Freudian summer reads: The best books to pack this holiday

Our favourite psychoanalytic books for the ultimate holiday pleasure.


A World of Fragile Things: Psychoanalysis and the Art of Living


 Psychoanalytic perspective on what Western philosophers from Socrates to Foucault have called “the art of living.

A World of Fragile Things offers a distinctly psychoanalytic perspective on “the art of living,” one that focuses on ongoing and ever-evolving processes of self-fashioning rather than defining a fixed and unitary sense of self. With a compelling blend of philosophical insight and psychoanalytic acumen, Mari Ruti asks experts and readers alike to probe the complexities of human existence, offering a contemporary outlook on some of the most enduring questions of Western thought.




Hysteria: An illuminating visual guide to the birth of Psychoanalysis


 Hysteria follows the early career of Sigmund Freud, from his training in neurological research to his establishment of a therapeutic practice in Vienna.

Taking in the psychoanalyst's earliest clinical experiences, his studies alongside Charcot at La Salpêtrière and his interest in the work of his friend and colleague Joseph Breuer, Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate introduce the characters and case histories that inspired the development of a revolutionary new clinical therapy. Drawing on the case histories of "Anna O.", Fräulein Elisabeth von R. and others, Hysteria shows Freud and his contemporaries developing ideas that would transform the intellectual landscape of the Western world. This is a masterful visual guide to the strange and fascinating characters that populate Freud and Breuer's Studies in Hysteria, the founding text of psychoanalysis.

Book preview: Hysteria: An illuminating visual guide to the birth of Psychoanalysis



Doing Psychoanalysis in Tehran


Is psychoanalysis possible in the Islamic Republic of Iran? This is the question that Gohar Homayounpour poses to herself, and to us, at the beginning of this memoir of displacement, nostalgia, love, and pain. Twenty years after leaving her country, Homayounpour, an Iranian, Western-trained psychoanalyst, returns to Tehran to establish a psychoanalytic practice. When an American colleague exclaims, “I do not think that Iranians can free-associate!” Homayounpour responds that in her opinion Iranians do nothing but. Iranian culture, she says, revolves around stories. Why wouldn’t Freud’s methods work, given Iranians’ need to talk?




On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined Life


 In a style that is writerly and audacious, Adam Phillips takes up a variety of seemingly ordinary subjects under-investigated by psychoanalysis—kissing, worrying, risk, solitude, composure, even farting as it relates to worrying.

He argues that psychoanalysis began as a virtuoso improvisation within the science of medicine, but that virtuosity has given way to the dream of science that only the examined life is worth living. Phillips goes on to show how the drive to omniscience has been unfortunate both for psychoanalysis and for life. He reveals how much one’s psychic health depends on establishing a realm of life that successfully resists examination.




The Failed Assassination of Psychoanalysis: The Rise and Fall of Cognitivism

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1782201645/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=1782201645&linkCode=as2&tag=freuquot-21

"For psychoanalysis, the symptom is not a "disorder", it is a silenced truth that needs to be heard. The symptom includes the paradoxical satisfaction that leads to suffering ("jouissance"). Treatment is a dialectical procedure, which brings to the surface the weight of jouissance that words carry. Words encircle the truth without the subject being aware of it. Grasping these two faces of the symptom -- language and jouissance -- allows the subject to read his story and to make it his again. Then he can let go of a part of his jouissance and become responsible for its remainder in a life that does not necessarily conform to common morality, but is no less lawful for it. The psychoanalyst, having been analyzed himself, is one who has detached himself from this fantasmatic juouissance. Free of prejudice, he can then enable the patient to invent his own bespoke response, the one that fits him."

― Agnes Aflalo, The Failed Assassination of Psychoanalysis: The Rise and Fall of Cognitivism 



Rensal the Redbit: A Psychoanalytic Fairy Tale

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1782201882/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=1782201882&linkCode=as2&tag=freuquot-21

'Many years ago in Mytherranea, before the stars had names, when daisies were still called days' eyes, and the moon stayed up all night to keep the darkness company, there lived a race called redbits...'

So begins the tale of Rensal, a small creature trying to make sense of a big world. Running along one day, Rensal bumps into the Tall One, a wise and mysterious redbit who loves to talk. Over tea, toast, and berries, the friends discuss life, love, creation, dreams, death, and everything else that lies under the sun.

Book preview: Rensal the Redbit


The Psychoanalytic Craft: How to Develop as a Psychoanalytic Practitioner

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1137377100/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=1137377100&linkCode=as2&tag=freuquot-21

Why is developing as a psychoanalytic practitioner so often laden with anxiety? A simple answer is that psychoanalytic work is intrinsically complex and difficult. But Laurence Spurling argues traditional accounts of practice make these difficulties even worse for students and practitioners: he shows that case descriptions and examples in psychoanalytic textbooks often give a misleading picture of practice, because they explore what practitioners ought to do rather than what they actually do.

This book has been written specifically for those students and practitioners moving beyond beginner level towards skilled and resourceful practice.




Political Freud: A History


In this masterful psychological-intellectual history, Eli Zaretsky shows Freudianism to be something more than a method of psychotherapy. When considered alongside the major struggles of the twentieth century, Freudianism becomes a catalyst of the age. Political Freud is Zaretsky's account of the way twentieth century radicals, activists, and thinkers used Freudian thought to understand the political developments of their century.

Book preview:  Political Freud



Jacques Lacan: Between Psychoanalysis and Politics


A charismatic and controversial figure, Lacan is one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century and his work has revolutionized a range of fields. The volume aims to introduce Lacan’s vast opus to the field of international politics in a coherent and approachable manner.




