Adam Phillips, from ‘On Flirtation’.
“Auden once suggested that a literary critic should declare his ‘dream of Eden’ because ‘honesty demands that he describe it to his readers, so that they may be in a position to judge his judgements’. Even though psychoanalysis ironizes dreams of Eden – in psychoanalytic theory paradise is only for the losers – it would be useful for psychoanalysts to say something about these things, about the kind of world they would prefer to live in, and why they think psychoanalysis is a good way of both spending one’s time and contributing to this Eden. It will, after all, matter a good deal to their patients what stories they tend to tell themselves and their colleagues about, say, promiscuity, or socialism, or ambition. And, of course, about psychoanalysis and the significance of its history.”