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Missing out : in praise of the unlived life

Author: Adam Phillips
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st American edView all editions and formats
Summary:
Offers advice for letting go of ideas about how life might have been in order to make the most of what life has to offer in the here and now by embracing failure, frustration, and other apparently negative, but necessary, elements of our lives.
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Adam Phillips
ISBN: 9780374281113 0374281114
OCLC Number: 795174368
Description: xx, 203 p. ; 22 cm.
Contents: Prologue --
On frustration --
On not getting it --
On getting away with it --
On getting out of it --
On satisfaction --
Appendix --
On acting madness --
Acknowledgements.
Responsibility: Adam Phillips.

Abstract:

Offers advice for letting go of ideas about how life might have been in order to make the most of what life has to offer in the here and now by embracing failure, frustration, and other apparently negative, but necessary, elements of our lives.

"All of us lead two parallel lives: the one we are actively living, and the one we feel we should have had or might yet have. As hard as we try to exist in the moment, the unlived life is an inescapable presence, a shadow at our heels. And this itself can become the story of our lives: an elegy to unmet needs and sacrificed desires. We become haunted by the myth of our own potential, of what we have in ourselves to be or to do. And this can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short. But what happens if we remove the idea of failure from the equation? With his flair for graceful paradox, the acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips suggests that if we accept frustration as a way of outlining what we really want, satisfaction suddenly becomes possible. To crave a life without frustration is to crave a life without the potential to identify and accomplish our desires. In this elegant, compassionate, and absorbing book, Phillips draws deeply on his own clinical experience as well as on the works of Shakespeare and Freud, of D.W. Winnicott and William James, to suggest that frustration, not getting it, and getting away with it are all chapters in our unlived lives--and may be essential to the one fully lived."--Publisher's description.

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