1st Edition

A Shimmering Landscape The Imaginative and Actual in Psychic Life

By Dodi Goldman Copyright 2025
    176 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    176 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Acclaimed Winnicott scholar Dodi Goldman offers an intriguing account of the psyche’s work of imaginative elaboration.

    Why does the world feel one way when we are imaginatively alive to it and quite another when we are not?  How does one both imagine and see things as they are? What happens when we cannot do so? This book creatively explores the interplay between the imaginative and actual in psychoanalysis and life. Each chapter centers around an evocative visual image—a prehistoric figurine, a Hindu lithograph, an Italian etching, an Inuit statue, a painting by Magritte, and more— to reveal unexpected connections and novel insights into what enlivens experience to make the personal landscape shimmer.

    With a fresh and delightfully playful approach, this volume is essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, humanities scholars, and anyone curious about the fragile alliance between the imaginative and actual in human experience.

    1."Life is a Dream, 'Tis Waking That Kills Us"  2. Lion-Man  3. Night Tree Silhouettes  4. Baby new to Earth and Sky  5. Rama playing  6. What do we talk about when we talk about agression?  7. Magritte and the use of an object  8. Are we virtuoso storytellers?  9. "But she talks just like I write"  10. Paracosms in the parsonage  11. Coda  


    Dodi Goldman is Training and Supervising Analyst and Faculty at the W.A.White Institute in New York. His previous books include “In Search of the Real” and “A Beholder’s Share: essays on Winnicott and the clinical imagination,” which won the 2017 Gradiva Award for Best Book in Psychoanalysis.

    "Psychoanalysts talk of magical thinking; but what of magical seeing ?!?! In this inspired volume, Dodi Goldman asks: “Can we both imagine and see things as they truly are”? Serving as psychoanalyst-docent for works of art as different as a painting from Magritte and (my favorite!) a figurine with the body of a human and head of a lion, Goldman masterfully guides the reader through complex realms of phantasy, imagination, illusion, dreaming, reality, narrative, truth and falsity. Wonders await."

    Bruce Reis, Ph.D., north american regional editor, International Journal of Psychoanalysis; IPA training & supervising analyst.

    "In Dodi Goldman’s A Shimmering Landscape, sequel to his award-winning  A Beholder’s Share, readers are once again welcomed on an inspiring exploration of what comes alive in the play of our imaginings – or not. His beautiful prose brings Winnicott’s ideas to new life, capturing the truth that through our imaginings we come more fully to life and meaning."

    Rachael Peltz, supervising and personal analyst; co-director, Community Psychoanalysis Track and Consortium, Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California, author “Activating Lifeness in the Analytic Encounter: The Ground of Being in Psychoanalysis.”

    "Writing with warmth and wisdom, Dodi Goldman invites us to accompany him as he draws out implications of Winnicott’s views on the somatopsychic foundation of experience and of psyche as the imaginative elaboration of aliveness. In demonstrating his own creative capacity to respond to surprises, he encourages and better equips us to do likewise. This imaginative reworking of our understanding of phantasy and reality is a journey well worth taking."

    Adrian Sutton, fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatry, U.K.; director, Squiggle Foundation, London; author "Paediatrics, Psychiatry & Psychoanalysis: through countertransference to case management.”