Books

In Writing

Adam Phillips

Incisive and highly original, an investigation of the connection between literature and psychoanalysis, from Britain's leading psychoanalyst, author of On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored and On Kindness, the essential Adam Phillips

For Adam Phillips - as for Freud and many of his followers - poetry and poets have always held an essential place, as both precursors and unofficial collaborators in the psychoanalytic project. But the same has never held true in reverse. What, Phillips wonders, at the start of this deeply engaging book, has psychoanalysis meant for writers? And what can writing do for psychoanalysis?

Phillips explores these questions through an exhilarating series of encounters with - and vivid readings of - writers he has loved, from Byron and Barthes to Shakespeare and Sebald. And in the process he demonstrates, through his own unique style, how literature and psychoanalysis can speak to and of each other.

Unforbidden Pleasures

Adam Phillips

So much has been written about forbidden pleasures. What about pleasures that are unforbidden?

Society is fascinated by taboo - we spend our lives chasing illicit pleasures - but nobody pays much attention to all the unforbidden pleasures freely available to us every day. Could we be gaining just as much reward from these unnoticed, unforbidden indulgences as from the much-glorified forbidden - or even more?

Starting with Oscar Wilde, Adam Phillips elegantly unfolds all the meanings and significances of the Unforbidden, from Genesis to Freud and his 20th century colleagues. Unforbidden Pleasures explores the philosophical, psychological and social complexities that govern human desire and shape our reality.

One Way and Another

Adam Phillips

One Way and Another is an affirmation of Adam Phillips's position as one of the most literary essayists today.

With an introduction by John Banville.

Throughout his brilliant career, Adam Phillips has lent a new and incisive dimension to the art of the literary essay, and in so doing revived the form for audiences of the new millennium. Collected here are nineteen pieces that have best defined his thinking - including 'On Tickling', 'On Being Bored' and 'Clutter: A Case History' - along with a selection of new writings and an introduction by Man Booker Prize winner John Banville.

'Though his territory is complication, he reports back from his travels in the simplest of words. He is perhaps single-handedly continuing the tradition of the world's best essayists' Observer

'Phillips radiates infectious charm. The brew of gaiety, compassion, exuberance and idealism is heady and disarming' Sunday Times

'"Phillipsian" would evoke a vivid, paradoxical style that led you to think that you had picked up an idea by the head, only to find you were holding it by the tail' Lisa Appignanesi, Guardian


Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He is the author of several previous books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane and Side Effects. His most recent books are On Kindness, co-written with the historian Barbara Taylor, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life and On Balance.

Missing Out

Adam Phillips

Missing Out is a meditation on reality and opportunity by Adam Phillips.

We all have two lives - the life we live and the life of our fantasies. But it is the life unlived - the person we have failed to be - that can trouble and even haunt us. In Missing Out acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips delves into the gap between who we are and who we are not, to discover whether not getting what we want may be the unlikely key to the fully lived life.

Praise for Adam Phillips:

'"Phillipsian" would evoke a vivid, paradoxical style that led you to think that you had picked up an idea by the head, only to find you were holding it by the tail' Lisa Appignanesi, Guardian

'He's brilliant' John Carey

'Phillips radiates infectious charm' Sunday Times

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane and Side Effects. His most recent book is On Kindness, which was co-written with historian Barbara Taylor.

On Balance

Adam Phillips

Are we too obsessed with excess?
What can childhood teach us about bad behaviour?
And should we be happy, or is there something better we might be?

In On Balance, acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips explores a variety of urgent concerns related to how we attempt to manage our conflicting desires, needs and motives.

In essays on excess, childhood development, fairy tales and the pursuit of happiness, Phillips provides exhilarating arguments, witty wordplay and much intellectual and emotional food for thought on literature and life.

On Kindness

Adam Phillips (and others)

What is kindness? Does it make us happier? And does it have a place in a selfish world?

Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and historian Barbara Taylor present an elegant, thoughtful and concise analysis of kindness in history, in life and in the modern world. Suggesting that acts of kindness occur when we are at our most open and honest, they ask why it is that our faith in kindness has been shaken - and why we are all too ready to believe that antagonism has taken its place.

Winnicott

Adam Phillips

D.W. Winnicott’s remarkable books, including The Piggle, Home Is Where We Start From and The Child, Family and the Outside World (all published by Penguin) are still read, valued and argued with over thirty years after his death. Adam Phillips's short book, now issued with a new preface, is an elegant, thoughtful attempt to get to grips with a writer, paediatrician and psychiatrist whose work with children and mothers (and the wider implications their relationship has for all of us) continues to be profoundly relevant and fascinating.

Side Effects

Adam Phillips

Side effects are things we do not intend. And, in this collection of essays, Adam Phillips examines how the things we don’t mean, or mean perhaps to forget, prove to be those that are often most telling about our unconscious lives.

Phillips also intends for us to question our conscious pursuit of happiness, explaining that, in refusing to admit and explore life’s down sides, we can only be living half lives. And through his unique and incisive exploration of literature, Phillips also demonstrates what the great novelists have to tell us about ourselves.

Both illuminating and fascinating on literature as well as life, Side Effects maps our edges as human beings, and, in doing so, goes some way to helping give shape to our lives.

Going Sane

Adam Phillips

Volumes have been dedicated to madness, but sanity is rarely mentioned. We can define the mad, but how do we classify the sane? In Going Sane, psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips delves deep into history, philosophy, literature and his own experiences to address questions that we rarely ask about ourselves, taking us on an engrossing journey in which we learn many things - including some of what it takes to be happy in the modern world.

The Penguin Freud Reader

Adam Phillips (and others)

Here are the essential ideas of psychoanalytic theory, including Freud's explanations of such concepts as the Id, Ego and Super-Ego, the Death Instinct and Pleasure Principle, along with classic case studies like that of the Wolf Man.

Adam Phillips's marvellous selection provides an ideal overview of Freud's thought in all its extraordinary ambition and variety. Psychoanalysis may be known as the 'talking cure', yet it is also and profoundly, a way of reading. Here we can see Freud's writings as readings and listenings, deciphering the secrets of the mind, finding words for desires that have never found expression. Much more than this, however, The Penguin Freud Reader presents a compelling reading of life as we experience it today, and a way in to the work of one of the most haunting writers of the modern age.

Biography

Adam Phillips, formerly Principle Child Psychotherapist at Charing Cross Hospital, London, is a practising psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He is the author of numerous works of psychoanalysis and literary criticism, including most recently Unforbidden Pleasures, and Missing Out. He is General Editor of the Penguin Modern Classics Freud translations, and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature.