In 1957 the art critic Carlton Lake (1915-2006) enjoyed a remarkably frank interview with Pablo Picasso. Jacqueline Roque, the woman in Picasso’s life at that time, was present. Lake recalls this particular conversation:
This book is addressed to anyone, lay or professional, who seeks to understand more of the shared unconscious processes that bind and/or destroy couple relationships. It explains how and why couples are drawn to one another in the first place and how the bond is then sustained or eroded by pacts made and broken without either party being aware they exist. Bringing these “deals” into the pair’s awareness is a significant part of couple therapy.
This book is not another general exploration of Freud’s 1911 Schreber text or yet another account of newly discovered historical facts about Daniel Paul Schreber, still the most famous case in the history of psychiatry. It is a clinical study of what was distinctive about Freud’s 1911 conception of disposition to psychosis in relation to the views of his psychiatrist contemporaries and of psychoanalysts after him. What moved me to write the book was a growing conviction that psychiatry and psychoanalysis need to remember their common history, that they have much more in common than they realise.
This book arose out of the convergence in my mind of two strands of thought. The first concerned the abiding problem of a scientific psychology, which is how to be objective about subjectivity. The second arose from my experience as a psychoanalyst in which I had observed repeatedly someone “become a subject” and had participated in the process through which they arrived at this achievement. The confluence of these meant that it was incumbent upon me to respond to those who regard psycho-analysis as impossibly unscientific to the point that it is not worth taking seriously.
BERNIE NEVILLE: Sometimes you can say that a book changed your life. It happened to me in 1976 when I read James Hillman’s Revisioning Psychology. My understanding of the world and the flavor of my teaching had been strongly influenced by Jungian thought for many years, but this was new and exciting. Hillman challenged many of my assumptions, got me to think in ways I hadn’t thought before.
Many years ago a man came up to me after a talk at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis and gave me a book he authored on the malady of the Korean soul. The book addressed soul sickness that can deplete the personality, sink a life, but also lead to creative work, poetry, dance, perhaps the very book this man gave me. Such a deep malady linked to the pain of existence, the pain of living, endless longing, loss, joy, overlapping with Garcia Lorca’s “Duende”.
‘I hadn’t started out per se to ‘study’ serial murderers, now many years ago. I was doing neurological research on the NASA Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Increasingly I was becoming interested in neuropathology of primitive personalities. In biochemistry we go to the molecular structure of a compound to see what its chemical signature is composed of. What then was the signature of what may be the most primitive form of man; who represented man at his serially worst: A murderer who killed for seemingly pleasurable gain and who used power, control and dominance, as a way of torturing his victims before he murdered them. In those days the term ‘serial killer’ was not yet in the public sector as it resides today nor did the idea of a serial killer carry the current voyeuristic allure.