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Välimäki, J. (2013). Halun ja moraalin maisemia. Psykoanalyyttistä suunnistusta. (Landscapes of desire and morality. Psychoanalytic orienteering), by Vesa Manninen, Helsinki, Finland. Helsingin Psykoterapiayhdistys ry (The Psychotherapeutic Society of Helsinki), 2012, 187 pp., ISBN 978-952-67724-0-0.. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 36(2):130-134.

(2013). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 36(2):130-134

Book Reviews

Halun ja moraalin maisemia. Psykoanalyyttistä suunnistusta. (Landscapes of desire and morality. Psychoanalytic orienteering), by Vesa Manninen, Helsinki, Finland. Helsingin Psykoterapiayhdistys ry (The Psychotherapeutic Society of Helsinki), 2012, 187 pp., ISBN 978-952-67724-0-0.

Jukka Välimäki

Vesa Manninen finishes the opening chapter of his latest book with these words: “In my work, I try to get in touch with the all-embracing presence of internalizing and internalized morality on the long road to becoming a human being as well as in the foundations of the psychoanalytic method.” In this way, the author promises as already in the title of the volume, that the point of view of morality that psychoanalysts rarely refer to, if not directly take a distance from, will have a remarkable role in his approach. He keeps his word. While Manninen examines deeply and from various viewpoints the psychoanalytic theory of development and the practice of analysis, the red thread of the point of view of morality follows throughout the book.

The chapter Illusion in the service of the ego serves as an introduction to the work, where the author strikes the opening chords to the later and central examination of the question of transference, clinical vignettes, analysis of characters in literature and film and in the themes of desire and morality. At the end of the chapter, he defines, accepting his solemnity, the “humane task” of man from the point of view of a psychoanalyst who has profoundly thought through psychoanalysis. The brilliantly formulated passage contains, among others, the following sentence that is still further amplified: “The possibility of happiness within reality is formed by combining desire and morality, originally instinctual urges and the ideals supporting narcissism, with the reality that can be shared with others”.

[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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