Abby and Patrick welcome novelist and literary critic Christine Smallwood, author of The Life of the Mind. They discuss the novel’s protagonist Dorothy (who hires a second therapist to talk about her relationship with her first therapist) and Christine’s approach to psychoanalysis as a framework for thinking about everyday life. Then they turn to Wilfred Bion’s landmark 1961 book Experiences in Groups. They discuss the ways that group life and group experiences are frustrating and emotionally intense, from group chats to reading groups to classrooms to parties to military maneuvers; Bion’s notion of the various “basic assumptions” that underlie every group; projection versus projective identification; and counter-transference as a source of genuine insight. Plus, Dan explains how Bion helped him life-hack (and exit) corporate America!
You can find The Life of the Mind here:
Links to some of Christine’s recent writing mentioned in the episode are here:
And here is a recent NYRB interview with her:
Have you noticed that Freud is back? Got questions about psychoanalysis? Or maybe you’ve traversed the fantasy and lived to tell the tale? Leave us a voicemail! 484 775-0107
A podcast about psychoanalysis, politics, pop culture, and the ways we suffer now. New episodes on Saturdays. Follow us on social media:
Formal Chicken - Gnossienne No. 1
Provided by Fruits Music