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Abbasi, A. (2003). TOXIC NOURISHMENT. By Michael Eigen London: Karnac, 1999. 226 pp. ECSTASY. By Michael Eigen Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Univ. Press, 2001. 100 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 72(2):494-498.

(2003). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 72(2):494-498

TOXIC NOURISHMENT. By Michael Eigen London: Karnac, 1999. 226 pp. ECSTASY. By Michael Eigen Middletown, CT: Wesleyan Univ. Press, 2001. 100 pp.

Review by:
Aisha Abbasi

Griefs

I measure every grief I meet,

with analytic eyes.

I wonder if it feels like mine,

Or has an easier size.

I wonder if they bore it long,

Or did it just begin?

I could not tell the date of mine,

It feels so old a pain.

I wonder if it hurts to live,

And if they have to try,

And whether, could they choose between,

They would not rather die.…

I begin my discussion of Eigen's books with poetry because it feels difficult to capture in prose the response I experienced as I read, and then partially reread, his work. These are not analytic writings in the usual sense of the word. Eigen, a psychoanalyst from New York, describes psychoanalytic/psychotherapeutic work, certainly, but he does so in a way that feels rather like embarking on an unplanned journey to multiple new lands, using a mode of transportation in which one is, at any given moment, traveling sedately on land and then unexpectedly hurtled into the air, only to be brought down suddenly to fall into rushing waters.

Perhaps

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