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Ikonen, E. (2009). Mutuality and One-Sidedness in Kjell Askildsen's The Dogs of Thessaloniki: The Psychology of Everyday Life. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 32(1):14-22.

(2009). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 32(1):14-22

Mutuality and One-Sidedness in Kjell Askildsen's The Dogs of Thessaloniki: The Psychology of Everyday Life

Eeva Ikonen, MSc

The aim of this paper is to bring to the fore how a talented writer is able to describe everyday human relationships in a way that makes visible their most central, underlying dynamics. After reviewing some of the psychoanalytic literature, the author presents a collection of short stories by the Norwegian author, Kjell Askildsen. These works illustrate how the fear of incest, sado-masochistic, exhibitionistic, and addictive defenses can play the rôle of “directors” of human dramas. Askildsen, with relentless accuracy, decribes a longing for reciprocity and defences against it. In such a conflict, reciprocity is felt dangerous and only momentarily fulfilled, and defences are necessary.

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