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.
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.
A selection of the most popular and relevant essays from Adam Phillips, the man New Yorker called 'Britain's foremost psychoanalytic writer'
'Phillips's prose is poetic in the best sense: it is muscular, resonant, and thrums with a dark music that is all its own' John Banville
In the twenty essays gathered here, ranging across his entire oeuvre, psychoanalyst Adam Phillips offers a vivid introduction to his discipline as well as his own unique thinking. Investigating subjects as diverse as desire, family, happiness, tickling, forgetting and even boredom, Phillips proves himself to be not only one of our most engaging writers but also a fascinating and provocative guide to our obsessions as human beings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.