Saul Bellows, the financial crisis and cognitive behavioral therapy

Hanba has promised a lot in the title of this post. Let’s see if we can get all the three concepts above to converge. First of all, for anyone intending to read Saul Bellows wonderful novel ‘Seize the Day’, hanba sounds a spoiler warning.

In this novel, the main character Wilky is quite a regular everyday normal guy who wants to be successful. He trusts a wrong kind of a financial analyst, telling him to invest all his money on lard. When the price of lard goes down, the financial analyst tries to diverge the main character’s mind off of the losses through “here and now – exercises”.

The novel has a newfound actuality in the light of recent economic history. Several people, family fathers, regular guys and gals, have found themselves in a position where their investments have turned sour. Many people may give themselves mental kicks in the butt for having been so stupid! I mean, investing in “lard”? How embarassing!

And what happens now? All these people who now have become depressed due to bad financial situation, what do we offer them?  – Cognitive behavioral therapy, which may involve a therapist asking you to do here and now – exercises. Very nicely predicted, Saul!


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