John Le Carré through a psychological lens

John Le Carré has died, aged 89. He was around for so long, and so productive with it, I had the sense he could go on forever.

Many pieces have appeared extolling his brilliance as a writer (e.g. this, and John Banville here). I only recently really started reading him seriously: I’ll focus a little here on some psychological insights apparent to me from his writing, rather than doing the literary critic thing.

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His memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel, is superb and enlightening, summarising themes of family appearing in some of his novels; he had a disastrous and unresolved relationship with both of his parents, and this fractured set of relationships is reflected through much of his writing. His characters often seem on a quest to belong, to be attached, to be in a relationship, to affiliate: but they make the mistake of trying to find belonging and affiliation in impersonal institutions – which discard them with impunity when they are no longer needed.

Get the rest here…

Author: Shane O'Mara

Neuroscientist, Psychologist, Writer

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