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The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Moscato, F. Solano, P. (2014). La mente come teatro: psicoanalisi, mito e rappresentazione [The Mind as a Theatre: Psychoanalysis, Myth and Representation] by Fausto Petrella Edi-Ermes Centro Scientifico Editore, Milano, 2011; 123 pp; €14.00. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 95(1):164-168.

(2014). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 95(1):164-168

La mente come teatro: psicoanalisi, mito e rappresentazione [The Mind as a Theatre: Psychoanalysis, Myth and Representation] by Fausto Petrella Edi-Ermes Centro Scientifico Editore, Milano, 2011; 123 pp; €14.00

Review by:
Francesca Moscato

Paola Solano

Nowadays, psychoanalysis is struggling more than ever with the problem of the ‘representation’ of intra- and inter-psychic phenomena in order to develop a deeper and more accurate understanding of what happens in the patient's mind and in the therapeutic relationship. Frequently, psychoanalysts borrow images and phantasies from books and from the theatre to conceive an appropriate shape for these phenomena that could lay the foundations of a process of signification and conceptualization. Hence the focus is mainly on ‘what’ is put on the stage rather than on ‘how’ it is represented, that is, on the formal device that makes representation possible.

In his most recent book, Petrella attempts to carry out this rather difficult task by combining his experience in clinical psychiatry, his work as a psychoanalyst and his fascination for the theatre. In fact, he is a member of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society and was a professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Pavia for decades. The author's style is clear and direct and, although the chapters are conceptually rich, they are quite unsaturated. The reader is therefore stimulated to think spontaneously over the concepts and metaphors presented. This allows for a personalized reading of the book, which stems not only from what the author writes but also from the feelings evoked in the reader's mind through associations, imagery and memory. Thus the author addresses his book to “active readers” who are invited to play a role - as well as that of being a mere observer - by becoming interpreters and themselves experiencing a process of knowledge.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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