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Coelho, N.E. (2020). The infinity of the unsaid: Unformulated experience, language, and the nonverbal: by Donnel B. Stern, London and New York, CRC press, 2018 $105 (hardcover), $44.95 (paperback), 190 pp. ISBN: 9781138604995. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(2):411-415.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(2):411-415

The infinity of the unsaid: Unformulated experience, language, and the nonverbal: by Donnel B. Stern, London and New York, CRC press, 2018 $105 (hardcover), $44.95 (paperback), 190 pp. ISBN: 9781138604995

Review by:
Nelson Ernesto Coelho

Donnel Stern's new book, The Infinity of the Unsaid, offers readers the chance to follow the vivid evolution of psychoanalytic thinking at its most exciting moments: from the successive and necessary articulations of clinical practice to theoretical reflection. Stern's text is engaging and accompanies the reader, step by step, towards his elaborate conceptions of the role of nonverbal experiences and, from the perspective of the hermeneutic tradition, of the relationship between the verbal and nonverbal in psychoanalysis.

It is, therefore, a book dedicated to one of the most relevant themes of contemporary psychoanalysis, that is, the limits and the different types of formulation and expression of human experiences in the analytical field. The opposition and tensions between the two great individualistic revolutions of modern thought (in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries), the Enlightenment and romantic perspectives, offer the horizon for the reader to take a stand on whether or not it is possible to express the totality of an experience, whether or not it is possible to completely illuminate the different levels of subjective and interpersonal experiences. It is in this context that the central theme of the book, the nonverbal dimension of experiences and their forms of relation to verbal language, is investigated.

Those who are already familiar with Stern's work will rediscover his fluid and enthusiastic style, his commitment to the relational and interpersonal aspect of the human condition, and his relentless effort to investigate the dimensions of the emergence of meaning in the different forms of clinical and theoretical work.

[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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