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Re: Self-diagnosis and the awful transfer of absurdity

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  • louise
    ... he held just ... lengthy, but is ... back ... mid-70s ... criticisms of the ... Thank you for the suggestions, Wil. I obtained Madness and Civilisation
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 27, 2008
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, eupraxis@... wrote:
      > Louise,
      > Please allow me to make a small reading suggestion: Michel Foucault's
      > "History of Madness", as well as the College de France Lectures that
      he held just
      > after, "Psychiatric Power" (Palgrave, 2006). The first is rather
      lengthy, but is
      > a very good read; an earlier abridgement had appeared in the US way
      > called "Madness and Civilization".
      > The second suggestion are the lectures that Foucault gave in the
      > which pick up from those ideas, but which also offer a few
      criticisms of the
      > earlier work. I think that you might find them interesting.
      > Of course, I am a big fan of Foucault, so in the end I would recommend
      > everything that he has written.
      > Wil

      Thank you for the suggestions, Wil. I obtained "Madness and
      Civilisation" a few weeks ago, and am slowly making my way through it.
      Foucault is a new author for me, and may help, in the long run, to
      overcome my tendency to stereotype French intellectuals. Louise

      > In a message dated 11/27/08 6:05:10 AM, hecubatoher@... writes:
      > > Wil,
      > >
      > > That on this occasion I framed my contribution in the form of a quoted
      > > passage of speech was a way of representing a kind of fantasy. The
      > > fact of my having what is termed by the professionals a "mental health
      > > condition" seems to me an attempt by socially-oriented humans to
      > > restrain behaviour, or even appearances, which they find oppressive.
      > > The question initially comes down to practicalities. Why am I not
      > > able to find an integrated place, with an economic correlative, in the
      > > country of my birth? Why can I not earn a living by my pen, or do
      > > some other kind of job? Or why did it not prove possible to live
      > > peaceably within a community as a housewife? It is still an open
      > > question for me, and only provides a kind of context from which I want
      > > to try to answer your question.
      > > The fantasy is bound up with the pseudonymous works of Kierkegaard,
      > > who claims in his journals, I believe, that if he had not been a
      > > philosopher, he would have liked to work as a spy, an interrogator for
      > > the police. This fits in with his intense interest in human
      > > motivation, thought process, feeling and spirituality, in other words,
      > > in psychology, but in a far more extensive sense than the word's
      > > meaning normally involves. Although I cannot now locate the passage,
      > > in one of his books Kierkegaard writes of the power that silence has
      > > to draw forth confession, if an interrogator will sit for long enough
      > > in a room with one who bears a secret guilt. So I think that my
      > > feeling of having been 'set up' links in with this phenomenon, that,
      > > the practice of free speech being a matter of such contention,
      > > allusive comment and intimidation with some violence was widely
      > > practised in a community where I had settled; in the end, it was I
      > > who seemed the appointed scapegoat, and all kinds of confession, much
      > > of it inauthentic, has been made. The manufacturing of self-contempt.
      > > When I write the pronoun, 'I', this refers to the named living
      > > person, 'Louise', though Louise's imagination and mystical experiences
      > > have led her [me] into identifications confusing and distressing, that
      > > implicate friends, family, acquaintance, and strangers who appear to
      > > be neutrals or enemies. When this maelstrom of association becomes
      > > transferred to the internet, all hell would appear to break loose.
      > > But then, what is hell? Hades, the unseen, a repository for every
      > > human terror and superstition. Something like that. So my Hellenic
      > > understanding would have it. Bound up, though, apparently, with very
      > > material struggles for worldly power and influence.
      > > Returning, then, to explanation, the quotation marks indicate an
      > > imaginary scenario, in which, the better to face truths which have
      > > been socially forbidden, or discouraged, I am being interviewed by a
      > > sympathetic listener. Nevertheless, the wider context is still that
      > > of a kind of trial, a Kafkaesque scenario in which the nature and
      > > context of guilt is unclear.
      > >
      > > Louise
      > >
      > >
      > >
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      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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