Date Archives February 2008

“The Undiscovered Self” by Carl Jung

Writing in 1957, Jung is very concerned with the Cold War, Communism and the threat of nuclear disaster. However, his points seem very salient in 2008 as well. He is alarmed about ‘mass-mindedness’ — the reduction of individuals to anonymous, like-thinking units of humanity, to be manipulated by propaganda and advertising into fulfilling whatever function is required of them by those in power. In his time this was mainly evident in the USSR, but he sees it in Western societies too, and I certainly see strong elements of it today…. Read More

“Intimacy” by Hanif Kureishi

This was a strange book: all the reviews say how honest and uncompromising it is, and yet in the end I didn’t believe it. The basic plot is very simple. A man, Jay, is leaving his long-time partner, Susan, and their two young sons. The book is an extended inner monologue by Jay covering the last night before he leaves. Why didn’t I believe it? For me, the character was too extreme. Plenty of people get bored with their partners and leave them. But things like leaving Susan in the… Read More