What makes a good listener? There are a number of commonsensical ideas about what constitutes doing it well ? patience, tolerance, availability, responsiveness, lack of moral judgement ? but is it really so simple? Is it a skill one can easily learn or more of a quirk or talent? And why do some people seem to be so much better at it than others?
Written by a psychoanalyst and a violin maker, Uneasy Listening is a dialogue between two very different kinds of professional listener: the former working with speech, the latter with musical instruments. Beginning as total strangers, Anouchka Grose and Robert Brewer Young embark on an engaging, entertaining, and winding meditation on communication that weaves together wide-ranging references from across psychoanalytic theory, philosophy, contemporary politics and culture. As they discuss the differences, similarities, and resonances between their practices, they run up against some of the illuminating difficulties of dialogue itself. The result is a kind of awkward duet in which two thinkers and practitioners accommodate, interrupt, and perplex each other in an attempt to say something about what listening means.
Anouchka Grose is a psychoanalyst and writer practicing in London. She is the author of two novels and six non-fiction books. Grose?s writing has been published in Granta and The Guardian, amongst others. She frequently gives talks at museums and galleries, as well as speaking on the radio.
Robert Brewer Young trained as a luthier in the artists? studios of Carnegie Hall in New York. He has cared for scores of instruments by Stradivari, Guarneri, and other classical Italian masters. He is devoted to making signature instruments in the spirit of these Cremonese visionaries and to the museum level conservation of their original masterworks. He is on the faculty of the European Graduate School in Switzerland as a lecturer in philosophy and heads the Scientific Research Department at J&A Beare, London.