Saturday, February 8, 2014

pathetic fallacy

Pathetic fallacy has been around for some time in literary theory. The term mainly notes the  attribution of human emotion to nature. In the auto-erotic stage I have noted that phantasy, as the production of images from one's own subjectivity to bring up to the "mind's eye" stands in contrast to the mnemic traces that are refound in the external world.

Freud marked this operation as central for the production of art, but since the artist is in rivalry with the world by creating his own world in phantasy the pathetic fallacy almost appears as a reversal in which the artist forces nature to express his or her feeling.

I call this a reversal because lately I've dealt with a few patients with "affective seasonal disorder," and in one patient in particular, I was surprised at the description of her "winter hibernation" and how closely it expressed a relation to the world/earth. It has me thinking about the altruistic superego and the imperative that one can't enjoy self-assertion and sexuality, and into very early stages, neither can one tolerate energy and life without the sense that it is unseemly and disloyal. The work of Michael Eigen has again been an inspiration here, as has been Leon Wurmser's.

The myth of Persephone, in which she must spend winter in the underworld, may be indicating this very simple point but, without science to offer an answer about basic questions, cause and effect are reversed.        

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