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Going Sane

Adam Phillips.
Publisher Harper Perennial  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 0.3 inches
ISBN 9780007155361
Pages/Publication Date 199/2007
Daedalus Item Code 31179
This item is not available.
In a society governed by indulgence and excess, madness is the state of mind we identify with most keenly, says British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. Though ultimately destructive, madness is often credited as the wellspring of genius, individuality, and self-expression, while being sane has long been defined simply as that bland and nebulous state of not being mentally ill. But sanity is much more than the absence of madness, Phillips argues here; rather, it is an awareness of others as fellow individuals, worthy of kindness and consideration, in a shared world outside of our own inner world. Described variously as "Britain's foremost psychoanalytic writer" (The New Yorker), "the Martin Amis of British psychoanalysis" (Times, London), and "one of the finest prose stylists at work in the language, an Emerson of our time" (John Banville), Phillips is an original and entertaining guide to the life of the mind and how to find one's own happiness.

"As surely as vanilla is a flavor, sanity is a property, and this book delineates its parameters with considerable erudition."—Andrew Solomon

"Bracing and provocative. Should be enough alone to make whole shelvesful of parenting guides self-destruct."—Observer (London)

"Phillips endows sanity with a truly profound meaning, one rich with the fullest of human possibilities. Only sanity, he argues, dispels the dehumanizing illusions surrounding power and wealth, so renewing the primal desires of childhood and restoring spontaneity and happiness to adulthood. Surprisingly, complete sanity depends less on clear perception of factual reality than it does on imaginative stories of kindness that shape our frankly acknowledged appetites (sexual, acquisitive, intellectual) within a deep awareness of the needs of others."—Booklist

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