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Rozmarin, E. (2020). Response to Jon Mills. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(2):377-378.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(2):377-378

Response to Jon Mills

Eyal Rozmarin

Dear Editor,

The publication of a book is, as the term itself suggests, a public gesture. A book aims to reach and impact the minds and hearts of people, and the communities they inhabit. In the case of a psychoanalytic book, this gesture aims to operate in yet another register, to influence the way we think and work with people who put in us their deepest trust. Publishing an analytic book therefore carries with it a great deal of responsibility, to the readers and writers, clinicians and patients who make up this deep but also precarious field of theory and practice. And so, reviewing a book demands responsibility of a similar kind. Responsibility towards the book’s scholarly ambition and labor, but even more so towards the collective discourse in which it aims to take part. It is in this spirit that I made my best effort to review the book at hand.

Relational psychoanalysis is by now a wide framework of psychoanalytic inquiry. From object relations to field theory, from attachment theory to deconstruction, from a focus on the nuclear family to questioning the place of the social and political at the core of our intimate lives. It spans the range from the conservative to the radical, from the daring to the quotidian. It is a sprawling and uneven theoretical landscape. And like any emerging scholarly field making a claim for its perspectives on knowledge, relational psychoanalysis deserves rigorous scrutiny. As I have written in my review, it is not the book’s critical ambition, but the rigor of its critique that I found problematic.

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