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On Not Being Able to Sleep: Psychoanalysis and the Modern World [Hardcover]

Jacqueline Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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On Not Being Able to Sleep: Psychoanalysis and the Modern World On Not Being Able to Sleep: Psychoanalysis and the Modern World 4.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

9 Jan 2003
In these essays, Rose delves into the questions that keep us awake at night, into issues of privacy and publishing, exposure and shame. Do some women writers - Christina Rossetti, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath - have a special talent for self-revelation or are they simply more vulnerable to the invasions of biography? What are the ethical questions raised by Ted Hughes's part in Plath's posthumous writing life? What do writers such as Adrienne Rich, one of the founding members of modern feminism, and Natalie Angier, with her plea for a new geography of the female body, reveal of the history and destiny of feminism? Turning to psychoanalysis, Rose explores its affinity with modernist writing through studies of Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen and Mary Butts, and asks what it can tell us about the limits of knowledge, both about the most intimate and baffling components of experience, such as motherhood, and about the farthest, hallucinatory reaches of the mind. How far have modern psychoanalytic writers and the institutional establishment remained faithful to the most potent, disturbing aspects of Freud's vision? In the final essays, Rose addresses two dramatic public performances of modern times. The first is the cult of celebrity with its contrasting obsessions with Princess Diana and the child murderer Mary Bell; the second is South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, through which she explores the responsibilities of thinking, speaking and writing in our divided and difficult times. Offering new links between feminism, psychoanalysis, literature and politics, Rose provides a resonant and thought-provoking collection for the present day.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus; First Edition, First Printing edition (9 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 070116977X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701169770
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 855,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Rose puts good questions to the human psyche... in a book about the limits of language, Rose succeeds in showing the fullness and strength of the questions it can be made to ask" (Independent on Sunday)

"This collection should appeal both to the 'common reader' and those more academically inclined- the writing here is never less than excellent" (Scotland on Sunday)

"Rose's thought is so subtle and sophisticated" (Literary Review)

"[Rose] displays wonderful clarity and originality" (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'Reading On Not Being Able to Sleep is like being at a high altitude... the view is dazzling... [A] marvellous, exacting book' - Observer --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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There is a sense in which Anne Sexton's life story almost defies the telling. Read the first page
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7 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, at times difficult book to read 14 Jan 2004
By A Customer
It appears to me that all of the women reviewd in this book suffered from the type of personality whose actions are so volatile that they readily lend themselves to analytic examination. In his book The Siren's Dance : My Marriage to a Borderline: A Case Study Dr.Walker marries such a woman and ultimately comes to the conclusion that such a life is not worth examining in such depth, for the madness is more destructive than instructive, and ultimately has no creative purpose.
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