Freud: The Theory of the Unconscious

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Octave Mannoni worked in France, Madagascar, and Africa throughout the twentieth century to develop Lacanian psychoanalytic methods in the feld of ethnology. He is best known for his research on the psychic affects of colonization: domination of a mass by a minority, economic exploitation, paternalism, and racialism.

Positioning his perspectives within the Freudian framework, Mannoni’s book Freud: The Theory of the Unconscious is a well-crafted and concise introduction to the Austrian neurologist’s life, work, and theories.



Psychoanalytic Film Theory and the Rules of the Game


The first book in the series, Psychoanalytic Film Theory and The Rules of the Game, offers a concise introduction to psychoanalytic film theory in jargon-free language and shows how this theory can be deployed to interpret Jean Renoir's classic film. It traces the development of psychoanalytic film theory through its foundation in the thought of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan through its contemporary manifestation in the work of theorists like Slavoj Zizek and Joan Copjec.




Psychoanalytic Filiations: Mapping the Psychoanalytic Movement


This book presents a collection of fifteen essays on the early history of psychoanalysis, focusing on the network of psychoanalytic “filiations” ("who analysed whom") and the context of discovery of crucial concepts, such as Freud’s technical recommendations, the therapeutic use of countertransference, the introduction of the anal phase, the birth of the object-relations-model as opposed to the drive-model in psychoanalysis, and the psychotherapeutic treatment of psychoses.


Detail from Falzeder's "spaghetti junction." Look out for William Burroughs, Marilyn Monroe, Lou Andreas-Salomé, and André Gide, among others.

Several chapters deal with key figures in that history, such as Sándor Ferenczi, Karl Abraham, Eugen Bleuler, Otto Rank, and C.G. Jung, their respective relationship to Freud, and the consequences that their collaboration - as well as conflicts - with him had for the further development of psychoanalysis up to the present day. Other chapters give an overview of the publications of Freud’s texts and of unpublished documents (the “unknown Freud”), the editorial policy of the publications of Freud’s letters, and the question of Freud's negative attitude toward America.




The Motive for Metaphor: Brief Essays on Poetry and Psychoanalysis


This book is a small anthology: each chapter a kind of meditation—on poetry and psychoanalysis; on a poem, sometimes two; on poetry in general; on thought itself. The poems are beautiful, some are contemporary, some are classical and well worth a reader’s attention.




Lost in Space: Amexane - Paths of Impossibility

 
This is a stunning and original book that breaks new ground in the field of contemporary literature. Informed by Greek and Shakespearean tragedy, readings of Lacan, Freud and P. G. Wodehouse, its principal themes are maternal desire; the structure of tragic thought; writing itself, and the possibility of finding seemingly impossible pathways through the suffering of lived experience. It is, amongst other things, a love story, a philosophical inquiry, an artwork, a collection of poetry and - a book of jokes. Judith Gracie writes an expansive, 'everyone welcome', style of epic, one which is proof for the urgent necessity of the poetic voic




Growing Up?: A Journey with Laughter

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/178220315X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=178220315X&linkCode=as2&tag=freuquot-21

This book is written by a well established author, previously writing in a quite different genre, that of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and counselling. But this book is written for an entirely different readership. Casement has put together a fascinating account of his strange journey from a privileged background, through schools and national service and through university, avoiding throughout the pull of his family for him to join the Royal Navy.

Instead, he leaves university with a degree but heads straight into becoming a bricklayer's mate. From there, eventually, he gets through the vicissitudes of Probation and Social Work, and the hilarious experiences of trying to furnish his first flat. He thus moves into what he describes as the 'real' world - getting what his family would regard as a 'real job' (or two). But despite that, he continues on his unpredictable journey - into becoming a psychotherapist and then a psychoanalyst: what his mother thought was 'training to become a psychotic'.




On Revelation


Revelation occurs to each of us at every hour in the form of thoughts, feelings, dreams, insights and intuitions that seemingly derive from an unknown source. It feels like a gift. And yet it is inseparable from the catastrophic. Eric Rhode shows how this might be so. Writing from within a psychoanalytic tradition, he draws on material from anthropology, mythology and from theories of place and pilgrimage. He looks to Kafka's parable of the dying emperor to discover how revelation as gift and revelation as catastrophe co-exist in tragic disjunction.



Confessions from the Couch: Psychoanalytical Notions Illustrated with Extracts from Sessions


The unconscious? The Oedipus complex? The castration complex? Neurosis? The objet a? What are they? And what does one say to an analyst? What happens during an analysis?

For those asking questions about psychoanalysis, Confessions from the Couch gives clear and simple answers. The principal psychoanalytical notions, both Freudian and Lacanian, are explained and illustrated with chosen extracts from actual analytical sessions.

Valérie Blanco has brilliantly used an everyday language to explain concepts that can be difficult to grasp. This book is accessible to everybody. It offers a riveting opening into psychoanalysis and allows the reader a glimpse of actual psychoanalytical practice.



Hands: What We Do with Them - and Why


Why do zombies walk with their arms outstretched? How can newborn babies grip an adult finger tightly enough to dangle unsupported from it? And why is everyone constantly texting, tapping and scrolling?

Drawing examples from popular culture, art history, psychoanalysis, modern technology and clinical research, Darian Leader presents a unique and fascinating odyssey through the history of what human beings do with their hands - and why.




Tea with Winnicott


Donald Winnicott is currently the most popular author in contemporary psychoanalysis. His writings are cited in bibliographies even more frequently than those of Sigmund Freud. And yet how many mental health professionals have actually managed to read and digest the nearly twenty published volumes of Winnicott’s books, chapters, essays, reviews, and letters?

Book preview: Tea with Winnicott



The Penguin Freud Library


A selection of classic Freud texts, in new translations, under the general editorship of Adam Phillips.




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