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Moscato, F. Solano, P. (2013). Creative Readings: Essays on Seminal Analytic Works, by Thomas Ogden, New York, NY: Routledge, 2012, 201 pp., $36.99 paperbound.. Psychoanal. Psychol., 30(3):509-515.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 30(3):509-515

Creative Readings: Essays on Seminal Analytic Works, by Thomas Ogden, New York, NY: Routledge, 2012, 201 pp., $36.99 paperbound.

Review by:
Francesca Moscato, M.D.

Paola Solano, M.D.

Ogden's latest book, Creative Readings: Essays on Seminal Analytic Works, leads the reader straight to experience one of the main features of the psychoanalytic process, which in this case is applied to written texts. Ogden achieved remarkable prominence in the art of analytic writing and supervising, to which he applied his fresh and lively style that allows new understandings to be discovered. His work is never stilted and is usually captivating and evocative.

Through the deep affective resonance of the text, new meanings are brought forward and fresh understandings can take place within the reader's inner world. To be “creative,” writes Ogden, the reading process has to stem from an intimate interplay where the reader “allows “foreigners” (words and sentences that are not his or her own) into himself and permits himself to be read by that foreigners” (p. 2) deep within himself. This “being read by the writing” (p. 2) involves the development of an affective resonance in the reader's inner world fostering new theoretical and personal developments in a harmonious continuum with previous knowledge. The concept of creative reading, we believe, is a most elegant development of Ogden's thought, whose roots were already put down in his first book (Ogden, 1982) concerning projective identification and the use of this concept in psychoanalytic practice. For instance, when an impasse occurs in the treatment of regressed patients, the concept of projective identification has proven to be a useful tool to achieve new understandings and the possibility to achieve a first representation. Thus, it is a creative process rising from the interchange between analysand and analyst. Ogden (1994) further developed this concept suggesting a new intersubjective focus by introducing the notion of the analytic third, which is a third subject cocreated within the analytic dyad as a new autonomous creature with a life of its own. However, this third is in dialectic reciprocal tension with the separate subjectivities of both analyst and analysand in such a way that preserves, and at the same time denies, their separate integrity.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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