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An Accident of Hope: The Therapy Tapes of Anne Sexton by [Skorczewski, Dawn M.]
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An Accident of Hope: The Therapy Tapes of Anne Sexton 1st Edition, Kindle Edition


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Review

"An Accident of Hope is a rich and far-ranging text that covers such diverse topics as creativity, identity, narrative, the history of psychiatry/psychology, and the history of feminism. Skorczewski’s explorations touch upon very fundamental questions of identity and creativity." –PsycCRITIQUES

"Dawn Skorczewski explores this explosive material with delicacy and a sensitive hand. While An Accident of Hope limns the contours of Anne Sexton's deep-seated emotions – both the joy and the anguish – and the intertwined roots of her poetry, it simultaneously gives us a compelling read that never, ever, disappoints." - Linda Gray Sexton, author of Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide and Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother: Anne Sexton

"By combining close readings of Anne Sexton's poems, mid-20th-century cultural history, and reflections on the development of psychoanalytic theory and technique, Dawn Skorczewski has produced a richly contextualized interpretive account of the audio recordings of the last six months of the poet's treatment with psychiatrist Martin Orne. An Accident of Hope amply demonstrates the mutually generative potential of literary and psychoanalytic texts and methodologies, while also reinforcing our sense of the propriety of Freud's oft-cited avowal that, wherever he went, he found that a poet had gotten there before him. Toggling back and forth between Sexton's poems and her taped conversations with Orne, Skorczewski reveals that, in certain ways, Sexton had a more forward-looking understanding than her doctor did of the psychotherapeutic relationship as a creative partnership." - Max Cavitch, University of Pennsylvania, USA 

"In An Accident of Hope, worlds creatively collide. Skorczewski composes a contrapuntal work of great force that resonates on several levels at once. Poems comment on intimate therapy encounters, and the encounters themselves reveal a patient trying to teach her beloved therapist how to listen to her and a therapist teetering between sexist and rigid theoretical analytic paradigms and a desire to nurture the creative human being in his care. Masterfully―and lyrically―connecting Sexton's poems, therapy sessions, and the therapeutic and cultural norms of the time, Skorczewski tells the tale of a great poet, a traumatized and traumatizing woman, and a patient whose challenges to her therapist foreshadow relational understandings of what harms and what heals." - Lynne Layton, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts, USA

"Dawn Skorczewski's responsiveness to the psychoanalytic narrative invites readers into an affecting study of the inner lives of men and women. With sophistication, care, and a literary style that makes for compelling reading, she draws readers into Dr. Martin Orne's tape recorded clinical treatment of the poet Anne Sexton. It is an unusual record of poetry and life woven from the fragility of creativity between the poet and the analyst. Nested in this commentary are the erotic tensions between North American psychoanalysis and the arts in the 1960s. Through the painful complications of childhood, adulthood, and illness, Skorczewski writes of love, hate, and sexuality; there is rare attunement to the backstage of lives in search of meaning. And new questions follow: Must one choose between art and life or between poetry and therapy? This book promises to open significant debate on the emotional conflicts of the imagination." - Deborah P. Britzman, York University, UK, and author of Freud and Education

"An Accident of Hope offers the reader insight into the workings of the mind of a patient who is fully aware of the importance of her relationship with her therapist, not only to free her from her demons but to give birth to her poetic creativity. Dawn Skorczewski succeeded in writing a book that is instructive, entertaining, and a captivating read. It is instructive because of the author's appreciation of how psychoanalytic theory of the 1960s had affected this treatment, and because in interpreting Sexton's poems she was able to establish the connection between Sexton's increasing insights into her turbulent inner world and what her poetry was successfully communicating. The easy, conversational style of writing is experienced as if the reader were a third person in Dr. Orne's consulting room. This is an extraordinary book that psychoanalysts and literary critics will find equally rewarding." - Anna Ornstein, University of Cincinnati, USA

"Skorczewski’s work with the transcripts of Sexton’s private therapy sessions refuses any prurient interest the reader may have in Sexton’s flamboyant character―or the melodramatic features of her suicide. With her extensive knowledge of psychoanalytic theory, Skorczewski is able to make lucid comparisons between Orne’s clinical approach, which relied heavily on Freudian theory and its later expression as ego psychology, and contemporary theories of analysis that she argues provide superior modalities for treating mental illness and depression." - Judith Harris, DIVISION | REVIEW WINTER 2014

About the Author

Dawn Skorczewski, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English and Director of University Writing at Brandeis University. She is the author of Teaching One Moment at a Time: Disruption and Repair in the Classroom (University of Massachusetts Press, 2005) and co-editor of Conflicts and Crises in the Composition Classroom (NCTE, 2003). Her articles on the connections between psychoanalysis and pedagogy include "Analyst as Teacher/Teacher as Analyst: A Confusion of Tongues?" (Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 2008) and "Questioning Authority in the Psychoanalytic Classroom" (Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 2004). She was the 2009 recipient of the CORST Essay Prize in Psychoanalysis and Culture from the American Psychoanalytic Association and the 2007 recipient of the Gondor Award for Contributions to Psychoanalytic Education.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 856 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 041588747X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (27 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ZZ1DQ8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,065,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
6 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starssexton addict
on 17 October 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
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4.0 out of 5 starsEven if you know all about Anne Sexton, you will learn more from this book
on 14 January 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
2 people found this helpful.
1.0 out of 5 starsThis is a disgusting invasion of privacy and quite sickening
on 4 April 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
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