The Opposite House: But We Never Go In That Room!

The Opposite House: But We Never Go In That Room!

Play congenial hosts to your psychoanalytical ‘opposites’

‘There’s been a Death, in the Opposite House, / As lately as Today— / I know it, by the numb look / Such Houses have—alway—’ – Emily Dickinson

Partisan thinking: I’m not this, I’m that. We can easily survey how the media accentuates these polarities. But what if we interrogated the fence that’s crafted between groups, and peered over it? What if it’s not a fence at all but a robust and multi-dimensional structure, like a house? Or what would happen if we crossed the room at a party to a group of people we didn’t know? Would the light fixtures, the temperature be different on that side? What if we sat at a different seat for our daily meal than the usual spot? Let’s consider that the opposite house may not be the disheveled one at the end of your row, but rather the illuminated one you’re standing in? This course will forge a floor plan to guide you around the house of opposites by drawing on key psychoanalytical ideas from practitioners such as Sigmund Freud, Sabina Spielrein, Carl Gustav Jung and Wilhelm Stekel. Building on this framework, and reflecting on these concepts, we’ll visit poets that play congenial hosts to ‘opposites’ such as Anne Carson, Paul Celan, Matthew Dickman, Leontia Flynn, D.H. Lawrence, Danilo Kiš, Safiya Sinclair and W. B. Yeats. By knocking on these doors and not running away, we’ll develop poems and writing that is nuanced and mutable.

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. Live chats on Thursdays, 7-9pm GMT, first live chat starting 24 May (NOT Wednesdays, 23 May as previously listed)

More information about how all our online courses work can be found on the Online Courses page.

(Image credit: ‘Andrew Stawarz’)

About Sarah Byrne View Profile

Sarah Byrne is a writer and editor based in Co. Cork, Ireland. Sarah’s poetry has appeared in Poetry Ireland Review, The Irish Examiner, Prelude and in various anthologies. She has received awards for her work from the Cork County Council, the Cork City Council and The Arts Council of Ireland. As editor of the poetry journal, The Well Review, Sarah has published work by John Burnside, Anne Carson, Ishion Hutchinson, Nick Laird, Sinéad Morrissey and many more. Her original background is in criminology and psychology, and she worked in a wide variety of settings, including psychiatric hospitals and prisons. She has edited poetry manuscripts and academic papers since 2013. Sarah was educated at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford. She is particularly passionate about cognitive science, photography and hip-hop music, and the relationships these disciplines have with contemporary poetry.

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