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The Suicidal Diary and the Absent Analyst

Philip Cheifetz


Three universally recognized diaries are compared with the account of a
research subject who ended her diary by ending her life. The author explores
the successful diarist’s capacity to transcend the isolation of self by creating
a perception of otherness to whom the diary is addressed, the other-in-theself,
that facilitates the emotional processing of one’s life. Indeed, all diaries
seek a response in their creation that alters the soliloquy through the diary’s
self-recognizing and self-reflecting function. In contrast, the suicidal diarist
cannot break free of the solipsism of her mental state and the diary’s plea to
the other-in-the-self goes unanswered. The absence of response, the absent
analyst, leaves the words stuck to their page. The study of the diary process
makes it clear that there is no self without the other, nor a successful diary
without a responsive and recognizing other-in-the-self.


suicidal diarist, transcending isolation, otherness, use of an object, diarists compared, successful and failed diaries, unresponsive diary, absent analyst

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