The Purloined Clinic: Selected Writings

The Purloined Clinic: Selected Writings

5.0 2
by Janet Malcolm
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The Purloined Clinic is a retrospective of essays, reviews, and reports that reflect the range and depth of Janet Malcolm's engagement with psychology, criticism, art, and literature.

She examines aspects of "that absurdist collaboration," the psychoanalytic dialogue, from which come "small, stray sell recognitions that no other human relationship yields,

Overview

The Purloined Clinic is a retrospective of essays, reviews, and reports that reflect the range and depth of Janet Malcolm's engagement with psychology, criticism, art, and literature.

She examines aspects of "that absurdist collaboration," the psychoanalytic dialogue, from which come "small, stray sell recognitions that no other human relationship yields, brought forward under conditions...that no other human relationship could survive." She addresses such subjects as Tom Wolfe's vendetta against modern architecture, Milan Kundera's literary experiments, and Vaclav Havel's prison letters. She explores the somewhat deflated world of post-revolutionary Prague, guides us through the labyrinthine New York art world of the eighties, and takes us behind the one-way mirror of Salvador Minuchin's school of family therapy.And to each subject she brings the incisive skepticism and dazzling epigrammatic style that are her hallmarks.

“Why don’t more people write like [Malcolm]?... She is cast from the mold of the Eastern European intellectual: beholden to modernism. as familiar with Kundera’s exile as she is with Freud’s Vienna. This sensibility must grant her the detachment she sometimes so mercilessly employs, but it also gives her an unassailable passion for getting to the center of things.” —Boston Globe

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Malcolm's ( In the Freud Archives ) fascination with psychoanalysis permeates the 16 erudite and assured essays, reviews and reports assembled here. Their range, however, is broad. Malcolm analyzes new interpretations of Freud's Dora case and wittily assesses a book on French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, The Death of an Intellectual Hero by Stuart Schneiderman. She proposes that the autobiographies of the gay explorer Tobias Schneebaum ``are like the three stages of an analysis,'' observes that Vaclav Havel's prison letters to his wife suggest ``the behavior of the supine member of the psychoanalytic couple'' and wonders about the tension in Ved Mehta's memoirs between the ``narrating adult'' and the ``experiencing child.'' Her reports--on so-called structural family therapy, on one-time Artforum editor Ingrid Sischy and on a trip to Prague in April 1990--exhibit the same intellectual rigor but have a leavening of detail and dialogue that makes them more accessible. Most of these pieces first appeared in the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. (Nov.)
Donna Seaman
Janet Malcolm's books on psychoanalysis and, most recently, "The Journalist and the Murderer" , have earned her much acclaim, as have her essays, reviews, and reports. This substantial collection rounds up 16 pieces on a heady variety of topics from the last 10 years. The first four essays focus on one of Malcolm's favorite subjects, Freud and the revelations and entanglements of psychoanalysis. The book's title is taken from an expansive review of a book about Thomas Eakins and Stephen Crane by fellow traveler Michael Fried. Other, more incisive reviews offer insights into books by Milan Kundera, Ved Mehta, Vaclav Havel, and, with particular sensitivity and astuteness, a memoir by Vanessa Bell's daughter, Angelica Garnett. Turning from literary discourse to reporting, Malcolm chronicles family therapy sessions in "The One-Way Mirror" and the rarefied world of fine art in an article about "Artforum" editor Ingrid Sischy. "The Window Washer" profiles a Czech dissident Malcolm sought out on a trip to post-Communist Prague. This was no casual journey--Malcolm and her close relatives fled Prague and the Nazis in 1939. But then, none of Malcolm's exceptional writings are casual; she wraps her supple and well-ordered mind around each topic, no matter how faceted or slippery, and then breaks it down into its essentials with flawless eloquence.
From the Publisher
"Why don't more people write like [Malcolm]?... She is cast from the mold of the Eastern European intellectual: beholden to modernism. as familiar with Kundera's exile as she is with Freud's Vienna. This sensibility must grant her the detachment she sometimes so mercilessly employs, but it also gives her an unassailable passion for getting to the center of things."

— Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307830609
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/23/2013
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
336,386
File size:
2 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Purloined Clinic: Selected Writings 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 0 reviews.