“Mindscape” is a new term evoking the relationship between the psyche and the landscape, and positioning us in the middle, where we belong: with our psyche in the landscape and the landscape in our psyche. Guided by psychoanalysis, literature and neuro-aesthetics (informed, that is, by the thinking of both Emily Dickinson and Arthur Schnitzler, of both Harold Searles and Donald Winnicott, of both Semir Zeki and Vittorio Gallese), author Vittorio Lingiardi urges us to reconsider the idea of landscape, and particularly of “elective landscape”: a place that we seek throughout the world, a place that can provide a form and an image for something that we already own. It is a discovery, but also an invention, a returning-home. Rivers, mountains, ruins and beaches inhabit our minds, our travels, and our dreams, and -- like psychic objects -- they are embedded in our memory. They might even date back to our first encounter with the caregiver who looked at us, or who turned her/his face away.
In order to be in this world, we must explore our own landscapes, and -- above all -- we must contain several locales within us if we’re to have any chance of being ourselves.
Vittorio LIngiardi, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, is full professor of Dynamic Psychology at the Sapienza University of Rome. With Nancy McWilliams he is the scientific coordinator and editor of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2), already published by Guilford in the United States and a forthcoming publication by Cortina.
He writes for the cultural supplement Domenica of the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore and for the magazine Venerdì di Repubblica (a weekly column on cinema and psychoanalysis called “Psycho”).