What I mean by banality here, in contrast to reality, is not that something is not clever, but that it is unreal. If I read an article in the New York Times about the Viet Nam situation, it is so banal to me. Of course it is a matter of political opinions – simply because it’s unreal, because it deals with fictions. (…) Similarly, the way people talk about their personal lives is banal, because they usually talk about unreal things: My husband did this or did that, or he got a promotion or he didn’t get a promotion, and I should have called my boy friend or I shouldn’t… This is all banal because it doesn’t touch upon anything real, it touches only upon rationalizations. ― (1991c [1964] Factors Leading to Patient’s Change in Analytic Treatment, in: E. Fromm, The Art of Listening, New York (The Continuum Publishing Corporation) 1994, pp. 36-7.)