“Undressing”(2019) by James O’Neill

From the Foreword by Adam Phillips, July 2018:

“When Freud worried, early on in his career, that his case histories sounded rather like “short stories”, or even “novellas”, he was alerting us to the fact that his new science of psychoanalysis was about what art was about. That psychoanalysis – just like Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, or Hamlet, or Goethe’s Faust, or Don Quixote, or the more contemporary novels that Freud also admired, and treated as his precursors – was about nothing more and nothing less than people’s difficulties in living. That the material of psychoanalysis was the material of great, and not so great, art (psychoanalysis should be of interest to people who are not interested in psychoanalysis). That psychoanalysis was part of a larger and longer cultural conversation – partly religious, partly political, partly artistic – about how and why to live. About what might matter most to us, and about whether what does matter most is sufficiently sustaining. And this, indeed, is what O’Neill’s extraordinary book is about…”

From Encyclopedia.com entry on Celia Johnson:

“Then Johnson sailed for New York to play Ophelia to Raymond Massey’s Hamlet (1931). The actors knew they were in trouble when they arrived in New York and producer Norman Bel Geddes met them at the ship with: “I’ve altered the script a bit.” Bel Geddes, having decided that Hamlet was a play of action, had cut much of the hero’s indecision…”

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