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Marathon is a 16 hour Encounter or half-Weekend with Intimate Strangers (p. 301) which Dr. Shepard who appears here as M. conducted in his sandals. . . this type of hang-loose session deriving from earlier Joyful experiences and constituting, he claims, an ""essential second half of therapy."" The people he assembled were ""cocktail party"" acquaintances and Marjorie Lee presided over the Ampex. ""I feel more comfortable when you smile and I would like to take the beard off. . . "" says a fairly non-aggressive German-Jewish woman in her forties. Before they're through they take everything off even though two people prefer not to peel. All of the time they're verbalizing (""Sometimes I really dig my body yet it's a source of great concern"") and they subjectify what distresses them most, or embarrasses them, or makes them feel lonely, or, or, or. ""How would you have reacted in a similar circumstance."" Well, hostile if you don't really ""dig rapping with people"" but then you're probably a prim type who likes to sublimate the subliminal. Let's just say that ""on the whole everyone's been beautiful"" and certainly more intimate and interesting than in the Mann seance above.

Pub Date: May 8th, 1970
Publisher: Putnam