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Robinson, J.S. (1994). The Purloined Self. Interpersonal Perspectives in Psychoanalysis: By Edgar A. Levenson, M.D. New York: William Alanson White Institute, 1991. 266 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 63:115-120.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:115-120

The Purloined Self. Interpersonal Perspectives in Psychoanalysis: By Edgar A. Levenson, M.D. New York: William Alanson White Institute, 1991. 266 pp.

Review by:
James S. Robinson

The contemporary Freudian—one who has remained with the evolution of Freud's analysis to the present—does not strongly identify with the authoritarian tone of Freud's statements. She imbibes rather the spirit of discovery that permeates his work, the attempts to chart the unknown, the striving for linkage with the scientific and intellectual communities. In that spirit she (or he) welcomes new perspectives that broaden, deepen, or condense existing knowledge or bring working assumptions into question. Though supportive of democratization and pluralism within our field, she is cautious of premature synthesis and eclecticism that bypasses constructive dialogue.

In his own response to growing eclecticism, Edgar Levenson in this remarkable collection of essays and papers (53% of his published titles since 1974) seeks to delineate the extensions and boundaries of his branch of the interpersonal school and to distinguish its tenets from the views of Freud and Sullivan. He recalls nostalgically earlier days of schism when analysts felt strongly enough about their theories to stake their careers on them. To highlight differences, Levenson proceeds from a rhetorical device he calls the orthodox analyst—a foil against which he defines the professional attitudes and methods of the interpersonalist.

The

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