August by Judith Rossner

By Judith Rossner

Initially released in paper shape, by way of Houghton Mifflin, 1983 (ISBN: 03953397)

From the New York Times bestselling writer of Looking for Mr. Goodbar— the tale of 2 ladies, a psychoanalyst and her sufferer who support one another via very various classes of their lives.

When sunrise Henley, the gorgeous, gifted Barnard university freshman steps into psychoanalyst Dr. Lulu Shinefeld’s workplace, she’s instantly intrigued. What may have pushed this woman to such severe degrees of melancholy? Over the process 5 years, Dawn’s strange and tortured early life is drawn out, and either girls are unavoidably replaced.

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He wrote a song about it for me, which moved me to tears. Ben saw me cry and realised what he brought, including his tears, was valued. Trust deepened. By winter, he’d found a scruffy denim jacket and sneakers, shaved his head, moved from the street to a squat, got work as a labourer and joined a punk-rock band. Over two years, he came to accept that his friends and I valued him. He left for a year, then his mother died tragically. He came back rather than use hard drugs, had an atonement with his father; but wouldn’t take his money, except for part of my fee.

For example, I once met a man when I was a young psychiatrist. He peered into the ashtray in my room, found three cigarette butts then looked round carefully…down at himself, over at me, across to his social worker. ’ In that moment, ‘he knew’…meaning dawned. Them butts’. He gave me a conspiratorial look. ’ Carefully, he touched each in turn. One had lipstick on it. A confirmation. ‘You an’ me an’…’er. ’ He touched the ash tray. ’ We did. We admitted him to hospital just as his ‘voices’ had promised.

My prejudice is towards open meaning systems, as they have a greater adaptive potential. We’re all capable, somewhere, of being fundamentalists: yearning for safe closed systems, bounded by our fears and primitive infant-like terrors. Interpretative acts challenge closed, over-determined systems; which, by constant repetition, become mistaken for percepts. ’ The next chapter looks at the strangest effect of all—individuation. 20 2 INDIVIDUATION Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made Those are pearls that were his eyes Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea change Into something rich and strange.

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