King Lear and the Very Bad Hair Day

OR King Leir and the Very Bad Heir Day The thing about King Lear for me is its bigness. Lear has big hair. Eighties big, teased out—And a crown of weeds, even! I feel little next to Lear. My hair cannot compete. It cannot. A.C. Bradley, probably the most influential 20th century critic of Shakespearian tragedy, agrees. He has written that to understand King Lear is to understand that we must “renounce the world, hate it, and lose it gladly. The only real thing in it is the soul, with its courage, patience, devotion. And nothing outward can touch that.”…

Freud, heartbreaking Freud

“The loss of love and the failure that this represents leaves an enduring legacy of diminished self-feeling amounting to a narcissistic scar; in my experience, as also corroborated by the findings of Marcinowski (1918), this contributes more than any other factor to the ‘feeling of inferiority’ so common in neurotics.” –Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 1920 (Trans. Reddick 2003) That sentence, specifically the clause “in my experience,” ushered by under the cloak of “findings” and a citation, is to me the most poignant moment in his work. “It would contradict the conservative nature of drives if the goal of life were…

Freud, heartbreaking Freud

“The loss of love and the failure that this represents leaves an enduring legacy of diminished self-feeling amounting to a narcissistic scar; in my experience, as also corroborated by the findings of Marcinowski (1918), this contributes more than any other factor to the ‘feeling of inferiority’ so common in neurotics.” –Beyond the Pleasure Principle, 1920 (Trans. Reddick 2003) That sentence, specifically the clause “in my experience,” ushered by under the cloak of “findings” and a citation, is to me the most poignant moment in his work. “It would contradict the conservative nature of drives if the goal of life were…

Vocab (courtesy of Freud)

parataxic, adj.Of, relating to, or designating a mode of interpersonal relationship in which projection of memories, feelings, etc., creates distorted perception or expectation of others. abreaction, noun. (v. abreact)Discharge of the emotional energy associated with a psychic trauma that has been forgotten or repressed; the process of bringing such a trauma back to consciousness, esp. as a psychotherapeutic technique; an instance of this. asseverate, v.To affirm solemnly, assert emphatically, declare positively, avouch, aver pathogenic, adj.1. Med. and Biol. Producing physical disease; of or relating to the production of physicaldisease.2. Psychiatry. Causing, or tending to cause, mental illness.3. fig. Morally or…

Vocab (courtesy of Freud)

parataxic, adj.Of, relating to, or designating a mode of interpersonal relationship in which projection of memories, feelings, etc., creates distorted perception or expectation of others. abreaction, noun. (v. abreact)Discharge of the emotional energy associated with a psychic trauma that has been forgotten or repressed; the process of bringing such a trauma back to consciousness, esp. as a psychotherapeutic technique; an instance of this. asseverate, v.To affirm solemnly, assert emphatically, declare positively, avouch, aver pathogenic, adj.1. Med. and Biol. Producing physical disease; of or relating to the production of physicaldisease.2. Psychiatry. Causing, or tending to cause, mental illness.3. fig. Morally or…

vocab (Thanks to Freud, Lowell, Dante)

bocardo n. (Logic) A form of syllogism of which the first and third propositions are particular negatives, and the middle term a universal affirmative [For years I’ve been trying to find the exact device, for when you say “near and far” to mean “everywhere” — I swear there’s a better word for it than this but perhaps not! (This is certainly a nifty enough word)] maunder, v. 1. To beg2. To grumble, mutter, moan3. To move or act in a dreamy, idle, or purposeless manner; to dawdle. Freq. with along, away, over.4. trans. To fritter away (one’s time, life, etc.).5….

vocab (Thanks to Freud, Lowell, Dante)

bocardo n. (Logic) A form of syllogism of which the first and third propositions are particular negatives, and the middle term a universal affirmative [For years I’ve been trying to find the exact device, for when you say “near and far” to mean “everywhere” — I swear there’s a better word for it than this but perhaps not! (This is certainly a nifty enough word)] maunder, v. 1. To beg2. To grumble, mutter, moan3. To move or act in a dreamy, idle, or purposeless manner; to dawdle. Freq. with along, away, over.4. trans. To fritter away (one’s time, life, etc.).5….