In a style that is writerly and audacious, Adam Phillips takes up a variety of seemingly ordinary subjects underinvestigated by psychoanalysis–kissing, worrying, risk, solitude, composure, even farting as it relates to worrying.
He argues that psychoanalysis began as a virtuoso improvisation within the science of medicine, but that virtuosity has given way to the dream of science that only the examined life is worth living. Phillips goes on to show how the drive to omniscience has been unfortunate both for psychoanalysis and for life. He reveals how much one’s psychic health depends on establishing a realm of life that successfully resists examination.
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