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A Curious PerilH.D.'s Late Modernist Prose$
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Lara Vetter

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054568

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054568.001.0001

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The Invisible Other

The Invisible Other

The Psychoanalyst as Spy

(p.173) 8 The Invisible Other
A Curious Peril

Lara Vetter

University Press of Florida

Chapter 8 turns to the figure of the spy, a recurrent trope of her 1956 novel Magic Mirror and the accompanying memoir Compassionate Friendship. If the “other woman” is predicated on a position of alterity, the therapist-spy feigns an identification—and an empathetic connection—that does not in fact exist. At the level of the private sphere, H.D. uses espionage as a mode of critiquing Freudian psychoanalysis, offering in its stead the short-lived existential psychology, a movement which grew out of the trauma of World War II and emphasized an empathetic rather than transferential model of therapy. Shifting outward to the public sphere, her analysis of the figure of the spy becomes an examination of the politics of nationalism.

Keywords:   ethics, Magic Mirror, Compassionate Friendship, espionage, psychoanalysis

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