Adam Phillips in conversation with Deborah Levy
Adam Phillips takes Oscar Wilde as a springboard for a deep dive into the meanings and importance of the Unforbidden, from the fall of our 'first parents' Adam and Eve to the work of the great twentieth-century psychoanalytic thinkers.
Unforbidden pleasures, he argues, are always the ones we tend not to think about, yet when you look into it, it is probable that we get as much pleasure, if not more, from them. And we may have underestimated just how restricted our restrictiveness, in thrall to the forbidden and its rules, may make us.
Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane and Side Effects. His most recent books are On Kindness, co-written with the historian Barbara Taylor, Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life, On Balance and One Way and Another.
‘Every mind-blowing book from Adam Phillips suspends all the certainties we are most attached to and somehow makes this feel exhilarating’ - Deborah Levy
‘Phillips radiates infectious charm. The brew of gaiety, compassion, exuberance and idealism is heady and disarming’ - Sunday Times
‘Phillips is one of the finest prose stylists at work in the language, an Emerson for our time’ - John Banville
Unforbidden Pleasures is published by Hamish Hamilton (5 November 2015)
Deborah Levy writes fiction, plays, and poetry. Her work has been staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and she is the author of highly praised books including The Unloved, Swallowing Geography, and Beautiful Mutants. Her novel Swimming Home was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2012 Levy adapted two of Freud's case histories, Dora and The Wolfman for BBC Radio 4. Things I Don’t Want to Know is the title of Levy’s sparkling response to George Orwell’s essay ‘Why I Write’, an autobiographical essay on writing, gender politics and philosophy. Her new novel, Hot Milk, will be published in 2016 by Hamish Hamilton.