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Int J Psychoanal. 2010 Feb;91(1):183-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-8315.2009.00217.x.

Dante's Comedy: precursors of psychoanalytic technique and psyche.

Author information

  • The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel 91905. nmoshe@gmail.com


This paper uses a literary approach to explore what common ground exists in both psychoanalytic technique and views of the psyche, of 'person'. While Western literature has developed various views of psyche and person over centuries, there have been crystallizing, seminal portraits, for instance Shakespeare's perspective on what is human, some of which have endured to the present. By using Dante's Commedia, particularly the Inferno, a 14th century poem that both integrates and revises previous models of psyche and personhood, we can examine what features of psyche, and 'techniques' in soul-healing psychoanalysts have inherited culturally. Discovering basic features of technique and model of psyche we share as psychoanalysts permits us to explore why we have differences in variations on technique and models of inner life.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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