Lipton’s Journal/February 7, 1955/531

From Project Mailer

Excelsior: What I’m getting at is that some of the analysts understand their patients some of the time, and none of the analysts understand their patients all of the time. They can’t. Apart from the obvious human impossibility, there is a total conceptual barrier which is rarely passed, and in Freudian analyses, given the analyst as warden, taker, God, priest, no-give, there is the misery of a complex emotion which could lead one onward to discoveries being turned back by the analysts conceptual inversion of it. Which is why analysts so often mistake a patient’s legitimate situation-anxiety for an illusory anxiety. As viz Bob’s[1] brother and the jealousy. So, too, the patient’s guilt at er sexual desires (invariably some permutation of the bisexual) is all too often misunderstood by the analyst as bonafide shame.


  1. A prominent Baltimore psychoanalyst and writer, Robert Lindner (1914 – 1956) became acquainted with Mailer after reading Lindner’s 1952 sharp critique of current psychoanalytic practice, Prescription for Rebellion (1952), published by Mailer’s publisher, Rinehart. The letter, which contained both praise and criticism for Lindner’s ideas, led to a close friendship over the next four years, including many visits and the sharing of work, including Lipton’s. See extended note on entry 56.