Rosenzweig Foundation for
Personality Dynamics and Creativity of St. Louis, with additional funding
from the Austrian Cultural Forum of New York, and the New York Acad-
emy of Medicine. Other institutional benefactors included the American
Psychological Association Division 26, the Association for Psychoanalytic
Medicine, and the Sigmund Freud Museum and Sigmund Freud Founda-
tion of Vienna, along with these individuals: Jules Bohnn, George S. Gold-
man, Sheila Hafter Gray, and Nathan G. Hale Jr.
Individual donors included Bernard W. Bail, Helen Beiser, Donald L
for my three energetic boys, Ethan, Gavin, and Jacob, whose early deter-
mination to make the world a better place makes me a very proud father.
David A. Ansell. I am grateful for the love and support of my wife,
Dr. Paula Grabler, my two children, Jonah and Leah Ansell, their spouses,
and my grandson, Rafael. I am also grateful for my many friends and col-
leagues at Rush University Medical Center and across the United States
who have provided me guidance and insight.
As a group, we are humbled by the creativity and sophistication of
the authors of the
consumers from inevitable
drug risks such as addiction. True, protections were almost always
insufficient— this is why white markets were in crisis for so much of
the past 150 years. But the crises also provoked political creativity,
leading reformers to build stronger and more effective regulations.
Flawed as they were, these white market reforms were the closest
approximations of successful drug policy that America has ever
seen. Given the disastrous track record of the nation’s drug wars,
they are models that merit serious attention.
The mixed track record of
to this book. Kevin Gotkin and
Aaron Shapiro helped me as I was just diving into the work; Rachel Stone-
cipher, Sun- Ha Hong, and Yoel Roth saw it through to its completion with
creativity, diligence, and brilliance. They thought of much that I would not
have, and know much that I do not, and they shared their ideas and their
expertise tirelessly and generously. They, along with Piotr Szpunar, Tara Liss-
Mariño, Brooke Duff y, Steven Schrag, Jonathan Pace, and Megan Genovese,
have listened extensively and patiently, helping me work out and improve
and popular culture, a vogue for mental illness persists and in
some ways has crested, as in the “outsider art” that exoticizes the creativity
of the usually untutored mentally ill and sells it for high prices. Every year,
it seems, a new Hollywood fi lm or bestselling novel or memoir explores its
protagonist’s descent into madness. But we seem to want to hear stories of
those who fall and bounce back, without thinking about why it is that only
some can bounce. Few of these popular works portray the truly desperate
situations of those lacking suffi cient
comfortable homes, vacations, and transportation. And it often confers
dignity, pride, and self- respect from realizing the American Dream.
But do these benefits translate into psychological benefits? What are the
costs of competitive success, and what effect do they have? Is careerism in
fact an American scourge, robbing people of their spirit and reducing op-
portunities: for relationships, creativity, self- expression, and self- realization?
Might the endless anxiety of the pursuit define the experience, outweighing
Men like my research participants
compounded by a psychological contradiction—to be artists in this gen-
eration is to be diseased by the very force that makes them artists in the
fi rst place. They are torn between creativity and neurosis, both of which
are the hallmarks of their time. Work, which had been the simple prov-
ince of the peasants, the thing that kept them sane, is now transmuted to
monomaniacal labor, most notably writing, which is no longer salutary
but dangerous. Most remarkably, the last line of the novel, uttered by San-
doz, whose previous diatribe against work sits
creativity. Hence, speak-
ers and writers constantly draw upon an available repertoire of expressive
resources that they integrate and shape according to their communicative
and interactive affordances. All these aspects have to be processed cogni-
tively, and if one wishes to develop a theory of language that is cognitively
realistic, then he or she must account for this complexity of linguistic struc-
ture. This is a profound theoretical and methodological issue, and for support
I shall return to a classic work on semantics written by Stephen Ullmann:
To take a
sions of analytic technique, and outlined a normal narcissism that was the
wellspring of human ambition and creativity, values and ideals, empathy
and fellow feeling. He burst onto the cultural scene in the 1970s brandish-
ing an appealingly normalized narcissism that, in the estimation of social
critics, was symptomatic of the nation’s precipitous decline. To them, both
Kohut, whom they cast as the analyst of abundance and plentitude, and
the fi gure of this new narcissist—greedy, solipsistic, entitled, grandiose—
were echt American.
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