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Sánchez-Pardo, E. (1998). Response to James S. Grotstein. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 3(1):95-102.

(1998). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 3(1):95-102

Response to James S. Grotstein Related Papers

Esther Sánchez-Pardo, Ph.D.

James Grotstein's discussion of the ideas that I elaborate on, melancholia and male homosexuality, confirms that there might be a fruitful exchange between and across different fields, from our different affiliations as psychoanalysts, philosophers, cultural critics, ripe already in so many areas that flourish in these interfaces. It is this spirit of interdisciplinarity that led me to read Melanie Klein otherwise, with the tools and the background of the cultural critic, open to the inflections of what seemed to me her hidden voice(s) and challenging some deeply held biased assumptions about her work.

In this respect, James Grotstein's remarks about the hidden complexities of the Kleinian oeuvre reminds me that we both perceive that there is something hidden among the many layers of meaning of the Kleinian text, something that contemporary readers of Klein can instantly experience but only identify with great difficulty. Traditional charges against Klein's plainness and lack of an elaborate style in her writing can easily be countered if we pursue a close reading of any of her texts. Reading Klein is a difficult exercise, one that is fraught with the tensions of a mind that is giving us her case materials and making theory at once. Whereas Freud's emphasis was on mechanisms that give rise to certain symptoms, Klein places the emphasis on phantasy production in the articulation and formulation of these processes. The process is immediately translated into and expressed in terms of its correlative infantile phantasies of persecution, destruction, oral incorporation, and evacuation. Consequently, the Kleinian discussion of object relations is cast not in the language of real relationship but rather in the instinctually derived language of phantasies about objects and their relation to the subject.

In

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