Sobering tales: narratives of alcoholism and recovery - download pdf or read online

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By Edmund B. O'Reilly

ISBN-10: 1558490647

ISBN-13: 9781558490642

This examines the narratives of restoration, either oral and literary, surrounding the examine and therapy of alcoholism. It attracts upon more than a few disciplines from literary feedback and folklore, to psychoanalytic thought with an account of the narrative remedy of Alcoholic nameless founder, invoice W.

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Additional info for Sobering tales: narratives of alcoholism and recovery

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As things get worse the alcoholic is likely to become a solitary drinker and to exhibit the whole spectrum of response to challenge. His wife and friends begin to suggest that his drinking is a weakness and he may respond, with symmetry, both by resenting them and by asserting his Page 22 strength to resist the bottle. But, as is characteristic of the symmetrical responses, a brief period of successful struggle weakens his motivation and he falls off the wagon. Symmetrical effort requires continual opposition from the opponent.

Frank Kermode, The Sense of an Ending Page vii CONTENTS Preface ix Introduction 1 Sobering Tales 1 Background and Methods, Confessions and Claims 5 Part One. Alcoholism: A Literary Framework 1 The Ecology of The Bacchae 19 Bateson's Theory of Alcoholism: A Starting Point 19 Hitting Bottom in Thebes 29 2 Some Americana 53 Down and Out in Mannahatta 55 One-on-One with John Barleycorn 65 3 Rehabelletration 77 John Berryman 77 Frederick Exley 87 Donald Newlove 95 Part Two. AA Narratives of Recovery 4 Paradigm and Form 103 5 Intention and Reception 127 Page viii 6 Meaning and Value 149 Appendix: Five Stories 173 Notes 213 References 231 Index 241 Page ix PREFACE In the Introduction to Sobering Tales I have said something about the origins of the book, the circumstances that led to its inception and development.

But the kind of validity capable of withstanding the microanalytic scrutiny of a medical practitioner or even a social scientist is finally not much to the point here. Vaillant's notion of the disease concept of alcoholism probably has little in common with what most AA speakers would mean by the phraseú To a podium storyteller at an AA meeting, "the disease of alcoholism" is probably more a matter of symbols than symptoms, a complexly mediated imaginative field rather than a testable medical hypothesis.

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Sobering tales: narratives of alcoholism and recovery by Edmund B. O'Reilly


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