The Good Story

The Good Story

Exchanges on Truth, Fiction and Psychotherapy

Book - 2015
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"The Good Story" is an exchange between a writer with a long-standing interest in moral psychology and a psychotherapist with a training in literary studies. Arabella Kurtz and J.M. Coetzee consider psychotherapy and its wider social context from different perspectives, but at the heart of both their approaches is a concern with stories. Working alone, the writer is in sole charge of the story he or she tells. The therapist, on the other hand, collaborates with the patient in telling the story of their life. What kind of truth do the stories created by patient and therapist aim to uncover: objective truth or the shifting and subjective truth of memories explored and re-experienced in the safety of the therapeutic relationship? The authors discuss both individual psychology and the psychology of the group: the school classroom, the gang, the settler nation where the brutal deeds of the ancestors have to be accommodated into a national story. Drawing on great writers like Cervantes and Dostoevsky and on psychoanalysts like Freud and Melanie Klein, they offer illuminating insights into the stories we tell of our lives.
Publisher: New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2015
ISBN: 9780525429517
Branch Call Number: 616.8914 COETZEE
Characteristics: viii, 198 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Kurtz, Arabella


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May 27, 2019

The exchanges are not very edifying of psychology or literature; I found the discussion on truth, belief, fictions, and memory to be though provoking (there are many questions made by Coetzee), and that is its best quality.

Nov 03, 2017

A look at psychoanalysis and literature in an epistolary fashion between a novelist and a psychiatrist . Not sure this is really a necessary book though there was some interesting aspects to it. Read it only if you are very interested in the concept.


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