Commonplacing (XV through XIX)

XV

[The man in this photograph] is called in German and Italian Führer or Duce; in our own language Tyrant or Dictator. And behind him lie ruined houses and dead bodies—men, women and children. But we have not laid [this] picture before you in order to excite once more the sterile emotion of hate. On the contrary it is in order to release other emotions such as the human figure . . . arouses in us who are human beings. For it suggests a connection and for us a very important connection. It suggests that the public and private worlds are inseparably connected; that the tyrannies and servilities of the one are the tyrannies and the servilities of the other. But the human figure even in a photograph suggests other and more complex emotions. It suggests that we cannot dissociate ourselves from that figure but are ourselves that figure. It suggests that we are not passive spectators doomed to unresisting obedience but by our thoughts and actions can ourselves change that figure. A common interest unites us; it is one world, one life. 

Virginia Woolf
Three Guineas (1938)


XVI

Few people who seek out a therapist have any real idea at the outset what the therapeutic process involves. . . . Generally speaking, people tend to think that, once in therapy, you talk about what went on since you last spoke to your therapist—in other words, that you recount your day or week, your feelings and thoughts about this person or that, and so on. . . . 

None of this is, however, of interest in psychoanalysis, and the question that arises is how to take patients from their everyday notions about what to do in therapy to the point of genuine analytic work. The early part of analysis involves a kind of explicit and not-so-explicit pedagogy.

. . . The analyst is not a friend who will exchange stories or secrets, lend books or tapes. There is no point trying to amuse him or her with entertaining stories or jokes, since the analyst will not be amused. And though the patient believes certain parts of his or her story to be the most significant, the analyst seems to be paying attention to something else.

Bruce Fink
A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis (1997)


XVII

The rumination that follow arose in response to America's war on terror . . .

I started from the conviction that there is no response to war. War is a cruel caricature of what in us can respond. You cannot be answerable to war.

Yet one cannot remain silent. Out of the imperative or compulsion to speak, then, two questions: What are some already existing responses? And, how respond in the face of the impossibility of response?

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
"Teror: A Speech after 9/11"
An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012)


XVIII

I tend to use affect in a generic sense . . . as a category that encompasses affect, emotion, and feeling, and that includes impulses, desires, and feelings that get historically constructed in a range of ways (whether as distinct specific emotions or as a generic category often contrasted with reason)—but with a wary recognition that this is like trying to talk about sex before sexuality. I also like to use feeling as a generic term that does some of the same work: naming the undifferentiated "stuff" of feeling; spanning the distinctions between emotion and affect central to some theories; acknowledging the somatic or sensory nature of feelings as experiences that aren't just cognitive concepts or constructions. I favor feeling in part because it is intentionally imprecise, retaining the ambiguity between feelings as embodied sensations and feelings as psychic or cognitive experiences.

Ann Cvetkovich
Depression: A Public Feeling (2012)


XIX

 

Commonplacing (XX through XXVI)

Slow Reading (1.35): Deleuze's DR (pp. 35-36)