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Kahr, B. (2005). How to Make a Forty-Seven-Minute Television Program in Only Three Years. Am. Imago, 62(4):483-491.

(2005). American Imago, 62(4):483-491

Letter from London

How to Make a Forty-Seven-Minute Television Program in Only Three Years

Brett Kahr

In the spring of 2002, I enjoyed a very pleasant lunch with my friend and colleague Oliver Rathbone, the Managing Director of Karnac Books, the leading psychoanalytic publishing house in London. Oliver had just published my edited book, The Legacy of Winnicott: Essays on Infant and Child Mental Health—my third title for Karnac—and he wished to discuss plans for my next project. As we sipped our soup in a restaurant near the Aldwych, Oliver asked me what I had in mind for the future. To be frank, I cannot now remember exactly what idea I had suggested, possibly a selection of the very charming letters from Sir Frederick Winnicott, former Mayor of Plymouth, to his son, the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, which I had located in the Archives of the British Psychoanalytical Society. Oliver looked bemused and, with utter tact, managed to convey through the movements of his eyebrows that such a volume would be of little interest to anyone other than myself, and that its publication, however historically worthy, would earn very little money for the coffers of Karnac Books.

Desperately, I began to search for another topic, ranging from an introductory guide to the writings of Melanie Klein to a book on the management of a private psychotherapy practice. Again, Oliver tolerated my suggestions with a benign smile. Seizing the moment, he leaned over the table in conspiratorial fashion, and intoned: “Brett, I know what your next book should be.”

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