Two Against Freud: Pinsky’s “Essay on Psychiatrists” in a Philosophical Context

Brian Glaser, Chapman University

This article was originally published in American Imago, volume 71, issue 4, in 2014.

Glaser, Brian. Two Against Freud:
Pinsky’s “Essay on Psychiatrists” in a Philosophical Context. American Imago 71.4 Winter 2014.


This article offers a reading of Robert Pinsky’s “Essay on Psychiatrists” in the context of a contemporary theoretical work by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus. I do not use the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari to make interpretive comments about poetry, to identify or articulate meanings. Rather I read Pinsky’s poem in the context of the philosophy, noting points of agreement between the two texts, areas where the poetry works as a supplement to the insights of the philosophy, places where the poetry offers grounds for criticisms of the philosophy and times where there might be irreconcilable differences in the two forms of critical response. Part of my intention in taking this approach to Pinsky, Deleuze and Guattari is to show, at a time when Freud’s worth is often strenuously doubted and his work more comfortably disparaged than at any time since its creation, the value of Freud as a cultural interlocutor.