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The Wound of Mortality


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Freud's Todesangst and Ghalib's Ishrat-e-Qatra: Two Perspectives on Death Chapter 2. What Happens When You Die: Three to Four Year Olds Chatting About Death Chapter 3. Children's Understanding of Death Chapter 4. Symbolic Death: East and West Chapter 5. It Is Not Over When It's Over: Reflections on Death and Mourning Chapter 6. Fear of Death: Analyst and Patient in the Same Boat Chapter 7. The Dead Self Must Be Reborn Chapter 8. Living to Die and Dying to Live: Normal and Pathological Considerations of Death Anxiety Chapter 9. Facing Death: Intrapsychic Conflict and Intergenerational Passage Chapter 10. Eastern Intersubjectivity: Relational Homes for Frailty and Death Chapter 11. Demise and Illusion Chapter 12. Is That All There Is?: A Concluding Commentary on Psychoanalysis and Death

About the Author

Salman Akhtar is professor of psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia.


This anthology is edited by Salman Akhtar, who is now well on his way to becoming the most prolific author in psychoanalytic history. Akhtar's sterling introduction, together with twelve subsequent essays by psychoanalysts, offers a vast examination of death, ranging from Freudian to post-Freudian commentary, from the theoretical to the clinical, from the cultural to the intrapsychic, from the transferential to the countertransferential, and from the developmental to the defensive. Recalling E.M. Forster's remark that physical death destroys us whereas the thought of death may save us, readers of this book might also experience the wound of mortality as losing some of its sting. -- Patrick Mahony, PhD, professor emeritus, University of Montreal; training and supervising analyst, Canadian Psychoanalytic Society
If you believe as I do that psychoanalysts have underestimated the importance of the conscious and cultural meanings of mortality by emphasizing its unconscious significances alone, this book restores the appropriate balance that is not to be missed. As a reward, the reader's empathic sensitivity will be broadened and interpretations of all sorts of anxieties, fantasies, and concerns about death will be enriched. -- David M. Sachs, MD, training and supervising analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

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