Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

A Book I Want To Read

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on July 11, 2013


A quote from Stephen Grosz….


“The people who come to analysis are in great pain, and usually part of the pain is that they can’t articulate it well. They don’t have a way of telling it. Often, the most important stories of our lives are about some of the most difficult things that no one helped us to find the words to describe. [In analysis,] you try to hear [the patient’s] stories and work out what’s going on. All the highfalutin psychoanalytic language—which is not in my book—is, to me, a diversion from the directness of literature—hearing people’s stories, and trying to put that story as clearly and as plainly on the page as possible.”

2 Responses to “A Book I Want To Read”

  1. Jon said

    I agree, this is a book I do want to read, and it is now on my list to acquire. I stopped reading the review of Stephen Grosz’s The Examined Life part way through it. I do not want as much detail as Michiko Kakutani gives because I know I will now read the book. This is similar to not reading a movie review of a film I know I am going to see. I read those reviews after I have seen the film, and the same will be true here.

    A few notes on what I did read. I did not find the book’s title unfortunate as a “cheesy self-help book” did not come to mind, but rather the Platonic quote of Socrates “the life which is unexamined is not worth living” from the dialogue the Apology (or explanation).

    While my mind segues to quotes, Mr. Kakutani quotes Stephen Grosz quoting Isak Dinesen, “all sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.” A few weeks ago, the wonderful website, A Word A Day also had a Dinesen (Karen Blixen) quote, “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.” She saw deeply into life. Now, on to read Stephen Grosz….

  2. Shirah said

    Well said-please share your thoughts about the book after you read it!

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