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Tip: To sort articles by source…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Source. This will rearrange the results of your search, displaying articles according to their appearance in journals and books. This feature is useful for tracing psychoanalytic concepts in a specific psychoanalytic tradition.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

First, E. (1997). Irreparable Objects—When There's Nothing to Mend: Commentary on Paper by Anne Alvarez. Psychoanal. Dial., 7(6):769-779.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 7(6):769-779

Irreparable Objects—When There's Nothing to Mend: Commentary on Paper by Anne Alvarez Related Papers

Elsa First, M.A.

It is a privilege to discuss Anne Alvarez, for her work is one of the growing points of psychoanalysis today. Her writing has a remarkable immediacy. It fits with her clinical style, which favors those moments where something is discovered between child patient and therapist because they could both bear to know it at the same time. Inviting us to accompany her as she thinks, she allows herself to use all sorts of knowledge at once: naturalistic infant-parent observation, recent infant research, countertransference experiences with the most painfully disturbed children, Kleinian psychoanalysis, and her long experience in the Autism Workshop at the Tavistock Clinic, which allows her to ask what ordinary experiences in the development of relatedness (such as reaching out and grasping) are missing in the most shut-down children. Readers of her recent book, Live Company (Alvarez, 1992), a summation of her rich and generative work to that point, will know how her work with autism helped her notice and articulate small but significant increments in the growth of personhood in all sorts of children. In this new piece she looks back, with moving candor, on early case notes to study the implicit assumptions of the way she was taught and to figure out how far she has come. Her writing is so sensible and evocative and quietly brilliant, new readers may find that it goes down almost too easily. She needs to be re-read, I find, to appreciate her originality.

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