The Paris Review (Spring 2014)

Spring 2014 factor of The Paris evaluation.

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We all have self-cures for strong feeling. Ten the self-cure becomes a problem, in the obvious sense that the problem of the alcoholic is not alcohol but sobriety. Drinking becomes a problem, but actually the problem is 40 what’s being cured by the alcohol. By the time we’re adults, we’ve all become alcoholics. Tat’s to say, we’ve all evolved ways of deadening certain feelings and thoughts. One of the reasons we admire or like art, if we do, is that it reopens us in some sense—as Kafa wrote in a letter, art breaks the sea that’s frozen inside us.

PHI LLI PS No. Relationships should make us feel better. Why else bother? But there are diferent ways of feeling better. And I don’t think the project is to make people feel better. Nor is it to make people feel worse. It’s not to make them feel anything. It’s simply to allow them to see what it is they do feel. And then what redescription might change. INT ERV IEW ER And this is done through a conversation? PHI LLI PS It’s done through conversation, but it’s also done through the medium of who the analyst happens to be.

But there was something familiar about the voice. And so that bridged the gap, because Winnicott is chronically English, and obviously my family are not. INT ERV IEW ER I want to ask what you mean by that, but already I’m struck by the centrality of books in this story. PHI LLI PS When I went to school as an adolescent, I had an English teacher who talked about literature with the same kind of passion that my family talked about each other. In other words, there was an intensity in this engagement that I’d never heard before.

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