notes to self about the movie Exotica
narcissistic love in exotica - two ways of loving. lots of ancillary loves. love of protection, you think this is normal what we do? says the precocious movie child. dad wonders, what do we do? the girl says, that’s just it we don’t speak about it. the dad says back, you knwo that feeling sometimes tracy, ‘you didn’t ask to be brought into the world’ if you think you didn’t ask to be brought into the world then who did?
1:31 pm • 11 June 2013
reasons to go on being by Freud, Ferenczi, and Adam Phillips
Freud appears to have been undecided whether or not homosexuality was pathological, expressing different views on this issue at different times and places in his work. Freud frequently called homosexuality an “inversion”, something which in his view was distinct from the necessarily pathological perversions, and suggested that several distinct kinds might exist, cautioning that his conclusions about it were based on a small and not necessarily representative sample of patients.
Freud, however, experiences his younger colleague’s ideal of honesty as a more complicated appeal than it in fact was. Characteristically, Freud picked up the demand in Ferenczi’s often expressed wish for openness and honesty. ‘Just think what it would mean,’ Ferenczi wrote to Freud in 1910, ‘if ONE COULD TELL EVERYONE THE TRUTH, one’s father, teacher, neighbour, and even the king. All fabricated, imposed authority would go to the devil – what is rightful would remain natural.’ Ferenczi understood like nobody else, even Freud perhaps, the revolutionary potential of psychoanalysis. He knew that people speaking differently to each other changes the world (it is noticeable, though, that the people he wants to speak the truth to, in so far as they are explicitly gendered, are men). Ferenczi doesn’t, however, tell us quite why or how being able to tell everyone the truth – whatever one conceives that to be – would destroy those forms of oppressive authority. But in his reply to this letter of Ferenczi’s it is as though Freud has heard this as a wish, which it must also have been, for freer talk between the two of them: Freud was certainly, as Ferenczi was quick to tell him, father, teacher and king to him. ‘I feel myself to be a match for anything,’ Freud replies cannily, ‘and approve of the overcoming of my homosexuality, with the result being greater independence.’ For Freud freedom was, at least explicitly, in the overcoming, the silencing of his homosexual self: for Ferenczi independence would be in its free expression. Freud sensed, I think, that Ferenczi’s fantasy of honesty, of people saying anything and everything to each other, was also a fantasy of symbiosis, of there being no differences between people – if we tell each other everything it is as though we never leave each other out. Saying whatever comes into one’s mind was something Freud believed one should do in analysis; Ferenczi wanted the psychoanalytic relationship to be the paradigm for social relations. But it would have to be a version of psychoanalysis in which the analyst could tell the patient whatever was on his mind as well. Mutual interpretation and mutual free-association. No kings.
What was homosexuality for Freud, we are obliged to wonder now, if he needed to ‘overcome’ it to sustain his independence? It often seems as though Freud experiences Ferenczi, in these letters, as both the son trying to seduce the father, and as the son trying to turn the father into a mother. Unsubtly, Ferenczi refers in a letter to Jung’s wife talking of Freud’s ‘antipathy toward giving completely of yourself as a friend’. Was Freud anxious about intimacy, as Ferenczi often implies in this correspondence, or was it that Ferenczi couldn’t tolerate the differences between them; differences of generation and temperament, different ways of loving? Difference or defensiveness, of course, has always been a dilemma that psychoanalysis has been unable to deal with. Is the patient different from the analyst’s description of him, or merely resistant to the analyst’s interpretation, and who is in a position to decide? If one way of talking about these perplexing issues, albeit guardedly, was to theorise about homosexuality, the other, significantly less contentious way, was to talk about the women in their lives. Or rather, for the younger men to talk to Freud about the women in their lives. Mrs Freud was another of Freud’s secrets.
Despite Freud’s commitment, in theory, to bisexuality – love, hate and rivalry with both parents – it was more or less assumed in psychoanalysis (and still is in some quarters) that if all goes well heterosexuality wins the day. For example, in psychoanalytic theory love for the parent of the opposite sex is referred to as the positive Oedipus complex and love for the parent of the same sex is called the negative Oedipus complex. It is, in other words, quite clear what we are supposed to be doing. But, of course, as Ferenczi intimates in the letters and his ‘scientific’ papers, heterosexuality is, among other things, a form of self-hatred; after all, what is so distasteful about one’s own sex that one has, so exclusively, to desire the opposite one? The interesting link that psychoanalysis had constructed between paranoia and homosexuality revealed something even more disquieting which Freud and Ferenczi could never quite formulate: that in psychoanalysis, at least, heterosexuality was a form of redemption from a profound, perhaps constitutive self-fear. In theory psychoanalysis promoted the value, indeed the necessity, of love for both sexes. Unlike Freud, Ferenczi wanted to try and live out – or ‘act out’, as psychoanalysts would say disparagingly – the consequences of psychoanalytic theory; and in part, with Freud himself. Or, as the editor says in his sensible Introduction, Ferenczi ‘made little clear or defensive distinction between his professional life and his private life’. The unconscious does not have a professional life. Except, that is, in psychoanalysis.
8:04 pm • 10 June 2013 • 1 note
Kristin Hersh in 1987 at Wesleyan, wonder if this is still her bloated Lithium period, a time during which it was hard to play guitar she says.
10:00 am • 7 June 2013
Throwing Muses at Wesleyan, 1987.
Sing me to sleep Sing to me My sad brother My sunny lover How hard do you come Or do you I’m so hazy You talking crazy Just puts me to sleep Sing to me Put me to sleep Sing to me Sing me to sleep
Tango, from Limbo, 1996.
4:01 pm • 5 June 2013 • 2 notes
“Great and Mighty” artist of the day: Joseph Yoakum. Born in 1890 in rural Missouri, Yoakum served in World War I and worked on the railroads and as a coal miner. In the 1960s, he began creating imagined landscapes with swirling geological forms that seem about to spring to life. For more on the artists in the exhibition “Great and Mighty Things,” visit http://bit.ly/YzG3eO
“Schwaner Mtn Range. Borneo, Isl, Indonesia,” date unknown bit.ly/10nOGz5
maps from memory
to me it is images like this that make me say no, it is not backpedalling to discover the past. makes me say fuck art, there’s only dreams wishes desires and history, so like why did anyone ever utter ‘art’ to begin wtih…
10:01 am • 5 June 2013 • 32 notes
sheryl likes to bike
one of the things I like to do while I ride my bike is sing sheryl, especially when the going gets tuff.
10:01 am • 4 June 2013 • 3 notes