Paul Attinello: What is Your Relationship with Death and Mortality?


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Some of us try our best never to think about death, while some of us “live in death’s basement”. Composer, academic and psychoanalyst Paul Attinello lived through the suffering and loss of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. After testing positive for HIV, he built a creative and achievement-filled life, over which death nevertheless always loomed.

Then, the advent of lifesaving medications changed everything. Paul had to define a whole new relationship with mortality, as well as experiencing a profound sense of loss for what life might have been like without the spectre of HIV.

In this episode, Andrew and Paul discuss music, psychoanalysis, and the different ways humans live with the knowledge of their own mortality.

Paul Attinello is an academic and psychoanalyst based in Newcastle University’s International Centre for Music Studies. He also taught at the University of Hong Kong and UCLA, living and working on four continents in the past three decades.

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Find out more about Paul Attinello's work and writing here

Take a look at Paul Attinello’s research work

Watch Psychosocial Wednesdays, a YouTube channel hosted by Paul Attinello and his colleagues. It offers weekly salons on Jungian ideas and other aspects of psychoanalysis.

Read Andrew’s memoir on grieving the loss of his partner, My Mourning Year

Get Andrew’s advice on creating real change in your life and relationships in his book Wake Up and Change Your Life: How to Survive a Crisis and Be Stronger, Wiser and Happier:

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