The Beast in the Nursery
This book is a dazzling look at childhood curiosity and appetite - what inspires it, what kills it, and how it may be sustained.
Growing up is a process of disillusionment, during which we shed the vitality of childhood - or so conventional wisdom has it. In The Beast in the Nursery , Adam Phillips shows why we are so keen to accept this reassuringly disappointing myth. He questions whether our first appetites can survive the acquisition of language, the donning of custom, the onset of education - all the ways we learn that the world is not simply what we want it to be. He offers a portrait of the conflict in all of us between the child and the realist, between the dreamer and the scientist, between the beast and the nursery. For Adam Phillips, our lives are livable only insofar as we do not lose what inspires us, but learn how to transform it into guiding knowledge.