On Giving Up

Hardback (11 Jan 2024)

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Publisher's Synopsis

From acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips, a meditation on what we must give up to feel more alive.

To give up or not to give up?

The question can feel inescapable but the answer is never simple.

Giving up our supposed vices is one thing; giving up on life itself is quite another. One form of self-sacrifice feels positive, something to admire and aspire to, while the other is profoundly unsettling, if not actively undesirable.

There are always, it turns out, both good and bad sacrifices, but it is not always clear beforehand which is which. We give something up because we believe we can no longer go on as we are. In this sense, giving up is a critical moment - an attempt to make a different future.

In On Giving Up, acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips illuminates both the gaps and the connections between the many ways of giving up, and helps us to address the central question: what must we give up in order to feel more alive?

'One of the finest prose stylists in the language, an Emerson of our time' John Banville

'The best living essayist writing in English' John Gray

Book information

ISBN: 9780241656594
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Imprint: Hamish Hamilton
Pub date:
DEWEY: 158.2
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Sales rank: 518
Number of pages: ix, 143
Weight: 268g
Height: 142mm
Width: 223mm
Spine width: 20mm