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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant essayist on a variety of topics
Do not be misled by the use of the word "flirtation" in this collection's title. It's a metaphor for flexibility and psychic and intellectual playfulness. In his Preface, the author asserts, "Flirtation keeps things in play, and by doing so lets us get to know them in different ways." Phillips, a British child analyst and respected literary critic,...
Published on July 6, 2000 by Eileen G.

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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tragically self-indulgent writing style
This books is chock full of fascinating ideas. So chock full, that at times it loses direction. The author is so in love with the ideas, he has a little trouble following one coherently at times. This tendency is exacerbated by the authors injudicious use of parenthetical phrases (where he suddenly goes in a new direction). The book is larded, weighted down, and crippled...
Published on September 24, 2008 by Kristine Logan


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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant essayist on a variety of topics, July 6, 2000
This review is from: On Flirtation (Paperback)
Do not be misled by the use of the word "flirtation" in this collection's title. It's a metaphor for flexibility and psychic and intellectual playfulness. In his Preface, the author asserts, "Flirtation keeps things in play, and by doing so lets us get to know them in different ways." Phillips, a British child analyst and respected literary critic, has assembled a series of readable, erudite, and sometimes thrilling essays on his customary favorite topics. They are fresh and insightful - as usual from him. He is interested in literature, contemporary and traditional psychoanalytic theory, attachment, depression, the uses and wonders of language, Lacanian musings and principles, and much more. The bibliography itself could form the backbone of a lengthy course of study. The collection is divided into several parts: "The Uses of the Past," "Psychoanalysis Revisited," and "Writing Outside," which includes literary essays on Philip Roth, Isaac Rosenberg, nineteenth century writer John Clare, and Hapsburg Empire-era Austrian Karl Kraus. But it his the essays on, or "flirting" with, a wide variety of psychoanalytic themes which are at the heart of this interesting, intelligent, and useful collection. "Freud and the Uses of Forgetting," "On Love," and "The Telling of Selves" reveal Phillips' ability to range widely - yet with focus, inherent compassion and kindness, and clarity - in the telling of his themes.
An essay on depression, in which he talks with great respect about the work of Lacanian analyst Julie Kristeva, is particularly interesting. Erich Fromm, Freud and his biographer, Jones, are also subjects of essays.
This is a terrific book, full of humane and productive thinking, and ought to be read and reread by anyone with an interest in the uses of psychoanalysis, and the very modern, creative, and original mind of Adam Phillips. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his earliest and best collections., August 4, 2010
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Ed Renaud (Branford, Ct.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: On Flirtation (Paperback)
Flirtation is really play of a particular sort, which like all play is about practice and exploration without having to sign on the dotted line. The collection of essays in this book show the value of playing with ideas. Adams tosses out questions, teases and drops hints about psychological development which reveal possibilities you might not have considered before. The subject matter of the essays is generally geared towards those with some background in psychoanalytic theory, but is accessible to a general audience. The end result, like other forms of flirtation, is that you find yourself wanting more.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tragically self-indulgent writing style, September 24, 2008
This review is from: On Flirtation (Paperback)
This books is chock full of fascinating ideas. So chock full, that at times it loses direction. The author is so in love with the ideas, he has a little trouble following one coherently at times. This tendency is exacerbated by the authors injudicious use of parenthetical phrases (where he suddenly goes in a new direction). The book is larded, weighted down, and crippled by these parenthetical phrases - after a while I just wanted to scream for him to get an editor. GET AN EDITOR! But of course, this book was written quite a while ago. Of course some of the parenthetical phrases are fine. Many others reflect the authors inability to commit to a direction, his incapability to abandon any direction related to his main point. This is catastrophically frustrating because the ideas are so fascinating. Alas, he has trouble making his point clearly. Tragic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, great, great, February 3, 2013
By 
Michael Dow (Boulder, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: On Flirtation (Paperback)
Wow, couldn't believe this only had three reviews. This is literally in my top ten of favorite books ever, and one that I often return to. Phillips's style is his own, and one that while often elusive, I find regularly yields new insights on re-reading. And it's worth reading just for the highly memorable quotes from other sources. It's just great, great, great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A huge fan of Adam Phillips, June 26, 2013
By 
Khalana1331 (Roswell, Georgia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On Flirtation (Paperback)
A former Psych Major, this is isn't required reading yet I find all of his books entertaining and applicable in day to day life, highly enjoyable, well thought out, intelligent and amusing, all good reads.
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On Flirtation
On Flirtation by Adam Phillips (Paperback - March 1, 1996)
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