An American psychoanalyst comments on the matters in his world - books he reads, movies he watches, conferences he attends - from a psychoanalytic perspective. Intended for those curious about modern applied psychoanalysis.
This grows out of a project - the 10,000 minds project of the American Psychoanalytic Association - intended to help the public become aware of contemporary psychoanalysis.
Scott Simon spoke at the afternoon graduation ceremony of
the University where I work few years back.
I mention this because I actually remember something of his speech,
which is unusual. I have been to,
conservatively, fifty college and university graduations and 10 high school
graduations. At the reluctant son’s high
school graduation this year, his principal, the graduation speaker, said
something that I remember. He said that
people often complement him on what he says, then, when he asks them what that
was, they can’t remember. He went on to
give a very good talk – and one that I can’t remember a thing from – like almost
all of the other speeches. And that’s
not because I don’t listen – I do. There
is a picture of me at my Ph.D. ceremony in a sea of graduates, all looking in
different directions or talking with each other – I am looking intently at the
speaker. I have no idea who he was (I think he was male), or what he said, but
I’m sure I knew at the time.
Scott Simon …
What a surprise – Wonder Woman, a summer blockbuster about a
female superhero (something to which I have been dragged in the past with a
less positive outcome – see a post on Lucy) turns out to be the emotionally satisfying
version of another summer release War Machine. Wonder Woman is also a comic strip envisioned
and executed by a psychologist based partly on his psychological theories. It also turns out, in my own little universe,
to be the culmination of a year of learning about American Exceptionalism and
what it is – not so much in a distant, cerebral sense, but more in a lived,
constantly engaged sort of way (There have been multiple posts about that this year including Ta-Nehisi Coates, James Cone, and Nguyen's The Sympathizer). Finally,
it is a movie that evokes positive stereotypes in me, not just about women, but
also about Jews.
I was not a comic book guy growing up. Some of my friends were. They would read them voraciously, save and
trade them; putting them in p…
This brutally beautiful book is difficult to remember, to
integrate, and therefore to review or discuss.
Traumatic memories have been described as being recovered like paint
splotches – as bits and pieces without a narrative whole that links them together. The narrative that forms the skeleton of this
story is not revealed until page 308.
And it is also at page 308 that we plunge from the ordinary every
day trauma of the aftermath of war and its remembrance into
the heart – and this is a pun – of darkness.
I will tell the story in reverse order because I think that
it will help organize what has happened – and will allow me to clarify how this
traumatic book resembles psychoanalysis (and in the process perhaps send every
potential analysand among the readership running to the hills). This will, however, likely take away some of
the delicious pleasure of reading this book for those who have not yet done
so. The author of the manuscript, who
never identifies himself by name – he i…
The Fringe Festival is Pop Up Theater that appears every
June in our town. It occurs in what used
to be a fringe neighborhood, Over the Rhine, a ghetto for the southern Catholic
German Immigrants who crowded into our town in the 1800s and lived in tenements
and rowhouses until they made their way up the social ladder and moved out to
better parts of town, leaving the crumbling buildings behind for the poor –
mostly African Americans – to create a ghetto of despair in the shadow of the
skyscrapers of downtown. More recently,
gentrifiers have realized that this is prime real estate within walking
distance of many of the highest paid jobs in town, and expensive new condominium
buildings sit cheek by jowl with boarded up buildings, buildings with tenants
barely hanging on and rehabbed row houses with beautiful new windows and doors.
We parked our car in a garage that is all but hermetically
sealed, and took our ticket as we would need that to re-enter the secure
seeming structure to wa…