On the Lyricism of the Mind: Psychoanalysis and Literature explores the lyrical dimension (or the lyricism) of the psychic space. It is not presented as an artistic disposition, but rather as a universal psychic quality which enables the recovery and recuperation of the self. The specific nature of human lyricism is defined as the interaction as well as the integration of two psychic modes of experience originally defined by the psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion: The emergent and the continuous principles of the self.
Dana Amir elaborates Bion's general notion of an interaction between the emergent and the continuous principles of the self, offering a discussion of the specific function of each principle and of the significance of the various types of interaction between them as the basis for mental health or pathology. The author applies these theoretical notions in her analytic work by means of literary illustrations showing how the lyrical dimension may be used to teach psychoanalytic readings of literature and explore the connection between psychoanalytic and literary languages.
On the Lyricism of the Mind presents a new psychoanalytic understanding of the capacity to heal, to grieve, to love and to know, using literary illustrations but also literary language in order to extract a new formulation out of the classic psychoanalytic language of Winnicott and Bion. This book will appear to a wide audience to include psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and art therapists. It is also extremely relevant to literary scholars, including students of literary criticism, philosophers of language and philosophers of mind, novelists, poets, and to the wide educated readership in general.
Chapter 1: Bion, Winnicott, and the Lyrical Dimension of the Potential Space
Chapter 2: The Emergent, the Continuous and the Lyrical
Chapter 3: The Philosophical and Human Meaning of the Lyrical Dimension
Chapter 4: The Emergent Self and the Continuous Self in the Mirror of Development
Chapter 5: Asleep with all Five Senses Awake: Octavio Paz's "As One Listens to the Rain" as an Illustration of the Interrelations between the Emergent and the Continuous Principles of the self
Chapter 6: The Influence of the Interaction between the Continuous Self and the Emergent Self on the Development of the Schizoid and the Borderline Personalities
Chapter 7: Attacks on Linking as Attacks on the Formation of the Lyrical Dimension
Chapter 8: The Line that Divides Sleeping from Waking: The Malignant Interaction between the Emergent Principle and the Continuous Principle in My Michael by Amos Oz
Chapter 9: Melancholia as Mourning over a Possible Object
Chapter 10: From the Earthly Jerusalem to the Heavenly City: The lyrical Dimension of Mourning in A.B. Yehoshua's novella A Woman in Jerusalem
Chapter 11: On Lyricism, Knowing and Love
When music is played in a new key, the melody does not change, but the notes that make up the composition do: change in the context of continuity, continuity that perseveres through change. Psychoanalysis in a New Key publishes books that share the aims psychoanalysts have always had, but that approach them differently. The books in the series are not expected to advance any particular theoretical agenda, although to this date most have been written by analysts from the Interpersonal and Relational orientations.
The most important contribution of a psychoanalytic book is the communication of something that nudges the reader’s grasp of clinical theory and practice in an unexpected direction. Psychoanalysis in a New Key creates a deliberate focus on innovative and unsettling clinical thinking. Because that kind of thinking is encouraged by exploration of the sometimes surprising contributions to psychoanalysis of ideas and findings from other fields, Psychoanalysis in a New Key particularly encourages interdisciplinary studies. Books in the series have married psychoanalysis with dissociation, trauma theory, sociology, and criminology. The series is open to the consideration of studies examining the relationship between psychoanalysis and any other field – for instance, biology, literary and art criticism, philosophy, systems theory, anthropology, and political theory.
But innovation also takes place within the boundaries of psychoanalysis, and Psychoanalysis in a New Key therefore also presents work that reformulates thought and practice without leaving the precincts of the field. Books in the series focus, for example, on the significance of personal values in psychoanalytic practice, on the complex interrelationship between the analyst’s clinical work and personal life, on the consequences for the clinical situation when patient and analyst are from different cultures, and on the need for psychoanalysts to accept the degree to which they knowingly satisfy their own wishes during treatment hours, often to the patient’s detriment.