On Flirtation


Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
5.17 X 0.77 X 8.05 inches | 0.65 pounds
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About the Author

Adam Phillips is one of the foremost psychoanalysts practicing in the world today, and a visiting professor in the English department at the University of York. He is the author of many books, including On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored; and On Balance. He is also coauthor, with the historian Barbara Taylor, of On Kindness.


[Phillips'] writing is strong and lucid...[He] writes of his work with child and adult patients in the moving and exciting way that marked the clinical writings of D.W. Winnicott and the early works of M. Masud R. Khan.--Janet Malcolm "New York Times Book Review "
Phillips writes as a "flirt"--in the special sense he defines in his opening essay--but how much richer his book is for that. Before next going into print, the envious rivals and embittered former lovers who nowadays cluster around Freud's name should all report to Phillips for a lesson in flirtation.--Malcolm Bowie, Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature, University of Oxford
In Phillipstour de force.--David Ingleby "Times Literary Supplement "
[These] essays are intellectual flirtations that use the wiles of paradox to tease us into liberating ourselves from the old stories, to make us accept the madcap contingency of our lives...On Flirtation is everything Phillips says psychoanalytic writing should be--a pleasure rather than a misery to read, "a kind of practical poetry."--Bill Marx "Boston Phoenix "
Adam Phillips' On Flirtation is less a study of the psychology of coquetry than it is a delightful glimpse into the pleasures of uncertainty. Flirtation is Phillips' metaphor for playing with stimulating ideas so that we can explore anew their complexity without fear of adhering to stultifying orthodoxy or succumbing to overearnestness...On Flirtation will be fascinating to all those who wish to restore the importance of contingency in human life and who, committed to open psychoanalytic inquiry, realize that not everything can be neatly understood or mastered...Given Phillips' subtle mind, appreciation of complexity, tolerance of conflicting views, rejection of traditional forms of closure, and epigrammatic style, it is no accident that he has written a superb book.--Donald Kuspit "Psychoanalytic Books "
In three superb books, On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored; On Flirtation; and Terrors and Experts...[Phillips] has endorsed pleasure as a laudable goal (imagine!) and enshrined narrative as a form of soul making. In the process, he's punched lovely skylights into the gloomy Freudian edifice and in general done much to rehabilitate the psychoanalytic enterprise by honoring the idiosyncrasy of human experience and by wielding method lightly, playfully, humanely.--Will Blythe "Esquire "