A couple of months ago, I got an email from my oldest friend (or rather, the friend I've known longest - since grammar school days). He questioned what I'd got out of the course. Not that he was being sceptical, just quizzical.
He wrote: 'You've been immersed in it for two years, so do you shake yourself and move on, or find some of it has stuck?' In particular, he asked me about Freud: 'What you think about the old boy now?'
Obviously, I'd already had similar thoughts but his email went on to pose more questions with his usual acute directness. I always intended to have a go at answering them but I . . . wanted to get my dissertation out of the way first. Well, writing about my dissertation.
Now it's time to go back and come up with some answers - a kind of personal audit of the course.
So what I'm going to do is pose a series of questions from myself (and my ancient friend) and have a go at answering them, one per blog. Perhaps the actual questions will change as I go along but this is the kind of thing I'll be asking myself . . .
* Why did you do the course in the first place? Or rather, how do you now view what you said about your reasons at the time?
* Did you get out of it what you hoped to get out of it? Did your original wishes still add up in the light of how it panned out? In particular, in the light of the fact that the course was, after all, about the darkness and obliqueness of human desires - and the limits of self-knowledge.
* What did you learn about yourself (and others)? From the actual material of the course? From the doing of a course?
* So, Freud: what do I now think about the old boy? Do his thoughts and writings still have anything to offer? Or is it just a load of old Viennese whirl?
* And Lacan? What did I find when I looked in his mirror? And at the picture he kept in a cupboard.
* Will I now become a therapist? A lot of people ask me that one. Even more assume it as a fact.
* What did I really like about it? What didn't I like? Best memories? Worst memories? Etc etc?
A little time-wasting fun?
How about a little men's fashionwear? Or perhaps some guitar music?
Next up That first final question: why did I do it in the first place and was I being honest with myself?