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Want to know the exact German word that Freud used to refer to a psychoanalytic concept? Move your mouse over a paragraph while reading The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud and a window will emerge displaying the text in its original German version.

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Marshall, K. (1999). A Review of Lesbian Lives: M. Magee and D. C. Miller. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1997, 407 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35(3):536-542.

(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(3):536-542

Living the Unspeakable

A Review of Lesbian Lives: M. Magee and D. C. Miller. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1997, 407 pp.

Review by:
Karol Marshall, Ph.D.

LIVING A LESBIAN LIFE need not raise questions of pathological development, abnormal behavior, or morality. When we talk about lesbian lives we are talking about women who, by choice or necessity, do things, think things, feel things with each other that trouble the contemporary culture. The interface with the cultural surround creates a “lesbian” and the “lesbian life,” not the specifics of what is felt and done, and with whom. Magee and Miller make available the fruits of ten years of study of the ramifications of “women loving women” in Euro-American culture. They consider the life stories of such women in and out of treatment, the record of relevant recent news reports, and, as well, psychoanalytic thinking and the actions of psychoanalytic organizations. The book is clear, eloquent, well reasoned, strong. It illuminates important aspects of a difficult subject in a balanced, temperate manner. It is a hard book. Sobering. There is little joy or playfulness. As seen through the lens of psychoanalysis, living lesbian is a serious business.

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