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Signifying Pain: Constructing and Healing the Self Through Writing (Suny Series in Psychoanalysis and Culture) Hardcover – March, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Suny Series in Psychoanalysis and Culture
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: State Univ of New York Pr (March 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0791456838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0791456835
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,706,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"A deeply personal yet universal work, Signifying Pain applies the principles of therapeutic writing to such painful life experiences as mental illness, suicide, racism, domestic abuse, and even genocide. Probing deep into the bedrock of literary imagination, Judith Harris traces the odyssey of a diverse group of writers-John Keats, Derek Walcott, Jane Kenyon, Michael S. Harper, Robert Lowell, and Ai, as well as student writers-who have used their writing to work through and past such personal traumas. Drawing on her own experience as a poet and teacher, Harris shows how the process can be long and arduous, but that when exercised within the spirit of one's own personal compassion, the results can be limitless. Signifying Pain will be of interest not only to teachers of creative and therapeutic writing, but also to those with a critical interest in autobiographical or confessional writing more generally."

About the Author

Judith Harris is Assistant Professor of English at George Washington University. She is the author of Atonement: Poems.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Hoffman on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book talks about how writing about trauma and emotional pain can heal the poet and writer as well as the reader who identifies with the expression. I found these ideas stunning. It compares the "writing cure" with the "talking cure" and explores how the theories of psychoanalysis elucidate why we write and read literature. The author also delves into poems by Kenyon, Plath, McCarriston and other greats and opens up dimensions of their writing for readers. An excellent, meaningful analysis.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paula Offutt on July 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a book about writing/journaling through mental/psychiatric pain. I thought it would be about physical pain. I've not read much of it. I will donate it to the local library.
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