Gravity's Rainbow

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Narcissistic gratification or therapy?


From Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog:

Mamam announced at the dinner table last night, as if it were a pretext to let the champagne flow freely, that it was exactly 10 years ago that she started her “anaaalysis.”  Everyone will agree that this is absolutely maaarvelous.  As far as I can see, only psychoanalysis can compete with Christians in their love of drawn-out suffering.  What my mother didn’t say is that it’s also been exactly ten years since she started taking anti-depressants.  But apparently she doesn’t see the connection.  Personally I don’t think she’s taking the anti-depressants to ease her anxiety but rather to endure the analysis.  When she describes her sessions, it’s enough to make you want to bang your head against the wall.  The guy says “hmmm” at regular intervals, and repeats the end of her sentences (“And I went to Lenôtre’s with my mother”: “Hmmm, your mother?” “I do so like chocolate.”: “Hmmm, chocolate?”).

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