Writing And Therapy

Writing can be therapeutic. Not just autobiography and memoir, the obvious venues of this particular kind of clinic; letters, novels, short stories, poems, screenplays, can all enable a ‘working through‘ because they call upon a kind of ‘remembering,’ a dynamic ‘free association,’ unprompted and unbidden, that trawls through the various levels and layers of ourContinue reading “Writing And Therapy”

Freud As Writing Stylist And Pedagogy Instructor

In Freud, Jews and Other Germans: Master and Victims in Modernist Culture¹(Oxford University Press, New York, 1978), Peter Gay writes: All of Freud’s biographers devote an obligatory page to the efficiency and beauty of his prose–not without reason. Freud’s stylistic achievement is all the more remarkable considering the spectrum of his publications…Freud’s case published caseContinue reading “Freud As Writing Stylist And Pedagogy Instructor”

The Republican Party And The Disavowal Of Donald Trump

In response to my post yesterday on the liberal ‘impeachment of Donald Trump’ fantasy, which rests on a fallacious delinking of Donald Trump from the Republican Party, Seth Brodsky writes (over at Facebook): I agree—passionately—that the desperate attempt to delink the GOP from Trump is…a fantasy. But I don’t think it’s a fantasy held onlyContinue reading “The Republican Party And The Disavowal Of Donald Trump”

Westworld’s ‘Analysis Mode’ For Humans

In the course of a discussion about the various motivations underlying the character Robert Ford‘s actions in HBO’s Westworld, a friend raised the following query: In what senses would it be good, and in which bad, if human beings could put one another into ‘analysis mode’ like techs can do with hosts in the show?Continue reading “Westworld’s ‘Analysis Mode’ For Humans”

An Unforgettable Image, Appropriately Contextualized

In the summer of 1992, I traveled to India to visit my family: my mother, my brother, his wife (my sister-in-law), and my little, then barely six months old nephew. The monsoon lay around the corner, promising mixed relief from the brutal heat of the North Indian plains; the humidity would still oppress, but evenings andContinue reading “An Unforgettable Image, Appropriately Contextualized”

Simone Beauvoir On Psychotherapeutic Healing As Mutilation

In Simone de Beauvoir‘s The Mandarins (WW Norton, New York, 1954; 1999, pp. 64), Anne Dubreuilh, a practicing psychoanalyst wonders: Why does healing so often mean mutilating? What value does personal adjustment have in an unjust society?….My objective isn’t to give my patients a false feeling of inner peace; if I seek to deliver them from their personalContinue reading “Simone Beauvoir On Psychotherapeutic Healing As Mutilation”

Freud On Group Production (And ‘Intellectual Property’)

In ‘Group Pyschology’, (Standard Edition, XVIII, 79; as cited in Peter Gay, Freud for Historians, Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 150), Sigmund Freud writes: [A]s far as intellectual achievement is concerned, it remains indeed true that the great decisions of the work of thought, the consequential discoveries and solutions of problems, are possible only toContinue reading “Freud On Group Production (And ‘Intellectual Property’)”

Doris McIlwain On The Rationality Of ‘Irrational’ Love And Hate

In Living Palely: On the rationality of a certain fullness of feeling (Artlink, Vol 29 No. 3, 2009), Doris McIlwain writes:  Friendship and love are not fully rational enterprises. They become strangely symptomatic when we approach them as if they are….To me the sign that you really like someone is when you cannot quite offer a fullContinue reading “Doris McIlwain On The Rationality Of ‘Irrational’ Love And Hate”

The Fall Of Norman (And Norma) Bates

We know the story of Norman Bates: Norman had been excessively dominated by his mother since childhood, and when she took a lover, he became insanely jealous that she had “replaced” him, then murdered his mother and her lover. Later, he developed a split personality to erase the crime of matricide from his memory andContinue reading “The Fall Of Norman (And Norma) Bates”

Ghost From The Machine: Once Again, The Dead Return

Matt Osterman‘s Ghost from the Machine (2010)–originally titled and known internationally as Phasma Ex Machina–is touted by its marketing material as a ‘supernatural thriller’. A low-budget indie, it uses a cast made up of genuine amateurs who sometimes look distinctly uncomfortable and self-conscious on camera, and wears its modest production values on its sleeve. The story sounds hokeyContinue reading “Ghost From The Machine: Once Again, The Dead Return”