Houdini's Box: The Art of Escape

Author(s) : Adam Phillips

Houdini's Box: The Art of Escape

Book Details

  • Publisher : Faber & Faber
  • Published : January 2001
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 12514
  • ISBN 13 : 9780571206650
  • ISBN 10 : 0571206654

Also by Adam Phillips

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This explores the lives of four different escape artists: a little girl playing her own wayward version of hide and seek; Harry Houdini who electrifies the world through a series of escapes; a man always in flight from women; and Emily Dickinson who spends her life in solitary confinement.

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why are we all so spellbound by ideas of escape - and yet so dismissive of mere escapism?

'Houdini's Box' explores four different escape artists. There is the case history of a little girl who is oddly committed to playing her own wayward version of hide and seek. There is Harry Houdini, who electrifies his public through a series of death-defying escapes, compulsively re-inventing and re-enacting his own confinement. There is a man who, Jonah-like, is always arriving at the place he was escaping from, who thinks it is his destiny to be in flight, whether from women, or his analyst. And finally, there is the poet Emily Dickinson, who for the last twenty years of her life finds freedom in self-imposed solitary confinement.

In his most captivating book to date, Adam Phillips reminds us why people often feel most alive in the very moment of escape, and why we cannot describe ourselves without also describing what we need to escape from, and what we want to escape to.

About the Author(s)

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English Department at the University of York. He is the author of several well-known volumes, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane, Side Effects and recently On Kindness, co-written with historian Barbara Taylor, On Balance, Missing Out and One Way and Another.

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