Psychology & Anthropology

Photograph of Sigmund Freud and his daughter Sophie, around 1912.

To Die One’s Own Death

Jacqueline Rose

19 November 2020

Freud is offering a philosophy of grief. He helps us understand why what is happening among us now can feel as much an internal as an external catastrophe. Death in a pandemic is no way to die.

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The Breadwinner Norm

Susan Pedersen

19 November 2020

Fathers sat down to a kipper or a boiled egg at breakfast (and gave one fav­oured child the top); their dependants ate porridge. Kind fathers sometimes shared tidbits; others avoided the whole drama . . .

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

2 July 2020

How would any of us – trans or not, binary or non – feel if others, convinced that they knew the truth of who we really were, insisted on referring to us using words that, so far as we were . . .

Bilingualism

Michael Hofmann

21 May 2020

This​ is the first and only book on bilingualism I have read, but before coming to that there are two other things worthy of mention.* The first is the author’s biographical note. Albert Costa . . .

Internet Speak

Lauren Oyler

7 May 2020

Every day​ I write to friends, acquaintances, colleagues and strangers using most or all the following media: Gmail, Google Hangouts, Twitter, Instagram, iMessage and WhatsApp. A message sent through . . .

Where on Earth are you?

Frances Stonor Saunders, 3 March 2016

We construct borders, literally and figuratively, to fortify our sense of who we are; and we cross them in search of who we might become.

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Against Self-Criticism

Adam Phillips, 5 March 2015

Lacan​ said that there was surely something ironic about Christ’s injunction to love thy neighbour as thyself – because actually, of course, people hate themselves. Or you could say that, given the way people treat one another, perhaps they had always loved their neighbours in the way they loved themselves.

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Ghosts of the Tsunami

Richard Lloyd Parry, 6 February 2014

I met a priest in the north of Japan who exorcised the spirits of people who had drowned in the tsunami.

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Sinking Giggling into the Sea: Giggling along with Boris

Jonathan Coe, 18 July 2013

Boris Johnson has become his own satirist, safe in the knowledge that the best way to make sure the satire aimed at you is gentle and unchallenging is to create it yourself.

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Among the Flutterers: The Pope Wears Prada

Colm Tóibín, 19 August 2010

In 1993 John McGahern wrote an essay called ‘The Church and Its Spire’, in which he considered his own relationship to the Catholic Church. He made no mention of the fact that he had,...

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The Uninvited: At The Rich Man’s Gate

Jeremy Harding, 3 February 2000

Refugees are not necessarily poor, but by the time they have reached safety, the human trafficking organisations on which they depend have eaten up much of their capital. In the course of excruciating journeys, mental and physiological resources are also expended – some of them non-renewable.

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Dynasty: Lacan and Co

Sherry Turkle, 6 December 1990

Freud believed that psychoanalysis was so deeply subversive of people’s most cherished beliefs that only resistance to psychoanalytic ideas would reveal where they were being taken...

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Fortress Freud

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 18 April 1985

Psychoanalysts have a difficult relationship with the rest of the world – or, as they sometimes call it, ‘the goyim’. Janet Malcolm’s two very striking books of reportage,...

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Is Michael Neve paranoid?

Michael Neve, 2 June 1983

‘Havelock Ellis has sent me the sixth volume of his studies, Sex in Relation to Society,’ Freud wrote to Jung, in late April 1910. ‘Unfortunately my receptivity is consumed by...

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Beyond​ a few tabloid stories, the Westboro Baptist Church didn’t really hit the news until 2005, when its members started picketing funerals of soldiers killed in the Iraq War, with signs...

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Once democracy and public argument are premised on the logic of the platform, it simply doesn’t matter what anyone says or does, so long as they remain engaged and engaging. President Trump is the...

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How to Buy Drugs

Misha Glenny and Callum Lang, 7 November 2019

Once you’ve placed your order, you should expect to pick up the drugs at the designated rendezvous point within an hour or so. If you find yourself having to wait any longer you may want to choose...

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Tilting the day: Writing about Clothes

Lisa Cohen, 7 November 2019

‘About​ clothes, it’s awful,’ the protagonist thinks in Jean Rhys’s novel Voyage in the Dark (1934). Everything makes you want pretty clothes like hell. People laugh at...

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The Greer Method

Mary Beard, 24 October 2019

What is driving these attacks? Why are her critics so determined to deplore and ridicule? What lies behind the selective misreading that turns a provocative pamphlet, no more flawed than many others of...

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My mother’s​ right hand ended in a cloth. She cleaned the local school from six a.m. and again in the evening, doing a chip shop in between. I got to know all the women. They were...

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Soothe and Scold: Mothers

Helen McCarthy, 12 September 2019

My first child​ was born in a hospital room in East London on a February morning after 12 hours of labour. Our doula, who had arrived the previous evening, bringing cushions in a supermarket...

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The important question is not whether a truly gender-blind capitalism is possible, but whether that would be an equality worth fighting for.

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Civility​ as a concept, or an ideal, didn’t take hold in England until the 16th century – when the national mood, insofar as we can speak of one, was a mixture of bravado and...

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The Jubilee Line​ used to be one of the better London Underground lines to travel on if, like me, you have Crohn’s disease. When the line was extended in the late 1990s, some of the new...

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‘I’m not racist, but …’

Daniel Trilling, 18 April 2019

The word​ ‘Caucasian’ was first used as a term for white people in the late 18th century, by men who believed they were making objective scientific judgments about the world. In...

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Since OxyContin’s arrival on the US market in 1996, a widespread increase in opiate use in America has killed more than 400,000 people. Drug overdoses have been the leading cause of accidental death...

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Short Cuts: The p-p-porn ban

Tom Crewe, 4 April 2019

Have​ you p-p-picked up a porn pass? In April the UK government plans to introduce – or at least plans to announce a definite date for the introduction of – the world’s first...

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Unforgiven: ‘Down Girl’

Adam Phillips, 7 March 2019

Kate Manne knows that a book about misogyny is going to be preaching to the converted, when the converted don’t necessarily know what or how they think.

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Border Traffic

Jessica Loudis, 7 February 2019

While​ negotiations over a border wall remain at an impasse in Washington, a case is unfolding in a federal district courtroom in Brooklyn that casts President Trump’s ambition in a new...

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‘It is​ usually agreed in France,’ the poet and essayist Edouard Roditi wrote in 1962, ‘that Arabs have been gifted with greater manliness than us.’ Algeria had recently...

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On Being Late

Andrew O’Hagan, 24 January 2019

It can be​ quite frightening, having to be somewhere by a certain time. We make it more bearable by not giving it too much thought, yet being on time is often judged, particularly by the...

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Short Cuts: The Moral of Brenley Corner

Patrick Wright, 6 December 2018

The​ Department of Transport is currently putting arrangements in place to transform a 13.5 mile stretch of the M20, passing through Kent on the way to Folkestone and the Channel Tunnel, into a...

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