By Abraham Drassinower
Abraham Drassinower takes a clean examine Freud, countering his general picture as a guy pessimistically renouncing the opportunity of social, political, and cultural switch.
Read Online or Download Freud's Theory of Culture: Eros, Loss, and Politics PDF
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Extra info for Freud's Theory of Culture: Eros, Loss, and Politics
Since, so to speak, we die when those we love die, the death of loved ones provides the ground for an understanding of our psyche’s persistent belief in its own immortality as a stubborn, recalcitrant refusal of something the psyche has already learned. It is by way of the death of loved ones, then, that Freud manages to move the psyche’s relation to its own death from the sphere of preclusion to that of denial. Similarly, it is only in the context of the death of loved ones that the “contradiction”Freud posits at the heart of the primeval human being can be meaningfully grasped as indeed a contradiction.
When a death happens, he notes, “we are always deeply affected, and it is as though we were badly shaken in our expectations. ”26 Yet war erases the conditions for the possibility of these cultural efforts of denial. ”It is evident,” Freud tells us, ”that war is bound to sweep away this conventional treatment of death. Death will no longer be denied; we are forced to believe in it. ”27 Given this crumbling away of our ”conventional treatment” of death, Freud offers not to console but to search for yet another attitude to death.
56 "I could not see my way to dispute the transience of all things, nor could I insist upon an exception in favour of what is beautiful and perfect," Freud admits. ” Yet, on the other, he reminds us that he is no pessimist, at least not in the sense in which the ”pessimistic” young poet is. ”~~ In so doing, he proposes an alternative attitude to transience. The way in which Freud considers and then dismisses the poet’s attitude reveals the remarkable degree to which Freud regards his own capacity for joy as virtually self-evident.