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Lester, E.P. (1992). Psychoanalytic Knowledge: By Eugene B. Brody. Madison, CT: International Universities Press. 1990. Pp. 246.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 19:239-241.

(1992). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 19:239-241

Psychoanalytic Knowledge: By Eugene B. Brody. Madison, CT: International Universities Press. 1990. Pp. 246.

Review by:
Eva P. Lester

Eugene Brody, a psychoanalyst, has been a prominent psychiatric educator and scholar for a number of years. His contributions to psychiatry and psychoanalysis and his particular interests in the influences of the social context on behaviour, with specific emphasis on the linguistic aspects of social interactions, seem a fitting preparation for the inquiry into which this slim but weighty volume enters. The author's scientific, epistemological perspective; his broad cultural background; and his comfortable command of Freud's writings and the post-Freudian literature on the particular questions he poses, permit Brody to challenge some of the most fundamental positions in psychoanalysis.

This is not a book to read and assimilate effortlessly. The author's style is dense, and not just due to the plenitude of quotes in the text. The style itself moves in a laborious flow, his ideas and meanings requiring much focused attention to be understood. Brody brings together an unusually large body of information from a variety of sources—more than 300 references are cited in the bibliography and a considerable number of these are quoted in the text. He enters readily into related areas of scholarship, or turns to the poets, the philosophers and the great writers. These forays enrich and illuminate the text and delight the reader but, occasionally, they distract. Not infrequently this reader would have wished that the author outline and complete his own theoretical exposition before entering into the thinking of others.

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