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cognitive behafoer therapy

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Having a therapist recommend to you (ok, to me) in the course of a session Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated is like going to hardware store for a box of nails and being handed instead a package of Lee Press-Ons.

I counter-recommended and then recounted the end of L’Education sentimentale and she shook her head sadly and scribbled something on her notepad, for I had just then confirmed what she had long since guessed. “It may be that these things that you work on are rather counterproductive when it comes to the process of coping with the…”

Written by adswithoutproducts

November 21, 2008 at 10:47 pm

Posted in me

12 Responses

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  1. I could’ve sworn, upon first reading, that this said “I had just then confirmed what I had long since guessed.”

    JSF’s first book is, in its way, close to great (though I wouldn’t bother with his follow-up work to date).


    November 22, 2008 at 12:06 am

  2. ah very good! what’s your hourly rate?


    November 22, 2008 at 12:08 am

  3. Ah, but is literature supposed to be part of the cure? I much rather like having it as part of the problem!
    (With that, I should be off to read some Jelinek, but alas it’s really only off to grade student papers…)


    November 22, 2008 at 1:41 am

  4. note that our general politics are also part of the problem. [both our political and literary tastes tend toward recognizing actual material conditions as both unchangeable and in need of change – amiright?]

    Sisyphus, if Jelinek is more depressing than the work you’re grading then you’re a lucky academic indeed. though at least she means to inspire disgust and hopelessness.

    my rate? you mean I should set a market price for being of service? well, i suppose one must eat…


    November 22, 2008 at 3:44 am

  5. […] happy death November 23, 2008 Après Ads Without Products’ therapeutic encounter with Jonathan Safran Foer, a few memorable literary exchanges I’ve had with sundry counsellors/psychologists/head […]

  6. Don’t I remember stray signs in the NYC subway offering some sort of philosophy-therapy? Read the great books of western civilization and find sanity?

    I do certainly remember that in the few months when my wife worked as a therapist, I regularly offered to write syllabi for her patients (ah, you’re struggling with your inability to novelize your life, read Madame Bovary and be cured).

    And a suggestion: have you shown your therapist that post where you recognize yourself in/as Baudelaire? That should help your cause.



    November 24, 2008 at 4:55 pm

  7. Is this sad? I think it is a good dissonance, perhaps for the sake of dissonance–which sounds like what is always advisable for insularity of the sort you suffer. It doesn’t matter what the books were, it sounds like she did give you a box of nails. You had already known the other answers, hadn’t you? I like the story, though, it’s most amusing, she sounds hard as nails and just what you need! That you went well beyond the ‘counter-recommending’ I’m sure she found very charming, and had to force herself to remain professional.


    November 25, 2008 at 3:09 am

  8. “insularity of the sort [I] suffer”

    ha! excellent! what’s your hourly rate, Patrick?


    November 25, 2008 at 1:18 pm

  9. Oh no, you have to quit offering all your commenters e-gold and stick with this beautiful woman…I do know that feeling exactly, it is a huge sinking feeling when you are in a situation in which you can’t avoid thinking a non-socio-economic version of PLU or NQOCD…Oh yes, I do like this Professor Higgins-type thing when you have to try to cover up your disgust with quiet tutelage–with the student still on the receiving end of the cash. Why, you’d almost pay her extra if she’d agree to upgrade her taste…


    November 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm

  10. intellectual NQOCD-ism called out by Patrick — great, now I’m getting therapy on this blog, too.


    November 25, 2008 at 10:37 pm

  11. […] becomes so tedious rote and actual class-shift becomes unlikely if not impossible, that no one but Jonathan Safran Foer knows what to write […]

  12. […] not the best time for me to quit, either, so I won’t. Ah, all that heavy work on my inner portions may have just washed down the drain with the release of this. Definitely, definitely can’t go […]

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