ALAN C. ELMS In 1978 I began to…
ALAN C. ELMS
In 1978 I began to pursue the question of whether Paul Linebarger, aka Cordwainer Smith, had been the patient in “The Jet-Propelled Couch,” a psychoanalytic case history written by Robert Lindner. Over the past quarter-century I’ve accumulated more information and ideas on that question than I can fully present here. Instead I’ll use the format of a FAQ – a list of “frequently asked questions” and fairly brief answers.
1.) Why are you doing this?
a) As a follow-up to one of the most famous case histories ever published. Robert Lindner’s book, The Fifty-Minute Hour, has sold several million copies since its first publication in 1955 and has remained almost constantly in print. The book’s most fascinating case, “The Jet-Propelled Couch,” has been reprinted in magazines and anthologies, has been dramatized on live TV, has repeatedly been optioned for a feature-length film, and even provided the basis for a Stephen Sondheim musical that (like all those potential film versions) was never completed.