Sunday, November 26, 2006

Virtual Love by Avodah Offit

Emailing depth analysts explore mutual self-analysis and discover they share more than a profession. Offit is a psychiatrist who has pretty good storytelling faculty. Dialogue driven plot in emails is a bit of a different spin on the novel written as shared letters. Both analysts share experiences with significant patients. And yet it is the whole premise of reading and writing as a means of self-examination and active imagination that raises the novel above the norm and the following quote shows Offit has made a conscious effort toward a new definition of bibliotherapy.

p. 120
"Theorists of deconstruction say about stories that it is not easy to distinguish what is in the text from what is in the reader. So, in practicing psychiatry, it is not easy to distinguish what is in the patient and what in the analyst. Even more complex, in writing about doing analysis, it is virtually impossible to know whether one is the imagined reader, the patient, the self as psychiatrist or the self with its own personal history. Furthermore, in the interest of confidentiality as well as with a view to improving the story, one may combine cases, elaborate on the nugget of an interesting plot or fabulate one's own past. Is what emerges fact or fiction. How is it to be presented? How can I best tell the story...and why do I want to tell it?"