Couched concepts

February 4, 2000

Instead of reading about the strengths and weaknesses in Joseph Schwartz's Cassandra's Daughter (Books, THES, January 28), I learned that Raymond Tallis does not like psychoanalysis. The review gave him a platform for an excited exposition on the wickedness of psychoanalysis in general and of Melanie Klein in particular. Klein's writing is idiosyncratic and difficult, but it is also original and is taken seriously not only by psychoanalysts but by many clinical psychiatrists.

How inventive to have a book on psychoanalysis reviewed by a specialist from another discipline. Tallis, a geriatrician, may not have the relevant academic background to give an informed review, but he brings the certainty of a man who knows his own mind, uncomplicated by the distraction of scholarship.

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