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Showing posts from May 24, 2009

the dead

“The projection of one’s own evil reactions into the demons is only a piece of a system, which became the ‘weltanschauung’ of primitives and that we, in the next chapter, will meet as the ‘animistic’. We will then have fixed in place the psychological character of such a system-construction and find our point d’appui again in those system-constructions that the neurotics bring to us. Provisionally we will only betray here, that the socalled “secondary elaboration” of the dream content is the model for all these system-constructions. “ (“Die Projektion der eigenen bösen Regungen in die Dämonen ist nur ein Stück eines Systems, welches die »Weltanschauung« der Primitiven geworden ist und das wir in der nächsten Abhandlung dieser Reihe als das »animistische« kennenlernen werden. Wir werden dann die psychologischen Charaktere einer solchen Systembildung festzustellen haben und unsere Anhaltspunkte wiederum in der Analyse jener Systembildungen finden, welche uns die Neurosen entgegenbringen.

saint max brod

The line I've been pursuing is that of understanding projection, of seeing, as Freud writes, how that projection gives us an immage of the dead, and - of our being bound to the dead. The codes of the dead. The books of the dead. The books compiled to honor the dead. The honor due to the dead in the disposition of what they leave behind. Franz Steiner's book, Taboo (1952), for instance - a great instance, with that catcher's mitt poetry of coincidence - was put together in his honor, after his death, by his students, who saw that in his lifetime, he ... dispersed himself over too many areas. Fled from too many policemen. It is, the book is, according to his student, Mary Douglas, an essential text on taboo. Steiner runs the word down to its first appearance in a European context is in the Journals of Captain Cook. There's something odd about that, Steiner thinks. After all, Cook is reporting a word, in the 1770s, that must have been known to explorers, to seamen, Dutch a