First Impressions and Second Thoughts..

In keeping, albeit somewhat loosely, with the Valentine theme – here’s my favourite psychoanalytical writer, Adam Phillips on “Pride and Prejudice”

“… First Impressions, a novel that on second thoughts was called Pride and Prejudice, is about, among many other things, how pride and prejudice is a better way of describing first impressions. Because the so-called first impressions that Elizabeth and Darcy most prominently have of each other are not merely skewed or distorted by their personal pride and their prejudices but constituted by them. It is as if Jane Austen is saying: if you want to find out about your pride and your prejudices – if you want to reveal your most cherished preconceptions about yourself – then it is your first impressions you should attend to. And not, of course, any old first impressions, but one’s first impressions of an object of desire. Where there is desire, where there is unusually intense interest – of a positive or negative kind – there are no innocent eyes. The innocent eye may see nothing, but the desiring eye sees too much. It sees too much of itself, too much of its past – for which the words ‘pride’ and ‘prejudice’ are as good words as any – and it is seen by itself … to have been self-preoccupied. To desire someone else is to fall back in love with oneself. It is to ignore the other person – to misread them, as we say – in the interests of self-preservation …”


3 thoughts on “First Impressions and Second Thoughts..

  1. People seeing my wife and I together have often said we look like siblings rather than a married couple…
    The closest she’s ever been to being my sister is when she wears a nun’s habit while I hum a strong hymn.
    Our psychology is a bit gothic occasionally.

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