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Perman, G.P. (2018). The Marks of a Psychoanalysis, by Luis Izcovich, Karnac Books, London, 2017, 280 pp.. Psychodyn. Psych., 46(2):295-304.

(2018). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 46(2):295-304

The Marks of a Psychoanalysis, by Luis Izcovich, Karnac Books, London, 2017, 280 pp.

Review by:
Gerald P. Perman, M.D.

I have been interested in the work of Jacques Lacan for about five years, and I still consider myself to be a novice with a relatively rudimentary appreciation of his ideas. My entrée into Lacan mostly came through the writing of Bruce Fink, and Lacan's ideas have enhanced my clinical work by allowing me to pay more attention to my patients' words themselves rather than to their consciously intended meanings, to the metaphor and metonymy in their verbal productions, and to find the humor expressed in irony and opposites often speaking to unconscious secondary gain and to passive aggressive actions.

Luis Izcovich is a Lacanian psychiatrist, a founding member of the School of Psychoanalysis of the Forums of the Lacanian Field, and he has taught in the Department of Psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII and at the College of Clinical Psychoanalysis in Paris. He established Editions Stilus in Paris to disseminate works of psychoanalysis in France. The Marks of a Psychoanalysis was first published in 2015 and was recently translated into this English edition. A colleague of mine in my Lacanian study group, knowing that I had reviewed several books about Lacan, asked me to review this book. I found reviewing parts of Izcovich's book to be an impossible task, as I'll describe below.

The main question Izcovich attempts to answer is intriguing: “Does a thorough and complete psychoanalysis leave a ‘mark’ or a trace on the analysand that is not accessible to someone who has not had an analysis?” In the introduction, Izcovich follows up this question with a series of other questions: “Can we identify the marks of a psychoanalysis?” “Where are they located and who can locate them?” “Does psychoanalysis cure?” “What does it change in a subject's life?” etc.

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