Colette Chiland

Be Quite My Painfull Publication date : October 26, 2007

Since the Holocaust — and the other cataclysms that followed or immediately preceded it — our understanding of the human condition has been enduringly shaken by the emergence of Absolute Evil. We have had to face, and live with, the idea that the human and inhuman coexist in mankind.

How can we endure belonging to such a destructive species? How can we live in a world that does not respect humanity?

Colette Chiland plunges into the abysses of evil and into the horrors of history: the Holocaust, slavery, Soviet totalitarianism, genocide (Armenia, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda), war and torture. Based on the writings of concentration-camp inmates, and on the analyses of experts, Chiland proposes a profound reflection that echoes the horror we all feel when we delve into the history of mankind and confront the fundamental question: What is the life force that allows us to continue, in spite of everything, and to keep faith in what is human?

Chiland, an expert in psychology, refuses to accept the idea that is inconceivable to so many of us that Evil is human. Using the tools of psychoanalysis and culture, she offers a deep, accessible reflection on a painful yet indispensable subject.

Colette Chiland, a physician, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and philosopher, taught clinical psychology at the Sorbonne and at the University René-Descartes, in Paris. She is the author of Changer de sexe, 1997 (Exploring Transsexualism).