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In The Freud Archives. Brian Dillon. The Beast in the Nursery. Breakfast With Socrates. Robert Rowland Smith. Promises, Promises. What Freud Really Said. David Stafford-Clark. An Introduction to Steiner Education. Francis Edmunds. The 'Wolfman'. A Scream Goes Through the House. World Within The Word. William H. The Stalinist's Woman. Michael Frayn. Conversations at the Frontier of Dreaming. Thomas Ogden. Driving With Plato. The Christopher Bollas Reader. Christopher Bollas. The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis. Jamieson Webster. Outside of a Dog. Rick Gekoski. In Writing. Impersonal Passion.
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It brings the full force of Freudian ideas to contemporary lives in order to answer very critical questions about the private self and whether it can be known or not. You start thinking that Freud isn't that archaic after all. Josh Cohen is a psychoanalyst and a professor of literature. He elaborates his arguments by drawing references from literature which makes this book a real treat. I personally loved the way he interpreted many religious myths in order to explain modern phenomenons.
Also, I found fresh interpretations on the case histories that Sigmund Freud published during the course of his life. For this reason, I would highly recommend this book to the students of Psychology and Literature. After writing two disjointed paragraphs, I am discovering that it's very difficult to write a review of a non-fiction work which is so dense and expansive.
So I am jotting down some of the arguments that I found really appealing in the first half of the book here, so that you all may get a gist of what the book is about. Would really like to discuss and explore this stuff. Psychoanalysis is about the double.
That is why most totalitarian regimes declared an all out war against the private self. The state apparatus tried to control it through intricate surveillance and spy networks. This space generated anxiety among those who wanted to control individuals. Therefore, they were very keen to know who the individual was when he was alone. Or when he was communicating with other individuals in a private conversation.
The Ego is not in-charge of its own home, the one in which the conflicting forces of Super ego and Id live. We are larger than one self. But social conditions and influences force us to have one consistent self. This restriction automatically alienates us by eliminating a large chunk of our personality because it does not fit with the social narrative. Of not being ourselves.
Ego is always in search of coherence. However, the world that we inhabit does not always works on principals or laws. Always, there are anomalies which could take the form of an accident, rape, disability etc. In that case, the Ego suffers from a crisis of meaning. It no longer sees coherence or safety in the world and this generates a paranoia.
Akin to the outside world, the inner world of drives is also conflicted and does not follow some guiding principles. Often, two conflicting drives such as that of sex or death want to be expressed simultaneously.
This generates what many term as a hypocritical behavior. Who after all, tells the truth all the time? That is where art and psychoanalysis come together. Once you see the innermost part of a human, it no longer remains innermost. Appearance in the light is rendered meaningful by its appearance from the dark. One is incomplete without the other. They form a dialectic of sorts.
It was also suggested that an over emphasis on the public life or on making the private public through social media results in the loss of the private self. This has been linked with the emptiness that the modern man feels. Privacy is linked with the ownership of the self. Paradoxically however, you are not in charge of that self. You are not the owner of your own house, the world inside.
But most believe otherwise. Reading Freud feels as if someone revokes your privacy. The first thing that Adam and Eve did when they landed on Earth was to cover themselves. It means that the first thing that they realized after they were kicked out of heaven was this: In this new life on Earth, there are things that should be shown and things that should be hidden. That covering of their private parts marks the beginning of their private life Very interesting interpretation.
The adolescence is caught between the wish of limitless psychic activity and a descend in to quiet, dreamless sleep. Therefore, his first act was to return to that slumber where he could have virtually anything he wants for his survival at ease. But ultimately, he has to let go and recognize his ego boundaries. To be alone requires the internalized assurance that you are not alone. You experience true privacy only in and through the presence of the other.
‘Privacy is for paedos’
What you are is not what you think you are. Here are the parts I understand: What you think you are comes from the conscious mind. What you really are resides in the unconscious mind. You can't know the unconscious, but it's an essential part of you. Here are the parts I don't understand: The unconscious has to remain private in order to be a foil for the conscious. You need conscious and unconscious in order to be whole. Here are the parts I disagree with: The unconscious cannot ever ever, ever be What you are is not what you think you are.
Here are the parts I disagree with: The unconscious cannot ever ever, ever be known. This is an overly complex book that sent me to sleep at the end, just as it was meant to be enlightening me. Jul 16, Fiona rated it it was amazing Shelves: , non-fiction. What is private life and why does it matter? Written by a literature professor and psychoanalyst, this fascinating and sometimes challenging book discusses the distinction between our public and private selves, and the extent to which we can ever truly know other people or even ourselves.
It ranges from Freud to pop culture and back again, taking in religion, celebrity culture and horror movie sequels along the way. Any book that can discuss Katie Price and Edgar Allen Poe on the same page and s What is private life and why does it matter? Any book that can discuss Katie Price and Edgar Allen Poe on the same page and still present a coherent thesis is onto something.
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Refreshing to have another perspective on privacy. Lost me somewhat at times. This book delved so deeply into Sigmund Freud's theories and practice, which isn't really what I was keen to read about, that I found most of the interesting bits for me got lost in the last analysis. I'm still more or less in the dark as to why my private life is what it is.
This book was a sort of nebulous meandering through time and space with shoutouts to various famous authors and cultural icons, which doesn't make it particularly groundbreaking in my book. Jun 03, Henry rated it really liked it. Thoughtful, perceptive and elegantly written. A fine advert for a psychoanalytically informed approach to life and literature. Sam Lott rated it really liked it Sep 30, HrCristobal rated it really liked it Nov 21, Rita rated it liked it Sep 04, Jack rated it it was amazing May 27, Mandy Wax rated it it was amazing May 27, Andrew rated it it was ok Feb 13, Amiera rated it it was amazing Jan 21, Scott rated it really liked it Apr 27, Carol W.
Chris Pallaris rated it liked it Sep 28, Toby rated it really liked it Jan 12,