Charlie Harvey

September 2015 Reading

  • Psychoanalysis: The impossible profession by Janet Malcolm

    Psychoanalysis: The impossible profession by Janet Malcolm (cover image)

    I picked this up from Blackwells some time ago hoping to learn a little about the profession of psychoanalysis as it is practiced. Malcolm focuses on a series of interviews with a New York psychoanalyist. The material is very much written from a Freudian point of view, which may annoy some. Personally I find Freud’s no more credible than any other essentially non-scientific approach — though sometimes it generates fascinating insights. Malcolm is engaging and clearly knows how to work an interview to get some great material.

    2015-09-09 by Charlie Harvey

  • The perpetual race of Achilles and the tortoise by Jorge Luis Borges

    Cover of The perpetual race of Achilles and the tortoise by Jorge Luis Borges

    The breadth of Borges writing is what really struck me in this collection of essays on subjects as diverse as detective novels in British fiction, James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (just published at the time Borges was writing), the translators of 1001 nights, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and the experience of blindness. Borges is provocative, straightforward and entertaining, though his encyclopaedic command of sometimes obscure intellectual and historical knowledge made me suspect that I may have disagreed with his conclusions had I been better informed about their provenance!

    2015-09-09 by Charlie Harvey

  • Order without power by Normand Baillargeon

    Cover of Order without Power by Normand Baillargeon

    This is a fairly conventional history of Anarchism, concentrating most of its effort on the standard "classical" anarchist thinkers (Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin, Kropotkin) before going on to turn into a Chomsky fan piece, eliding many other currents of anarchist thought. It is short and relatively well written by an author who is part of the movement. There was just a bit too much Chomsky for me though.

    2015-09-30 by Charlie Harvey


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