Slow Fuse of the Possible is a poet’s narrative of a troubled psychoanalysis. It is also a commanding meditation on the powers of language, for good and for ill.
From the beginning of their time together, it is clear that the enigmatic analyst and Daniels are not a good match, yet both are determined to continue their work—the former in nearly complete silence, and the latter as best she can with the tools at her disposal: careful attention to language, deep reading, and literary imagination. Throughout, the story is filtered through the mind of Emily Dickinson, whose poetry Daniels uses as a fulcrum for the interpretation of her own experience. The book is saturated with Dickinson’s verse, and Dickinson is an increasingly haunting presence as crises emerge and the author unravels.
This compelling lyric memoir, so richly steeped in all facets of language and the literary, allows readers a glimpse into the mind of a renowned poet, revealing the dazzling and anguished connections between poetry and psychoanalysis.