Friday, November 25, 2016

The psychoanalyst writer

I love the work of the psychoanalyst & writer Adam Phillips, a master of the epigram (in the true, wry British fashion) and an acute observer of the depths of human pretension.

Last night, I was flipping through his book Monogamy, when I came across this passage:

We work hard to keep certain versions of ourselves in other people’s minds; and, of course, the less appealing ones out of their minds. And yet everyone we meet invents us, whether we like it or not. Indeed nothing convinces us more of the existence of other people, of just how different they are from us, than what they can make of what we say to them. Our stories often become unrecognisable as they go from mouth to mouth. 
Being misrepresented is simply being presented with a version of ourselves - an invention - that we cannot agree with. But we are daunted by other people making us up, by the number of people we seem to be. We become frantic trying to keep the numbers down, trying to keep the true story of who we really are in circulation. This, perhaps, more than anything else drives us into the arms of one special partner. Monogamy is a way of getting the versions of ourselves down to a minimum. And, of course, a way of convincing ourselves that some versions are truer than others - that some are special.
This is an almost perfect distillation of my thoughts at this point in my life.

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About Me

a recluse waiting for salvation