A Life of One's Own
Routledge – 2011 – 224 pages
How often do we ask ourselves, ‘What will make me happy? What do I really want from life?’ In A Life of One’s Own Marion Milner explores these questions and embarks on a seven year personal journey to discover what it is that makes her happy.
On its first publication, W. H. Auden found the book ‘as exciting as a detective story’ and, as Milner searches out clues, the reader quickly becomes involved in the chase. Using her own personal diaries, kept over many years, she analyses moments of everyday life and discovers ways of being, of looking, of moving, that bring surprising joy – ways which can be embraced by anyone.
With a new introduction by Rachel Bowlby this classic remains a great adventure in thinking and living and will be essential reading for all those interested in reflecting on the nature of their own happiness – whether readers from a literary, an artistic, a historical, an educational or a psychoanalytic/psychotherapeutic background.
"Unlike Woolf [in her book A Room of One’s Own], Milner doesn’t just tell you it would be nice to have one (of your own), or that women deserve one (of their own); it shows you, step by step, and in lovingly private detail, how to go about getting one—all by yourself, and without any need for special training or material resources—and what it might feel like to have one, moment by moment. It is an irresistible invitation." – Rachel Bowlby, from the new introduction.
Bowlby, New Introduction. Prefatory Note. Preface. First Questions. Keeping a Diary. Exploring the Hinterland. The Coming and Going of Delight. Searching for a Purpose. Searching for a Rule. Two Ways of Looking. Discovering that Thought can be Blind. Watching the Antics of Blind Thinking. The Escape from Blind Thinking. Fear of a Dragon. More Outcasts of Thought. Relaxing. Cart-Horse or Pegasus? Discovery of the ‘Other’. Retrospect. Epilogue.
Marion Milner (1900-1998) was a distinguished British psychoanalyst, educationalist, autobiographer and artist.