Sitting with Strangers
The coda explores the paradoxical intimacy of psychoanalysis as theorized in the clinical writings of Sigmund Freud and a range of Anglo-American “relational” analysts. Psychoanalytic theory is shown to reduplicate the tensions between a belief in existential privacy and a reassuring confidence in empathic communication that were symptomatic of moral sentimentalism. The coda also identifies a romanticist strain of conceptually challenging and rhetorically complex psychoanalytic writing which is deeply attentive to the asymmetrical and non-mutual emotional engagement of analytic partners.
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