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On the Couch**

On the Couch** On the Couch* MIGNON NIXON The setting is like the darkness in a cinema, like the silence in a concert hall. —Federico Flegenheimer There is a scene in Nanni Moretti’s film The Son’s Room (2001) in which a prospective patient, a middle-aged man making his first visit to a psychoanalyst, pauses upon entering the consulting room to examine the couch. It is a fine couch, he remarks, “simple, comfortable, even elegant in its way. . . . But I have no intention of lying on it.” Still, the analyst’s marine-blue couch receives many visitors over the course of the film. One woman spends the hour calculating her losses. How much does the analyst really understand—20 percent of what she is saying, or 30? There have been 460 sessions, she chides, and after every one, to assuage her disappointment, she shops. A male patient gushes dreams. They pour from him in unbroken succession, filling the analytic hour like water flowing noisily into a bath. A woman suffers from obsessional thoughts. Her time on the couch is measured as metronomically as her daily routine, in a recitation of the rituals that mete out her hours. The analyst’s thoughts drift across http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png October MIT Press

On the Couch**

October , Volume Summer 2005 (113) – Jul 1, 2005

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References (33)

Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
© 2005 October Magazine, Ltd. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
ISSN
0162-2870
eISSN
1536-013X
DOI
10.1162/0162287054769940
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

On the Couch* MIGNON NIXON The setting is like the darkness in a cinema, like the silence in a concert hall. —Federico Flegenheimer There is a scene in Nanni Moretti’s film The Son’s Room (2001) in which a prospective patient, a middle-aged man making his first visit to a psychoanalyst, pauses upon entering the consulting room to examine the couch. It is a fine couch, he remarks, “simple, comfortable, even elegant in its way. . . . But I have no intention of lying on it.” Still, the analyst’s marine-blue couch receives many visitors over the course of the film. One woman spends the hour calculating her losses. How much does the analyst really understand—20 percent of what she is saying, or 30? There have been 460 sessions, she chides, and after every one, to assuage her disappointment, she shops. A male patient gushes dreams. They pour from him in unbroken succession, filling the analytic hour like water flowing noisily into a bath. A woman suffers from obsessional thoughts. Her time on the couch is measured as metronomically as her daily routine, in a recitation of the rituals that mete out her hours. The analyst’s thoughts drift across

Journal

OctoberMIT Press

Published: Jul 1, 2005

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