Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Arieti, J.A. (1999). Memories of the Son of a Psychiatrist. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 27(4):541-550.
   

(1999). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 27(4):541-550

Memories of the Son of a Psychiatrist

James A. Arieti, Ph.D.

When I return to Pisa, I carry with me a suitcase full of memories. I remember when I used to come here as a child to visit my grandparents. I remember seeing the damage done to the buildings during the Second World War. I remember touring the apartment where my father was born. I remember visiting my grandfather in the hospital near the Leaning Tower a week before he died. I remember putting stones on the graves of my grandparents in the Jewish Cemetery just outside the wall of the city. But most of all I remember the Pisa my father spoke about, and how he breathed its music and sighed its history. Thus it is for me a tender joy to be here to speak with you, not as a professor of philosophy or of classical philology, but as the son of the man we are here to remember.

I think my father's contribution to the world lay in exploring the spiritual dimension to human suffering. Some, like the ancient poet Aeschylus, realized that in suffering there might come wisdom; some, like the Epicureans and also the Stoics, saw that an experience of physical pain might lead to a dissociation from that pain, a dissociation that enabled philosophical and intellectual growth. My father's contribution was the insight that mental illness might itself be an attempt to preserve one's humanity in a savage world and that mental illness itself might be ennobling and spiritually uplifting.

My father was a unity of his qualities: His strengths were inseparable from his weaknesses, his genius inseparable from his eccentricities.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.