Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Sermon and analysis

The Boutwood sermon on Sunday was preached by the Reverend Mother Angela Tilby, who has recently become the vicar of St Benet's, the church next door. I've never heard her on Thought for the Day, because I don't listen to that, but I quickly got the point that she is an excellent thing. I loved her story of swearing at motorists while overcome by road rage, for example.

Once she'd got the usual comments on romantic love over -- why do all high-church preachers have to talk about romantic love all the time? -- she said interesting stuff about psycho-analysis. In Lawrence Durrell's Avignon Quintet, which I prefer to the better-known Alexandria Quartet because it's less stuffy, there's an immensely appealing description of analysis from the early days of its development -- it makes me want to go and find an intelligent analyst and plunge into years of intensive work. It sounds like a spiritual experience, which was Angela Tilby's point, but it also seems like the one-sidedness of it would make it a problematic metaphor in this context. And of course most of us, definitely including me, could bear to think less about ourselves not more. I would have liked to have asked her, but I didn't get a chance to talk to her afterwards.

Durrell is good at making dodgy things sound more than attractive, almost essentially right and necessary. His descriptions of gnostic death cults in the Avignon Quintet are very appealing.

But on a lighter note, slightly, here is the Pet Shop Boys' song about the Blair/Bush relationship, "I'm with Stupid", with a video by David Walliams and Matt Lucas. I like this song.

1 comment:

  1. One of the most interesting things about later Freudian thought is that the development of the concept of the transference ends up modifying Freud's original sense of the analytic method, so that where originally the analytic situation looks one-sided, later on it turns out not to be -- it becomes much more of a two-way, dynamic model.

    I'm not sure about the Pet Shop Boys. But I *really* like the AlphaBeat track further down!