A Psychoanalyst: Between an Excess of the Virtual and an Excess of Realism

  • Jean-Michel Quinodoz


I would like to talk about virtual reality by telling you a true story. One day, a little boy I shall call Jacques came to see us and asked me: «May I take the pretty little pink pig I can see on the bookshelf? I’d like to play with it». I replied: «Yes, you may try». Jacques approached it with his hand, closing his fingers around the object and shouted with surprise: «But there’s no little pig! I can’t touch it!» In fact, his fingers were clutching air. Jacques’ face became sad, his voice expressed his disappointment and worry: «But I can see it! Why can’t I grab it?» Jacques remained motionless, showing some anxiety.


Virtual Reality Delicate Balance Virtual Object Collective Level Real Person 
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  1. Quinodoz, J.M., 1991, The Taming of Solitude. Separation Anxiety in Psychoanalysis. Transl.Ph. Slotkin. London and New York: Routledge, 1993Google Scholar
  2. Segal, H., 1991, Dream, Phantasy and Art. London and New York: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Michel Quinodoz
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Psychoanalytic SocietySwitzerland

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