Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The hermaphrodite family is a happy family


"We begin by desiring (and wanting to murder) the parents; registering the horror, not to mention the impossibility of this project, we more or less relinquish it. We renounce our first desires and wait; and eventually, if all goes well, we will as adults find people who are sufficiently reminiscent of the parents to be exciting, but sufficiently different so we can consummate our desire. We want something; we realise the dangerous error of our ways; and we find the substitutes that can satisfy us. We can, in a sense, have what we want because it isn't what we really want, which we could never have anyway.

But then there is the parallel text to this story [in which] our desire is ineluctably, undistractedly, transgressive; in this life we are driven to always approach and avoid the objects of desire, and what makes us feel most alive makes us feel we are risking our lives.....In this life uncanniness is way in excess of our canniness; our actions feel at once inevitable and unintelligible (and so as shorthand we say we are in love, or we are tragic heroes, or we have made a Freudian slip).

We do not know what we are doing, and yet we feel ineluctably involved in our lives. Where once there were security operations, now there is risk; where once safety was the be-all and end-all, now fear is preferred. A sense of aliveness displaces a sense of certainty as a paramount consideration. Surprise and dread are the order, of the day. In our transgressive life it is as though there is; something - or someone - we seem to value more than our lives, more than life itself."

From Equals, Adam Phillips (2002:112)


Debra Kay said...

Wanting is better than having. (Mr. Spock in the 1960's). The what we want is what makes us unique (but not really). (Debra Kay 2008)

the therapist said...

Have you nothing to say about tody's news, Prozac? I was rather
hoping for the definitive take on the matter.

As ever.

Prozacville said...

Yes. Woke up to the news that anti-depressants are as much placebo as a pithy comment on a blog (Kay does good comment, you know, I rate her).

But still wading through the mind-mulch gathered in notepads and the back of envelopes. Much of it not being particularly hooked into current affairs. But always, undeniably, about CURRENT AFFAIRS.

I shall leave 'definitive' for another time, then. The pressure of definitive is so horribly tiresome. Didn't we endeavor to do all that in our overweening 20s?

Ellis Nadler said...

What is the significance of the Corbusier sofa?

the therapist said...

Indeed, Nadler, I have been negligent and you are now doing my job for me. The sofa clearly suggests that intimacy is deeply uncomfortable. It is a only a function of existence, rather than a means of exploring it. Many thanks, Nadler, for returning me to my vocation and to Prozac, too, for this most revealing of posts.