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  • Arts & Culture
  • Issue 44

On Losers

A fresh perspective on failure.
Words by Nathan Ma. Photograph by Xiaopeng Yuan.

Though often unsatisfying, losing is as much a part of our lives as its more coveted counterparts: winning, gaining and improving. As we age, we lose our youth; as we gain experience, we lose our naivete. In many ways, life is an accumulation of these losses.

Alongside these existential losses are more dreary failures: Loved ones pass, job offers fall through, relationships falter. One way of processing setbacks is to treat them as a springboard to a brighter future. But in his 2021 book Losers, Josh Cohen argues against this search for silver linings and toward a new outlook on losing. As a psychoanalyst, Cohen sits with his clients as they come to terms with their losses and failures. It’s a necessary intervention: Only through

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Four

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