Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Laing’s Labour’s Lost: Unexplored writings and allusions of R. D. Laing. Anthony Stadlen conducts Inner Circle Seminar 251 (15 September 2019)

Laings Labour’s Lost

Unexplored writings and allusions of R. D. Laing
30 years after his death
(7 October 1927  23 August 1989)

Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 251
15 September 2019
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

R.D. Laing
R.D. Laing

Thirty years after his death, we explore some lesser-known and little-read writings of R. D. Laing (7 October 1927 - 23 August 1989), including books, book reviews, and essays; as well as his remarkable intertextual network of allusions to the writings of others that remains largely unnoticed in even his best-known books. The seminar aims to bring out the subtlety and depth of Laings thinking in a way not hitherto attempted, far less achieved, and reveal him as a master Daseinsanalyst.

Do you know Laingremarkable book The Voice of Experience (1982)? Or his great essay God and Psychiatry (1985)? Or his penetrating reviews of BossThe Analysis of Dreams, Marcuses One-Dimensional Man, Eriksons Insight and Responsibility, Genets Miracle of the Rose, Foucaults Madness and Civilisation, Reichs The Function of the OrgasmSzaszSchizophrenia?

And do you know who wrote or said the following:

1. ‘men whom I cannot hope to emulate?
2. ‘that sad dream of absolute immanence?
3. ‘the ladder may be gone for many?
4. ‘a myriad of refracting surfaces staining the white radiance of eternity?
5. ‘the abdication of ecstasy’?
6. victims burning at the stake, signalling through the flames’?
7. Winch with a smile?
8. ‘“the generation and affinity of events?

Answer to all: R. D. Laing. But, in each case, he was quoting, or alluding to, something written by someone else: a poet, a playwright, a philosopher, a novelist, whom he did not name, but presumably expected some readers (you?) to recognise or discover.

Did you recognise these as quotations from Laing? Can you place them in his writings? Did you recognise to which other writers’ works he is alluding?

Of course, now you can trace most of them using your smartphone. But those who read his writings when they first appeared, throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, had no such devices. Laing assumed it as his right to have literate and cultured readers, who would know these quotations, or take the trouble to try to trace them. 

What is the significance of such quotations and allusions in Laings work?

Today, Anthony Stadlen introduces some of Laings crucial neglected writings, including those mentioned above. He also shows how each one of the above, and many other, intertextual allusions opens onto a whole world of relevance that greatly enhances Laings meaning and stature. Your views are invited.

Venue: ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £132, others £165, some bursaries; coffee, tea, biscuits, berries, nuts, mineral water included; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857  or: +44 (0) 7809 433 250
E-mail: stadlen@aol.com  or: stadlenanthony@gmail.com
For further information on seminars, visit: http://anthonystadlen.blogspot.com/

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools, and universities.

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