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Stein, H.F. (1996). Intimate Communications. Erotics And The Study Of Culture. By Gilbert Herdt and Robert J. Stoller. New York/Oxford: Columbia University Press, 1990. 467 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 65:438-443.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:438-443

Intimate Communications. Erotics And The Study Of Culture. By Gilbert Herdt and Robert J. Stoller. New York/Oxford: Columbia University Press, 1990. 467 pp.

Review by:
Howard F. Stein

It has taken me nearly two years to muster the courage to write a review of this book. Call it resistance. Nothing prepared me for this book, for it is not only about culture and intimacy; it is a profoundly intimate book. It forced me to face what anthropology and psychoanalysis are ultimately about—and what life is all about, too. I simply could not assimilate the work at first. The words I could come up with to begin a “review” were at best trite. They were defenses against the book's core. At least I knew that. I read it many times and made copious notes, but none of them amounted even to a beginning of a review. I knew only that I was not ready. I could not force the review or “will” it until its time.

One may, presumably, need to grow into a book just as one must often grow into a piece of music.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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