The simple reading of Othello is that, driven mad by jealousy, the Moor destroys first Desdemona then himself. Poor thing.
But nothing in Shakespeare is that simplistic. In his brilliant new book, psychoanalyst Adam Phillips suggests that Desdemona is far too prissy for her own good, and that Othello sets out not so much as to discover the truth about whether she is unfaithful, but to satisfy his desires.
The tragedy of Othello is that
he does just that, and it’s a disaster.
If you’re someone who lives regretting what might have happened if you’d chosen different paths when the road forked, then Missing Out is definitely for you.
If you think the best art and literature is an invitation to think, then, too, this is for you.
Phillips has written 17 books on everything from kissing to sanity, from kindness to promises.
He can run the gauntlet of other psychoanalysts, some of whom find him too accessible, too entertaining and possibly too unorthodox.
What’s delightful about his writing is that it touches on self-help without being banal, treating you like a complex being without making you feel like a case study. There’s a little bit of everyone in a Phillips’s book.
Missing Out has, at its centre, an essay about “not getting it”, in several senses. If you have watched things like World’s Funniest Video and been puzzled at why it’s supposed to be funny, you will be heartened by Phillips’s suggestion that it is not getting it that is the most important and bravest behaviour, at times. Going against the grain is what we must do, in order to understand the forces of convention and how, sometimes, they are dangerous.
The subtitle to Missing Out is “in praise of the unlived life”: Phillips is saying that we need to miss out, to not “get it”, in order to create impetus for ourselves, to understand why we yearn and whether we are yearning for the right things.
Personally, I yearn for more writing like Missing Out.
– Rosemary Sorensen
The Bendigo Writers Festival attracted more people than anticipated, prompting City of Greater Bendigo council to endorse its continuation.
“The feedback from this inaugural event has been very positive and there appears to be a strong momentum from attendees and stakeholders to support an annual Writers Festival in Bendigo,” director of The Capital David Lloyd said.
“The financial commitment was considered a modest yet sound investment basis for an inaugural event positioning itself in an other crowded festivals market.”
Ticket sales for the program, which began with a free day for schools on Friday, August 10 and continued across the weekend, reached 2050.
Mr Lloyd said the objectives of BWF include reinforcing Bendigo’s positive cultural image.
“Bendigo is credibly building around quality regional cultural experiences,” he said.