Descripción de editorial
Volumes have been dedicated to madness, but sanity is rarely mentioned. We can define the mad, but how do we classify the sane? In Going Sane, psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips delves deep into history, philosophy, literature and his own experiences to address questions that we rarely ask about ourselves, taking us on an engrossing journey in which we learn many things - including some of what it takes to be happy in the modern world.
In classic psychoanalytic style, Phillips strips our lives down to the fundamentals to illustrate the delicate balance between sanity and insanity. Sanity, he notes, "has never been a popular word, or indeed... a condition one might write a book about." Madness, on the other hand, is dramatic and all too visible. We have psychiatrists, neurologists and researchers dedicated to studying and treating madness, but not even a quantifiable definition of saneness. Deftly guiding readers through historical and literary uses of "sane" and "mad," Phillips, a British psychoanalyst (On Flirtation), cites Thomas Carlyle, R.D. Laing, Melanie Klein, D.W. Winnicott and Richard Dawkins, among others, to illustrate the stark absence of a definitive definition of sanity. In Hamlet, for instance, Polonius uses the word "madness" to describe Hamlet's inventiveness and eloquent intelligence: he admires Hamlet's madness. Phillips examines the presence and essence of madness in all aspects of modern life in intriguing and disturbingly frank chapters on the chaos of raising children, the turmoil of adolescence, sexual appetites and the pursuit of wealth. His arguments, both thought provoking and provocative, may affect future definitions of sanity and madness, and readers are left with a fresh awareness of what it really means to be sane.