Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Odyssey- Polyphemus and Circe + loose ends

I've noticed a problem with the analysis of the Odyssey. The proto and deutero phases have been recorded differently from the nuclear complex phase. For example, in the volar stage with Polyphemus there are two stages with the threat of being swallowed/eaten looming in both along with more specific forms of anxiety relating to being trapped (proto) and the hand (deutero). However, this is different from the wind that becomes important in the following story.

This raises some questions about the wind as representing some form of aggression/affection. 

I've mentioned the story of the Three Little Pigs where the wolf first "huffs and puffs and blows the house down" to be followed by the anxiety of being eaten.

Another parallel comes from the sphinx who as both woman and lion (father imago) could also be a symbol of the two parents together. However, what does it mean that Oedipus first kills his father before defeating the sphinx? Also, from some of my patients its clear that the house also represents the father imago alone in the possession of the volar oedipal mother and not the two parents together in the fused ego ideal... 

So, although power is transcribed from the mother to the father, so that the father becomes the devourer or the castrator, the establishment of the ego ideal also means that the father as possessor of the mother (the representation of the two imagos together) might still be retained in defusion but as just the representation of the father imago alone... 



Back in the initial analysis of the proto-anal I observed both the voice and claws as salient objects. I went against clinical experience in which it has been solely females who have brought up dreams of clawing others and who have had self-clawing in the form of cutting themselves. I guess I was thinking of wolverine and his claws, banshees and their terrible voice, and in short, I made a leap that hasn't held up. The voice is definitely important with males and in many superhero movies I've noticed that when the big monster shows up that they often use a very low bass sound. Also Zeus is aligned with thunder and in demonstrations of male power in the Mehinaku the men make 'bull-roarers' that they swing in the air and which make a sound comparable to an airplane landing. 

So, I think the voice is a masculine object and the claws are a feminine object with the standard active and passive dimensions that relate to subject egoist- object altruist and subject altruist- object egoist. Clawing the self is subject altruist and follows the parallel of the destruction of Antigone's marriage while clawing the other is object egoist and follows the parallel of Electra (Orestes) killing the married couple. 

At the volar deutero I've established the hand as the psychosexual object for the masculine but I can't remember if I've mentioned before that I've determined that the deutero object for the feminine is the eye:

"'My good ram, what is it that makes you the last to leave my cave
this morning? You are not wont to let the ewes go before you, but
lead the mob with a run whether to flowery mead or bubbling fountain,
and are the first to come home again at night; but now you lag last
of all. Is it because you know your master has lost his eye, and are
sorry because that wicked Noman and his horrid crew have got him down
in his drink and blinded him? But I will have his life yet. If you
could understand and talk, you would tell me where the wretch is hiding,
and I would dash his brains upon the ground till they flew all over
the cave. I should thus have some satisfaction for the harm a this
no-good Noman has done me.

It's clear that with psychic powers that the eye or third eye is is a symbol. Besides reading minds there is also the 'evil eye' as well as the hypnotist taking over one's mind through his piercing eyes (with a shiny object sometimes being used instead). In The Piano Ada claims the power to read minds or put thoughts in them and in Tausk's Influencing machine sometimes it is a person who is controlling one's mind instead of a thing or transitional object. There is also the phantasy of one being created by a mad scientist who represents both the phallic oedipal father in this creation (transcribed from the phallic mother) and to the extent that he also controls one's mind it would also denote the volar deutero. So, again active (object egoist) controlling minds of others (or implanting thoughts) and passive (subject altruist) and having one's mind controlled. 

The anal deutero also has a feminine object in the heart.

"When Circe saw me sitting there without eating, and in great grief,
she came to me and said, 'Ulysses, why do you sit like that as though
you were dumb, gnawing at your own heart, and refusing both meat and
drink? Is it that you are still suspicious? You ought not to be, for 
I have already sworn solemnly that I will not hurt you.

The heart being eaten is also a symbol in the story of Persephone. The red pomegranate she eats results in her having to stay in the realm of Hades and nicely ties in with the previous post on scopophilia being tied to the incorporation of death into the altruist so that she can't act for herself but must vicariously enjoy through others (as opposed to the high ego ideal of being driven to assist them). The object egoist would therefore act to make the other "eat her heart out" while the altruist loses her own heart. In some altruistic patients who have I think have had anal deutero fixations, problems in their love relationships seem to be tied to anxiety, 'broken heartedness' as feeling the anxiety in their chests, and a strong relation to their former beloved. 

The last thing I want to say in this post is that in the anal Electra complex beheading is important. Electra's mother is beheaded, the representation of the anal father having a collection of heads in several stories (Blue Beard, The Walking Dead, etc.) points to a parallel with the father as the possessor of penises who can give them out. Both were salient in The Piano and I'll have to think through how they relate to the anal deutero vs. the anal nuclear complexes now that both are seeming to overlap more.    

No comments:

Post a Comment