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Prospect summer recommends: On Balance

By John Gray  

Wise, witty and playful essays


Wise, witty and playful essays

On Balance by Adam Phillips (Hamish Hamilton, £20)

“The talking cure turned up to show us what talking cannot cure.” This judgement on psychoanalysis by Adam Phillips, himself a practising analyst, gives a flavour of his new essay collection. It is not so much a paradox as a fact presented in paradoxical form. Like all of Phillips’s writing, On Balance radiates the rarest type of questioning intelligence—one that does not aim for solutions to problems but shows that looking for solutions is often the problem. Though…

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