Adam Phillips is a Welsh psychoanalyst and essayist. I have never read anything by him, and until today had never heard of him. Yet this extended interview with him in The Paris Review makes me want to read his books.
It ends as follows:
Often one hears or reads accounts in which people will say, Well,
he may have treated his children, wives, friends terribly, but look at
the novels, the poems, the paintings. I think it’s a terrible equation.
Obviously one can’t choose to be, as it were, a good parent or a good
artist, but if the art legitimates cruelty, I think the art is not worth
having. People should be doing everything they can to be as kind as
possible and to enjoy each other’s company. Any art, any anything, that
helps us do that is worth having. But if it doesn’t, it isn’t.