The Examined Life

The Examined Life

How We Lose and Find Ourselves

Book - 2013 | First American ed.
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In his work as a practicing psychoanalyst, the author has spent the last twenty-five years uncovering the hidden feelings behind the most baffling human behavior. This book distils more than 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight without the jargon. At its core, this book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening, and understanding. Its stories unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to the analyst as to the patient.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2013.
Edition: First American ed.
ISBN: 9780393079548
Branch Call Number: 150.195 GROSZ
Characteristics: xii, 225 pages ; 22 cm


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Jul 22, 2018

This book didn't turn out to be anything like I expected, but it was still enjoyable. It is essentially a series of case studies, as one reviewer points out, without background information. I found it to be an easy read, but I can see why some would be disappointed with the content.

manoush Dec 29, 2014

This is a series of brief case histories that the psychoanalyst has encountered throughout his career, including one affecting vignette involving Grosz's father. Grosz does very little to orient or lead the reader in analyzing each patient's story. He simply tells the story and mostly leaves it up to the reader to make sense of it on her own, with minimal analysis and insight. In that sense the case histories read like inscrutable short stories, open to multiple and conflicting interpretations. The first cluster of cases are the most obvious to decipher; they're all cases of adults who have been profoundly damaged by abuse or neglect during childhood. But the rest of the case histories strike out in different directions, some of them about individual idiosyncracies or traumas or illnesses. There's a cumulatively melancholy effect to reading this book, probing as it does the sobering terrain of psychic trauma and unhappiness.

Mar 19, 2014

I can't remember why I chose to read this book... Either recommended to me or I read about it in an article. Anyway, The Examined Life was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I'm glad I found it.


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