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Langan, R. (1999). Introductory Note to Symposium. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35(1):43.

(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(1):43

Introductory Note to Symposium

R. Langan, Ph.D.

THE FOLLOWING FOUR ARTICLES by Barbara Schapiro, Philip Bromberg, Robert Langan, and Adam Phillips derive from papers presented in November 1997 as the literature and psychoanalysis panel of the White Institute-sponsored conference, “Building New Bridges: Clinical Psychoanalysis Across Disciplines.”

The (debatable) premise of the panel was that both literature and psychoanalysis entail the altering of states of mind through the power of relationship.

Literature occurs in relationship between author and reader. The writer imagines a reader; the reader, by entering the depicted thoughts of the writer, touches the writer's state of mind. What one writes betrays who one is; what one reads suggests who one may be, how one might be in altered relationship to the world. Literature can be seen as a relational exchange of possible states of being.

Likewise, psychoanalysis occurs in relationship between analysand and analyst. It entails each imagining the other, altering states of mind. It permits a relational exchange of possible states of being.

The panelists set out to explore some of the parallels and commonalities of these relationships, in hopes of elucidating the literary relationship by the psychoanalytic, and the psychoanalytic by the literary.

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