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The weekend's reading by Ada on Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:22 pm
Quotes from an interview with psychoanalyst and writer, Adam Phillips:
"I'm not on the side of frustration exactly, so much as the idea that one has to be able to bear frustration in order for satisfaction to be realistic. I'm interested in how the culture of consumer capitalism depends on the idea that we can't bear frustration, so that every time we feel a bit restless or bored or irritable, we eat, say, or we shop.
"It's only in an initial state of privation that you can begin to have thoughts about what it is you might want, to really imagine or picture it. It's very difficult to know what we're frustrated by. In making the case for frustration I want to make it more interesting, such that people can talk or think about it in different ways."
For him, psychoanalysis is a set of stories that we tell ourselves and each other, a way of redescribing our experiences. "To begin with, one needs to understand," he says, "but I think the final project is to relieve oneself of the need for self-knowledge. It's not that it's useless – in some areas of life it's very useful – but there are lots of areas in which it isn't, and in some areas it's actually pre-emptive and defensive, and this is where psychoanalysis potentially fails people, by assuming there is an infinite project and that the best thing you can do in life is to know yourself. Well, I don't think that's true."
"I believe in what you see being most of what there is… and that life's passed on to us empty. So, while significance weighs heavy, that's the most it does. Hidden meaning is all but absent."
:: Richard Ford (from the novel 'Canada'.)
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