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Levine, H.B. (2017). Introduction: Pioneer Psychoanalysts of the Rio Plata Region. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(1):111-113.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(1):111-113

Education Section

Introduction: Pioneer Psychoanalysts of the Rio Plata Region

Howard B. Levine

(Accepted for publication 6 December 2016)

Bion (1970) has famously written that one of the central challenges faced by psychoanalysts is how to find words to describe the ineffable, the contents and movements of mental functioning and psychic reality that lie beyond the limits of sense data and defy the commonplace language of ordinary discourse. To that problem of communication, we might add the complexities that arise from our profession being a truly international enterprise, one that has grown up and continues to evolve in relatively isolated geographies, cultures and language groups. As a consequence, there exists a pressure towards an inevitable ‘silo effect,’ as each group and tradition remains centered upon and more familiar with its own productions than that of its ‘foreign’ neighbors.

While this degree of isolation may be inevitable and even necessary to the creative process - it may facilitate concentration and focalization within certain theories - it may also delay a dissemination of ideas and discourage a mutually creative engagement in dialogue with perspectives that are emerging outside of each local group. As important as it may be for a group to cordon itself off as it works to create and deepen new ideas, it is also important to go through periods where the group becomes more permeable to ideas that have been developing outside of its borders. When this dialogue does occur, at its most useful, it may foster a potentially productive dialectical tension that can come to exist between the strange and the familiar, the novel and the known.

The Key Papers section of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis has been translating and presenting papers from deceased authors who have made significant contributions in their own culture but are little known in the Anglo-Saxon world. The Education Section essays on Pichon Rivière and José Bleger - published in the same issue as a classic article by Enrique Pichon Rivière, accompanied by an introduction by Lisman-Pieczanski and Pieczanski and a discussion by Greenberg - represent an overdue corrective to the Anglophone neglect of a major pioneer of Latin American psychoanalytic thinking and one of his most influential students.

[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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