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Lecture on Huxley contra Freud 4/1/13; ACLA Paper on Guattari

On April 1st of this year at 11:30 I will be giving a talk on my paper concerning Huxley and Freud. For those of you in the area, it’d be great to see you at Emory. For those of you outside of that area, I’ll try to see if we can get a recording of the event. Joe that could be something you can handle :). This lecture is a PSP luncheon meeting, and it finishes out my requirements for the PSP certificate (psychoanalytical studies).

Also, on April 8th at Toronto for the ACLA I will be giving a paper on Guattari and components of passage. I am already contemplating reflecting on Huxley or Proust for Guattari’s examples. Brave New World would have everything one would need to trace most of the transformations of the schizoanalytic fields Guattari envisions in Machinic Unconscious.

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To Read or Love as She Pleased: Dream-Reading ‘Dora’ through Dora’s Reading-Dream

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They do it in fear and trembling, with an uneasy look over their shoulder to see if some one may not be coming.—Freud, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, Touchstone: New York, 1997, p. 92.

How are we to approach the singular genre of the case history that Freud develops early on in his psychoanalytic and writing career? This genre is all the more striking in his first case history Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria precisely because it remains in fragmentary form for several reasons. Although the text is divided into five parts—which might spark in the literary critic the desire to see the structure of a Shakespearean play—the plot and subplot of the work is not necessarily easy to locate, for the action seems to encroach on the divisions and overflow on all sides. Perhaps this is another consequence of the fragmentary nature of this first case history or an indication that Freud has not mastered the genre with his first attempt, but it is necessary to remember that there is a multiplicity of narratives at play simultaneously throughout the work whose compositeness requires careful analysis before suggesting any unproblematic theoretical wholeness or unity.  But it is also the fragmentary status of Dora’s desire indicated by the fragments of her memory that sustains and also complicates the narration of this case history.

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Politics

‘The Mother or Her Substitute’: Sexuality and Self-preservation in Huxley’s ‘Anti-world’

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Paulo Auladell

–Our Ford—or Our Freud, as, for some inscrutable reason, he chose to call himself whenever he spoke of psychological matters—Our Freud has been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life. The world was full of fathers—was therefore full of misery; full of mothers—therefore of every kind of perversion from sadism to chastity; full of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts—full of madness and suicide (Huxley, p. 39).

For all of its fictional recasting of famous names, perhaps Huxley’s Brave New World is a utopia that should be considered as a text of counter-intertextuality insofar as it constitutes a responsive or counter-insurgent textuality. With all the names that circulate, like Trotsky, Ford, Lenin(a) and Marx who are scattered on almost every page of the text, Huxley makes it difficult to disavow the fact that he is wanting to call attention to this re-contextualization. Yet it is particularly striking that Freud’s name only shows up in one passage in his novel—ironically at that—precisely in the form of a Freudian slip[1]. Nevertheless, this single instance of naming should not be taken as a sign that Freud’s influence is not readily apparent. On the contrary, an understanding of Freud’s work—mainly his Civilization and Its Discontents published two years prior—is essential for grasping the genetic inspiration behind the crafting of the themes of Huxley’s novel. Instead, what should be focused on is the very fact that Huxley chooses to refer to Freud ironically through the very medium with which his name has become eponymous: the slip. Investigating the importance of this humorous reference to Freud will help to shed some light on what is at stake in Huxley’s narrative.

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coding, Deleuze and Guattari, dream, freud, joyce, production, psychoanalysis, unconscious, writing

Dream

 

appiadominique-legniedelalibert-coc

 

“When I’m dreaming back like that I begins to see we’re only all telescopes.”

Joyce, Finnegans Wake

 

 

Dream-analysis does not necessitate an affirmation of the existence of universal structures of expression; it need not amount to the tiresome interpretation of the same hidden message over and over again, wherein the forms of thinking and speaking and finally reality itself are rendered identical, cruelly reduced to a single and all-encompassing formula. It suffices to mention that the good doctor Freud would have us believe the dream-work is essentially uncreative, that it amounts in the end to an organic process of coding, one of unsteady translation between the sleeping consciousness and the passive unconscious, producing a kind of dense hieroglyphic writing which must then be interpreted through an analytic exchange. 

The dream understood as writing (even schizowriting) becomes poisoned; the dream taken as representation leaves us only with a kind of mindless condensation and confusion of many distinct memories. Even so, the messages are too free; Freud always seems to lose sight here, missing the material process of decoding unfolding before his eyes. We miss the dream-work entirely, we find only translation instead of production. Freud is neither the last nor first scientist to seek relentlessly to crush singularity in favor the universal — a strange moment where it seems reason itself has gone mad, engaging itself in an infinite and searching analysis “beneath” for some powerful and profoundly-hidden writing. It is this desire for some universal “meaning” disseminating itself through the dream in a distorted form which necessitates the uncreativity, the non-productive character Freud ascribes of the dreamwork. And thus the dream has already frozen, and becomes a little analysis in itself.

The interminability of the analysis corresponds precisely with this frozen process, this hideous arresting of the infinite circulation of the dream. It is only possible to open psychoanalysis to the outside by arresting its own process of continuous interpretation: “No longer are there acts to explain, dreams or phantasies to interpret, childhood memories to recall, words to make signify; there are colors and sounds, becomings and intensities… There is no longer a Self that feels, acts and recalls; there is a ‘glowing fog, a dark yellow mist’ that has affects and experiences movements, speeds.” (ATP 180) It is clear enough a non-productive unconscious could not produce a cure; such an unconscious could only accept one imposed from without, a cure intended to code and crush desire — to normalize our unconscious, not to assist its process of production. 

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