R.D. Laing 's new book marks a fascinating departure—in form and content—from his previous works. Knots is unlike any other book, consisting of a series of powerful, provocative, unexpected dialogue-scenarios that can be read as poems or brief plays, each complete in itself. Each chapter explores a different sens of relationship—the " knots " of the title—bonds of love, dependency, uncertainty, jealousy. The dialogues could be those between lovers, between parents and sibling, between analysts and patients—or all of these merged together. Each brilliantly demonstrates Laing 's marvelous insights into the intricacies of human relationships, displaying his talents not only as an analyst but as a writer and laywright.
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Published April 12th 1972 by Vintage (first published 1970

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" Knots " is a guid to the patterns that play out in relationships between people.

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Each poem describes a different sort of friendshi, indicating the knots people will tie themselves into through preconception or misunderstanding.

Ofte the relationship is obvious, but in other poems it becomes apparent through the dialogue.In his introduction Laing comments, " They are all, perhaps, strangely, familiar. " The patterns of language he uses are simplistic and common.

Tha uniqu nove is unique in that it is such an accessible book of essay, yet it reveals many of the ways Laing believed ordinary people tie themselves in knots.

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And by failing and failing, again and the, to undo the Knots mean folks keep tying up again- and getting up again from the dust of our defeated rebooting each time, knowing there IS th way through it all- we WILL succeed.And we WILL g to the End- which is our Beginning.It ’ s neve pleasant.

But once we ’ ve heard that Call- and lear that we ’ re saved by Hope- we ’ ll gain the humility to continue.When I was young, the Knots overwhelmed me.

And somehow my faith and hope endured.And if you ’ ve already seen how Weakness Loosens Knots, you will when the crunch comes.

But whole cities have fallen to the weakness of a good soul, as they fell like dominoes to little King David.If you take it humbly and try to muddle through, you mus see the Light of Morning- as long as you have ope, and Love.Back in 1971, on New Year ’ s social occasion, I chatted with a couple of medical interns about RD Laing ’ s books.

I rather sophomorically dissected The Politics of Experience as a variant on the Quest Archetype.They may have been impressed that a liberal arts dabbler and then-English Major was reading abstruse psychological books like Laing ’ s, I don ’ t know.But I do feel that Laing, in his all-to-brief life, was a bit like hopeful little me ...

So relax and just continue doing the right thing.What knots we don ’ t untie God WILL.And He ’ ll make us all NEW again because of it.ALL the time, without fail.

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© Nicole Waggonner