On Flirtation

ISBN-10: 0674634403
ISBN-13: 9780674634404
Edition: 1994
Authors: Adam Phillips
List price: $27.50 Buy it from $12.56
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Description: People tend to flirt only with serious things--madness, disaster, other people's affections. So is flirtation dangerous, exploiting the ambiguity of promises to sabotage our cherished notions of commitment? Or is it, as Adam Phillips suggests, a  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.50
Copyright year: 1994
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/1/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

People tend to flirt only with serious things--madness, disaster, other people's affections. So is flirtation dangerous, exploiting the ambiguity of promises to sabotage our cherished notions of commitment? Or is it, as Adam Phillips suggests, a productive pleasure, keeping things in play, letting us get to know them in different ways, allowing us the fascination of what is unconvincing? This is a book about the possibilities of flirtation, its risks and instructive amusements--about the spaces flirtation opens in the stories we tell ourselves, particularly within the framework of psychoanalysis. Phillips looks at life as a tale to be told but rejects the idea of a master plot. Instead, he says, we should be open to the contingent, and flirtation shows us the way. His book observes children flirting with their parents, our various selves flirting with one another, and literature flirting with psychoanalysis. As Phillips explores the links between literature and psychoanalysis--ranging from Philip Roth to Isaac Rosenberg, Karl Kraus to John Clare--psychoanalysis emerges as a multi-authored autobiography. Its subjects are love, loss, and memory; its authors are the analyst and the analysand, as well as the several selves brought to life in the process. A passionate and delightfully playful defense of the virtues of being uncommitted, On Flirtation sets before us the virtue of a yet deeper commitment to the openendedness of our life stories.

Adam Phillips is the author of six previous books, including "The Beast in the Nursery" & "Monogamy" (both available form Vintage). Formerly the principal child psychotherapist at Charing Cross Hospital in London, he lives in England.

Preface
Acknowledgements
On Flirtation
An Introduction
The Uses of the Past
Contingency for Beginners
Freud and the Uses of Forgetting
On Love
On Success
Besides Good and Evil
The Telling of Selves
Psychoanalysis Reviewed
Depression
Anna Freud
Perversion
Freud and Jones
Cross-Dressing
Erich Fromm
Guilt
Freud's Circle
Futures
Writing Outside
Philip Roth's Patrimony
Isaac Rosenberg's English
Karl Kraus's Complaint
John Clare's Exposure
Bibliography
Index

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