October 20, 2006
Emma Morris - 2nd Freud Commentary
“But you told me yourself that your mother was engaged at seventeen and then waited two years for her husband. A daughter usually takes her mother’s love-story as her model. So you too wanted to wait for him, and you took it that he was waiting till you were grown up enough to be his wife. I imagine that this was a perfectly serious plan for the future in your eyes.” p. 99
This quotation comes at the end of the case history and subsequently the end of Dora’s treatment. Freud's analysis does not only apply Dora’s personal case study of hysteria; is also interesting that Freud fits romance, marriage and childbirth into a narrative story. Freud contends that Dora has internalized the shape of her mother’s sexual development with that of her own, and has placed herself in the same structural position as her mother. In this sense, Freud consigns a context on Dora’s linear progression of sexual identity. Although Dora longs to occupy a structural position analogous to her mother, she revolts against her mother. Finally, Freud configures Dora's case study in language of the romance genre - by fictionalizing Dora's sexual development, or rather fitting it into a fictionalized structure, he not only renders it more accessible, but renders sexual and other choices as fixed, as a kind of predestined structure.
October 13, 2006
Emma Morris Freud Commentary
“The patients’ inability to give an ordered history of their life in so far as it coincides with the history of their illness is not merely characteristic of neurosis. It also possesses great theoretical significance. For this inability has the following grounds. In the first place, patients consciously and intentionally keep back part of what they ought to tell – things that are perfectly well known to them – because they have not got over their feelings of timidity and shame (or discretion, where what they say concerns other people); this is the share taken by conscious disingenuousness.” Sigmund Freud, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria p.10
This quotation occurs toward the beginning of Freud’s exposition of Dora’s case history. Freud establishes his account of hysteria in the context of its essential failure: not only did Dora leave treatment, she also – consciously or unconsciously – omitted critical parts of her story. Dora’s inability to tell her story wholly exemplifies the human inability to turn ours gazes inward, an analogy that can be drawn to the alleged collective nature of Oedipus’s plight. Freud speaks of this “conscious disingenuousness” in theoretical and overtly medical terms – however, his decision to frame Dora’s illness as a narrative provides deeper implications for this project: as a narrative, psychological motivations and deletions become objectified and subject to narratorial voyeurism or vicariousness. In this sense, Dora’s shame regarding her hysterical or somatic symptoms and her past, including her omissions is fit into Freud’s narrative in order to render it accessible, edifying, and universal.
October 06, 2006
Emma Morris Quote Commentary for Oedipus
“O marriage, marriage, you gave me my life, and then
from the same seed, my seed, spewed out
fathers, brothers, sisters, children, brides, wives –
nothing, no more words can express the shame.
No more words. Men should not name what men should
Never do.” (p. 88, lines 1824-1829)
This passage occurs toward the end of Oedipus Rex, after Oedipus has discovered that he has fulfilled his dreadful fate, and has subsequently blinded himself.
After summarizing his monstrous and fateful deeds, Oedipus states that his marriage to Jocasta has not only been his great advantage in life – he has become king of Thebes because of this union – but has also been his tragic demise. By repeating “marriage” and “seed” Oedipus reveals the double-consciousness of his fate. Oedipus refuses to mediate his grief and shame through words, contending words they are a limiting and horrifying medium for shame -- that men should not speak of things they should “never do” because to speak these words would render their fates real, solid, and fixed. This repetition of “no more words,” finally, reveals Oedipus’s inability to master or combat his fate – which was essentially composed entirely of the Oracle’s words.
September 18, 2006
Emma's Quote Commentary on Poe
Emma Morris - CompLit 240 Section 004
"He impaired his vision by holding the object too close. He might see, perhaps, one or two points with unusual clearness, but in so doing he, necessarily, lost sight of the matter as a whole. Thus there is such a thing as being too profound. Truth is not always in a well. In fact, in regards to the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial." - Edgar Allen Poe, Murders in the Rue Morgue, p 412.
In this passage, Poe employs the rhetoric device of an analogy and metaphor in order to illuminate the larger structure of the mystery at hand. By characterizing the subject in this passage as too concerned with scrutizing an object, or a problem (or a mystery), with too much focus on over-analyzing its intricacies, and approaching a problem without intellectual ingenuity, Poe establishes a relationship between truth, knowledge, and "sight." In this sense, Poe contends that the truth of a matter is often "superficial," that is, is often right on the surface: it is often useless, if not detrimental to delve too deeply into scrutiny. In light of "Murders In The Rue Morgue" as a whole, Poe portrays Dupin as an analytical mastermind who is able to deconstruct and restructure the causes, events, and undercurrents of a problem, not by delving deeply into the motives, circumstances, data, and evidence, but by approaching it at face value.