22 OCTOBER 1937, Page 34


In this book (Chatto and Windus, 7s. 6d.) the author continues the experi- ments in self-examination which she began in A Life of One's Own. The aim of her investigations is to be able to call her life her own, in the sense that she believes that by knowing more about the workings of her subconscious she can gain more control over her mind ; she finds, for example, that by tracing to their source various obscure and apparently . disconnected images which haunted her disturbingly, and by revealing their interrelations to herself, she found herself no longer worried by them. Her book makes no very original contributions to psycho-analysis, for she works along lines already well defined, and the discoveries which she makes about herself are not par- ticularly unusual. But she writes lucidly, she has an exceptionally high gift for recollecting the significant details of her experience, and it is interesting to observe someone indefatigably, and for her own purposes most usefully, putting into practice methods of self- analysis which might with profit be more generally applied. She weaves together quotations from her diaries, experiments in association of ideas, and passages in which apparently discon- nected images of fear or desire are correlated, until she has built for herself a tolerably comprehensive notion of how her subconscious mind works.