Medium 9781855754720

On the Way Home

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See catalogue number 27201 for the paperback edition. 'On The Way Home' is a series of public dialogues intended to forge links between psychoanalysis and other disciplines, including the physical and the social sciences, history and literature. They are held at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and attract a wide audience. The book features Rose Tremain in conversation with Margot Waddell, A. S. Byatt in conversation with Ignes Sodre, Brenda Maddox in conversation with Helen Taylor Robinson, and Philip Pullman in conversation with Marie Bridge.

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Rose Tremain in conversation with Margot Waddell

ePub

Chair: Nicola Abel-Hirsch

NAH: Rose Tremain's most recent novel Music and Silence won the 1999 Whitbread Prize for Literature. She has published eight novels and three collections of short stories and her work has been translated into fifteen languages. She's a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize with her novel Restoration, and has won a number of other awards. In 1995 Restoration was made into a film and she's currently working on film scripts for both Sacred Country and The Way I Found Her. Rose Tremain told me she began to write what she called “little stories” at eleven when on her parents’ divorce she was sent with her sister to boarding school. Her early stories included one about a boy who ran away to join a troupe of travelling gypsies and another about a man walking through a foggy, smoky London in search of his childhood. There was also a story set under water with mermen and mermaids. Rose then began to write plays and to act in them. In doing so she found her place at school. She tells me that in one play two girls decided to learn about the world by cleaning people's houses. Their employers were nasty and persecuting, and the wages poor. In another a circus troupe figured again and there were parts for every- one. This play included a dream sequence which Rose remembers little about except that it was set to Sibelius's Finlandia. Rose went to the Sorbonne for a year and then took up a place at the University of East Anglia. She chose East Anglia because it was a new university and because the writer Angus Wilson was there, a living writer. He read her work and asked to read her first novel. He liked it and helped her with a quote for the front cover. Much later, from 1988 to 1994, she herself taught on the MA in Creative Writing at UEA and was awarded an honorary doctorate by UEA this year. What next? As well as writing the screenplays for her two films, Sacred Country and The Way I Found Her, she also has the idea for her next book. On a recent trip to a writers’ festival in New Zealand with her partner Richard Holmes, she went to South Island, a place that may be familiar to you from the film The Piano. Rose learnt that there had been a gold rush in this “mountainous, volcanic and difficult terrain”. This provides the setting for a novel about a man in search of gold, and a woman's journey into the wilderness.

 

A.S. Byatt in conversation with Ignês Sodré

ePub

Chair: Jenny Stoker

JS: This evening we have with us no strangers to the forging of links between psychoanalysis and the analysis of literature. They were doing it well before this series started. We have A.S. Byatt and Ignês Sodré. A.S. Byatt is one of the country's leading novelists and critics and she also taught for many years at universities. Ignês, originally from Brazil, is a training analyst. She has been practising as a psychoanalyst in this country for twenty-five years, and for many of those years she has also had an interest in literature and psychoanalysis. The two first met in Cheltenham in 1992 to discuss Middlemarch at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature. Their conversation and collaboration at that time was followed a few years later by a series of conversations. They had six conversations about various authors, which were recorded and made into a book called Imagining Characters. Tonight they are in conversation again, and they are talking this time about A.S. Byatt's book The Biographer's Tale.

 

Brenda Maddox in conversation with Helen Taylor Robinson

ePub

Chair: Ruth Robinson

RR: We are delighted to have the biographer Brenda Maddox here with us this evening, in conversation with the psychoanalyst Helen Taylor Robinson. They will be talking about Brenda's work and in particular her latest book George's Ghosts: A New Life of W.B. Yeats. Brenda and Helen will talk for 45 minutes, and then there will be 45 minutes worth of discussion with the audience, after which we hope you'll stay for refreshments—and more discussion.

Helen Taylor Robinson is a psychoanalyst in full time private practice with adults and young people. She has a background in English literature and a longstanding interest in the application of psychoanalysis to the arts.

Brenda Maddox has a career in writing and broadcasting. She worked for The Economist for twenty years, latterly as Britain Editor, then as Home Affairs Editor. During this period she covered the conflict in Northern Ireland as well as writing on telecommunications and family law. She has written seven books including her three critically acclaimed biographies. The first, Nora: A Life of Nora Joyce, was about Nora Barnacle, the wife of James Joyce. It won The Los Angeles Times Prize for Biog- raphy and was also shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Biography. It was used as a basis for the film Nora, released in May of this year, which was directed by a female director, Pat Murphy, with Ewan McGregor and Susan Lynch playing the Joyce couple. Her second biography, A Married Man: A Life of D.H. Lawrence, was published in 1994 and won the Whitbread Biography Award. Her most recent book about W.B. Yeats, published last year, was reviewed very positively, with Victoria Glendenning in The Spectator describing it as “crisp, humane, sophisticated and sufficient. It tells you everything that anyone except a fanatic would want to know.” It was shortlisted this year for the Samuel Johnson non-fiction prize.

 

Philip Pullman in conversation with Marie Bridge

ePub

Chair: John Churcher

JC: Good evening to everybody. On behalf of the British Psychoanalytical Society I would like to welcome the many friends and guests who are here. My name is John Churcher and I shall be chairing the discussion this evening.

This evening we welcome as a distinguished guest the writer Philip Pullman, the author of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, the three novels for children and adults which make up the trilogy His Dark Materials.

Formerly a teacher of English, Philip Pullman has published quite a number of books over the last thirty years, mainly for children and young people, and more recently his work has become very widely known, particularly after The Amber Spyglass, published in 2000—and published after a long and anxious wait by many of his readers—won him the prestigious Whitbread Prize. All three books of the trilogy have since been produced on tape and on CD as unabridged talking books, read by Philip with a supporting cast, and most recently a shorter, dramatised adaptation of them has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

 

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