Promises, Promises: Essays on Literature and Psychoanalysis

Promises, Promises: Essays on Literature and Psychoanalysis

by Adam Phillips
     
 

As an essayist, Adam Phillips combines the best of two worlds: a mastery of psychotherapy as both practitioner and theorist, and a reputation as one of the best literary writers around. In this collection of essays, he brings these two gifts to bear upon each other, speculating on the relative merits of psychoanalysis and literature and on the connections

Overview

As an essayist, Adam Phillips combines the best of two worlds: a mastery of psychotherapy as both practitioner and theorist, and a reputation as one of the best literary writers around. In this collection of essays, he brings these two gifts to bear upon each other, speculating on the relative merits of psychoanalysis and literature and on the connections between them. In his quirky, epigrammatic style, Phillips shows us how psychoanalysis and literature at their best share the goal of shedding light on human character, the most fascinating of disorders.Promises, Promises reveals Phillips as a virtuoso performer able to reach far beyond the borders of psychoanalytic discourse, into art, novels, poetry, and history. This collection gives us insights into Martin Amis's Night Train, Nijinsky's diary, Tom Stoppard and A. E. Housman, Amy Clampitt, the effect of the Blitz on Londoners, and a case history of clutter. It confirms Phillips as a writer whose work, in the words of the Guardian, "hovers in a strange and haunting borderland between rigour and delight."

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Phillips, a well-known psychotherapist and literary critic, believes that the "talking cure" of psychoanalysis, dependent as it is upon language, is inextricably linked to literature. Accordingly, he has produced a number of insightful essays that explore the relationship between the literary arts and the unconscious. In this new collection of book reviews, lectures, and critical pieces, Phillips juxtaposes anecdotes from his own psychotherapy practice with discussions of works by an eclectic group of authors: A.E. Housman, Melanie Klein, Fernando Pessoa, Fritz Wittels, and Hart Crane, to name just a few. Not surprisingly, he also includes liberal references in many of the pieces to Freud's writings and theories. A useful addition to interdisciplinary studies, this unique book is recommended for academic collections. Ellen Sullivan, Ferguson Lib., Stamford, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465056774
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
01/29/2001
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 8.22(h) x 1.34(d)
Lexile:
1450L (what's this?)

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