opportunity to review his work on matters pertaining to clinical conceptualization and practice.

Sabbadini's book addresses a number of topics: The development of a sense of time, the phenomenon of the replacement child, virginity, the timelessness of the unconscious and seemingly of the analytic treatment, the turn of the century and the emotional significance of the year 2000, use of the couch, “possession anxiety,” silence, sounds, and creativity. Each topic is explored with the novel addition of a spatiotemporal perspective. Each is highlighted with opposing conceptualizations and then given a fresh nuance by the “layering of significance” (Kristeva 1987, p.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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