AP: Analysis should do two things that are linked together. It should be about the recovery of appetite, and the need not to know yourself. And these two things—

PH: The need not to know yourself?

AP: The need not to know yourself. Symptoms are a form of self-knowledge. When you think, I'm agoraphobic, I'm a shy person, whatever it may be, these are forms of self-knowledge. What psychoanalysis, at its best, does is cure you of your self-knowledge. And of your wish to know yourself in that coherent, narrative way. You can only recover your appetite, and appetites, if you can allow yourself to be unknown to yourself. Because the point of knowing oneself is to contain one's anxieties about appetite. It's only worth knowing about the things that make one's life worth living, and whether there are in fact things that make it worth living.

(adam phillips to paul holdengräber, from "the art of nonfiction no. 7," the paris review spring 2014)

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