Skip to main content


Showing posts from December 26, 2010

personal myth and character

I have written before about the concept of the personal myth – the use of a ‘well-knit’ self generated autobiography as a screen developed against inconsistencies, neuroses, traumas, or the everyday thorns and pricks – that was developed in a paper by Ernst Kris in the fifties. This is what I said about it in an earlier post: myths Ernst Kris was a Viennese art collector, historian, and psychoanalyst who taught Freud to the great Ernst Gombrich. When he died in 1957, he left behind a large reputation. Even in the seventies, when his papers came out, a review came out in the New Republic. One of his papers, from 1956, left a phrase that has been lifted, since, by many - especially Jungian analysts: the personal myth. “Kris found that certain patients when routinely probed about their pasts were able to respond with detailed, fluent, and highly consistent autobiographies embracing all their past history. Now this is somewhat unusual because most people do not usually have ready ac

Fair, Forum, Market

I have been thinking about Turgot’s entry on the Foire in the Encyclopedie ever since I read Rosanvallon’s analysis of it in his book on the idea of the market, The Capitalist Utopia. The Turgot text is treated under the heading of the new geography envisioned by the classic economists – a geography defined by prices. This geography does not lend itself to a map listing nation states – with their different colors – but rather to a map of interconnected hubs, which Adam Smith called the ‘extension of the market.” Rosanvallon locates this historic moment otherwise than, say, Harold Innis, who was similarly fascinated by the penetration of the price system. “With the great discoveries, the occidental world is exteriorized. The establishment of colonies was one of the principle forms taken by this exteriorization. In the 18th century, liberalism was translated principally, in contrast, by a sort of return to the interior. Stewart is the economist who best understood how to philosophic