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Mahon, E.J. (1987). The Psychoanalytic Dialogue: By Stanley Leavy. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1980. Pp. 121.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 68:435-438.

(1987). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 68:435-438

The Psychoanalytic Dialogue: By Stanley Leavy. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1980. Pp. 121.

Review by:
Eugene J. Mahon

This is a short book. Wisdom and eloquence have been compressed into approximately 120 pages. The reader's attention is captured early by the author's clear style and simple exposition of his ideas and an argument that commands attention until the last sentence. Two other works that distil the essence of complex ideas into relatively brief texts come to mind: Mannoni's Freud and Yerushalmi's Zakhor, both tours de force, the one about Freud and psychoanalysis, the other about Jewish memory and history. Like Mannoni and Yerushalmi, Leavy has chosen a vast territory to explore, but like a seasoned analyst whose instincts can track transference through a wilderness of associations, Leavy never loses control of his material but guides the reader surefootedly from one pathway of ideas to another.

The gist of Dr Leavy's thesis is contained in the title. Psychoanalysis is a dialogue, two people, a bridge of language between them, the one trying to reveal hidden aspects of his mind to the other.

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