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Parat, H. (1996). L'affect Partagé [Shared Affect]. : By C. Parat. Foreword by A. Green. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, Collection ‘Le fait psychanalytique’. 1995.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:1258.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:1258

L'affect Partagé [Shared Affect]. : By C. Parat. Foreword by A. Green. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, Collection ‘Le fait psychanalytique’. 1995.

Review by:
Hélène Parat

This book is the fruit of many years of demanding and passionate psychoanalytic practice. It is a collection of scattered papers published over a long period of time, but also includes critical additions and unpublished material, illustrating the course of an odyssey and the links between different aspects of the author's thought. For Catherine Parat, these links become increasingly clear in the acknowledgement of the importance of affect in both her theory and her practice. Affect, as the ‘area in which the representational lines are fixed’, is indeed the ‘living weft within which the links that construct psychic life are woven’.

Avoiding the pitfalls of a mere chronological compilation, the author has arranged her papers in groups of related themes (female sexuality, the Oedipus complex, the nucleus of the neuroses, clinical practice and analytic technique, the importance of affect and affect in therapy). This conveys something of the continuity of personal elaboration involved in a state of ‘being an analyst’ that entails constant progression, while at the same time highlighting her freedom with respect to certain imposed theoretical models and limiting ideals. The author is then able to produce a piece of ‘serene writing’, as André Green nicely puts it in his attentive and concise foreword. Green here clearly brings out the connections between the different focal points of the author's interest and discusses certain subtle aspects of her theory, such as the distinction between suppression and repression, in consequence of which allowance is made in the clinical situation for the disjunction between representation and affect.

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