Adam Phillips Going Sane: Maps of Happiness

ISBN 13: 9780007155392

Going Sane: Maps of Happiness

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9780007155392: Going Sane: Maps of Happiness

Writings on madness fill entire libraries, but until now nobody has thought to engage exclusively with the idea of sanity; we define it simply as that bland and nebulous state of not being mentally ill. But what is sanity? How broad, how eccentric is its range of behavior? And how do we go about crafting a creative and fluid definition of a sane existence, one we can guide ourselves by?

Madness is always present in our lives -- in the chaos of our experience as babies, the rebellion of our adolescence, the irrational nature of our sexual appetites. In a society governed by indulgence and excess, madness is the state of mind we identify with most keenly -- while it is ultimately destructive, we often credit it as the wellspring of genius, individuality, and self-expression. Sanity, on the other hand, confounds us; it lacks the false allure of madness. Hamlet, as Adam Phillips points out, is glamorous, while the eminently sane Polonius comes off as a fool. In Going Sane, Phillips redresses this historical imbalance, drawing deeply on literature and his rich experience as a clinician. He strips our lives back to essentials, focusing on how we -- as human beings, as parents, as lovers, as people to whom work matters -- can make space for a sane and well-balanced attitude to living.

Phillips's brilliantly incisive and aphoristic style coaxes us into meeting his ideas halfway, and making them our own. In a world saturated by tales of dysfunction and suffering, he offers a way forward that is as down-to-earth and realistic as it is uplifting and hopeful.

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About the Author:

Adam Phillips is the author of eleven previous books, including Side Effects and Houdini's Box. He writes regularly for the New York Times, the London Review of Books, and The Observer. He lives in London.

Review:

“Phillips has made psychoanalytic thought livelier and more poetic than ever... One of [his] finest and most broadly appealing books.” (New York Times)

“Phillips offers a detailed description of what sanity can mean today.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Beautifully written...clever and funny, and properly profound...A lovely addition to Phillips’ guides to living a happier life.” (GQ)

“Phillip’s arguments, both thought provoking and provocative, may affect future definitions of sanity and madness.” (Publishers Weekly)

As surely as vanilla is a flavor, sanity is a property, and this book delineates its parameters with considerable erudition.” (Andrew Solomon, author of THE NOONDAY DEMON, winner of the National Book Award)

“Bracing and provocative. Should be enough alone to make whole shelvesful of parenting guides self-destruct.”-- (The Observer)

“Wise and subtle. Going Sane has some superbly suggestive things to say about childhood, depression, autism and schizophrenia.”-- (Irish Times)

“Winningly articulate, enlightening but never patronising, [Adam Phillips] is a born writer...Going Sane is written with elegance and zest.” (Arena)

“Challenging and inspiring ...Going Sane is an indispensable guide to what wisdom means today.” (John Gray, professor of political thought at the London School of Economics)

“Phillips is, as ever, an original and lucid spirit, a buzzing intellectual gadfly in the ointment of our easy answers.” (Daphne Merkin, author of DREAMING OF HITLER: Passions and Provocations)

“Adam Phillips has written an extraordinarily generous and subtle book...beautiful, unfussily important and emotionally brilliant.” (Jorie Graham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Dream of the Unified Field)

“Probing ... Challenges the reader to reconsider the taken-for-granted notion that sanity is just another word for mental health.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Well-argued and stunningly thought-provoking. Phillips has tackled a ‘big idea’ in a sophisticated yet spirited way.” (Library Journal)

“Erudite and absorbing, oozes intelligence - and charm. [Phillips is] adept at making the complex comprehensible.” (Independent)

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2005. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Writings on madness fill entire libraries, but until now nobody has thought to engage exclusively with the idea of sanity; we define it simply as that bland and nebulous state of not being mentally ill. But what is sanity? How broad, how eccentric is its range of behavior? And how do we go about crafting a creative and fluid definition of a sane existence, one we can guide ourselves by? Madness is always present in our lives -- in the chaos of our experience as babies, the rebellion of our adolescence, the irrational nature of our sexual appetites. In a society governed by indulgence and excess, madness is the state of mind we identify with most keenly -- while it is ultimately destructive, we often credit it as the wellspring of genius, individuality, and self-expression. Sanity, on the other hand, confounds us; it lacks the false allure of madness. Hamlet, as Adam Phillips points out, is glamorous, while the eminently sane Polonius comes off as a fool. In Going Sane, Phillips redresses this historical imbalance, drawing deeply on literature and his rich experience as a clinician. He strips our lives back to essentials, focusing on how we -- as human beings, as parents, as lovers, as people to whom work matters -- can make space for a sane and well-balanced attitude to living. Phillips s brilliantly incisive and aphoristic style coaxes us into meeting his ideas halfway, and making them our own. In a world saturated by tales of dysfunction and suffering, he offers a way forward that is as down-to-earth and realistic as it is uplifting and hopeful. Bookseller Inventory # NLF9780007155392

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Adam Phillips
Published by HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom (2005)
ISBN 10: 0007155395 ISBN 13: 9780007155392
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2005. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Writings on madness fill entire libraries, but until now nobody has thought to engage exclusively with the idea of sanity; we define it simply as that bland and nebulous state of not being mentally ill. But what is sanity? How broad, how eccentric is its range of behavior? And how do we go about crafting a creative and fluid definition of a sane existence, one we can guide ourselves by? Madness is always present in our lives -- in the chaos of our experience as babies, the rebellion of our adolescence, the irrational nature of our sexual appetites. In a society governed by indulgence and excess, madness is the state of mind we identify with most keenly -- while it is ultimately destructive, we often credit it as the wellspring of genius, individuality, and self-expression. Sanity, on the other hand, confounds us; it lacks the false allure of madness. Hamlet, as Adam Phillips points out, is glamorous, while the eminently sane Polonius comes off as a fool. In Going Sane, Phillips redresses this historical imbalance, drawing deeply on literature and his rich experience as a clinician. He strips our lives back to essentials, focusing on how we -- as human beings, as parents, as lovers, as people to whom work matters -- can make space for a sane and well-balanced attitude to living. Phillips s brilliantly incisive and aphoristic style coaxes us into meeting his ideas halfway, and making them our own. In a world saturated by tales of dysfunction and suffering, he offers a way forward that is as down-to-earth and realistic as it is uplifting and hopeful. Bookseller Inventory # NLF9780007155392

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