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Reactionary Shakespeare

Holding a Mirror Up to Nature opens with the story of Walter Manstein, “a distinguished-looking man in his late forties” with a successful career as a publisher. On the night of their twentieth wedding anniversary, Manstein strangled his wife to death with the leash of her pet dog. . . . . Continue Reading »


Philip Pilkington’s provocative essay, “Generation Against Generation” (December), portrays capitalist countries ripped apart by tensions generated by low fertility and an aging population. He contributes some interesting insights, some highly debatable conclusions, and a number of . . . . Continue Reading »


Julia Yost’s wide-ranging and masterly critique of The Body Keeps the Score (“By Our Wounds We Are Healed,” October) is cumulatively devastating. I wonder, though, whether Bessel van der Kolk will even care. As Liberace remarked when similarly challenged, “I cried all the way to . . . . Continue Reading »

It's Not All In Your Head

Emma Eckstein was a bleeder: She liked to bleed. She wanted to empty herself out into the world. She was sick and dying, because that was what she desired. This isn’t my interpretation; it’s the analysis offered by her doctor, one Sigmund Freud. Emma was one of Freud’s first patients, but she . . . . Continue Reading »


FREUD While “The Back Page” is usually my favorite part of First Things, I must object to David Bentley Hart’s characterization of Freudian psychotherapy as deterministic in “­Roland on Free Will” (February). As a psy­chiatrist who has practiced and taught psychodynamic psycho­therapy . . . . Continue Reading »

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