By Otto Rank, Harry Tucker Jr.
Alive, clean, and stimulating, the subject of The Double includes the problems of identification, narcissism, and the terror of death--actually the middle of human life. Rank's ebook is essentially a research of the double because it seemed in notable examples in German, French, Russian, English, and American literature from Goethe to Oscar Wilde.
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Additional resources for Double: A Psychoanalytic Study (Enduring Editions)
If there is, in fact, something that psychoanalysis has drawn attention to, it is, beyond the sense of obligation properly speaking, the importance, I would even say the omnipresence, of a sense of guilt. Certain internal tendencies of ethical thought attempt to evade what it must be said is this disagreeable aspect of moral experience. If I am certainly not one of those who attempt to soften, blunt, or attenuate the sense of guilt, it is because in my daily experience I am too insistently brought back to it and reminded of it.
If I do say “The king is naked,” it is not in the same way as the child who is supposed to have exposed the universal illusion, but more in the manner of Alphonse Allais, who gathered a crowd around him by announcing in a sonorous voice, “How shocking! Look at that woman! ” Yet in truth I don’t even say that. If the king is, in fact, naked, it is only insofar as he is so beneath a certain number of clothes – no doubt fictitious but nevertheless essential to his nudity. And in connection with these clothes, as another good story of Alphonse Allais demonstrates, his very nakedness might never be naked enough.
But it is not, in truth, in the sphere either of practice or of theory that is to be found all that which makes me emphasize the importance of the ethical dimension in my experience and my teaching of Freud. In effect, as has been quite properly pointed out, not everything in ethics is simply related to the sense of obligation. Moral experience as such, that is to say, the reference to sanctions, puts man in a certain relation to his own action that concerns not only an articulated law but also a direction, a trajectory, in a word, a good that he appeals to, thereby engendering an ideal of conduct.