R. D. Laing: The Divided Self

(1936 words)
  • Daniel Burston (Duquesne University )
  • Gavin Miller (University of Glasgow)

R.D. Laing's first book, The Divided Self, was published in 1960. At the time of its publication, Laing was in his early thirties, and had just completed his psychoanalytic training. Initial sales were disappointing – only 1,600 copies in hardback. But by 1989, the year of his death, The Divided Self had sold 700,000 copies in the United Kingdom alone, and had been translated into more than thirty languages. As its enormous popularity indicates, The Divided Self was not merely a book for specialists. On the contrary, Laing's purpose in writing The Divided Self was to make the process of going mad intelligible to ordinary people. From the outset, Laing is quite critical of Freud's metapsychology, …

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Burston, Daniel, Gavin Miller. "The Divided Self". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 August 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16844, accessed 26 September 2016.]