March 23, 2006 by AK
Just don’t argue anymore
I don’t know much about psychoanalysis. One thing I do know now is that, practised outside of the doctor’s office, it turns into quackery — as a rule. Psychoanalytical studies of fiction often read like ravings of a mental patient. (I’m leaving aside similar attempts at Christianity for now.) As the disturbed go, the practitioner can be an expert — in this case, at the letters, language and history of the writer’s native country — and be able to put together a thoroughly reasoned chain of arguments. But it takes one look from a person fit for jury duty to see the analyst’s logic is plainly insane.
And here’s where Kafka kicks in: the common guy knows little about psychoanalysis, like me, so he can’t offer a valid critique, yet the lunatic logic drives him mad, and soon enough he is in no better condition than his opponent.
Judge for yourself. One such practitioner — a professor of Russian literature at a West Coast university — has indicated (see archives of this mailing list) that, partly due to his “research,” the protagonist of one great piece of Russian literature has been judged a latent homosexual (on the basis of another character’s dream), and his place in the gay world is no longer disputed. I’m sure the professor has got the code wrong but… what’s the point of arguing anyway?
Category Uncategorized | Tags: