Luc Kinsch

Luc Kinsch has a PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale University. He has taught classes at Yale, in Berlin and in Paris. He also manages real estate.

Feb 032013
 

Otto Gross – pedagogy as Nebenzimmererotik: a rival cure for mimetic ailments.  

The reconstruction of the American soul: an interview with Professor Lance Duerfahrd (part 1)

(For the “Prologue” to this post please see Teacher of Bad Film 1.)

I’ll state this: pedagogy does not make room for the unconscious.

Steckbrief: The authorities are looking for Otto Gross on 13 August 1913.

Otto Gross refers in a 1913 text to the asexuality of pedagogy, by which he means the exclusion of the bourgeois child from experience, from “Erleben”: from experiencing but also from undergoing, from living.  Gross traces the anti-experiential bias to the original bourgeois divisions, to the insistence on separate (homo-)sexual identities.  As the sexual roles between husband and wife (exclusive and coerced) are strictly regimented, the child’s role is that of a third party, the being on the side, split off from Erleben.  Thus banned from the parental bedroom, in all the senses you wish that to mean, it condemns the child to a substitute, a represented life, a Nebenzimmererotik: the eros of the adjoining room.  The child is to remain the eternal spectator, never participating, meaning never creating.  Education is to continue the isolation of the child by taking over the principle of fragmentation of the family: “Beziehungslosigkeit zum Kind, insofern das Kind am Erleben nicht teilnehmen darf (Nebenzimmererotik), sofern er erzogen werden soll (die geltenden pädagogischen Grundsätze streben zur Asexualität).”   Prevailing pedagogical principles stipulate asexuality: there is to be no experience in education.  Representation and education, insofar as both exclude the lived happening in favor of an image, are no longer separate and are meant to cement the child’s identity.(1)

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Feb 032013
 

The experiences of cinema and psychoanalysis. Wartime. The mechanical ear of the analyst. Bion dreaming, buffalo running.

JFK

JFK watching.
(Photo: Paul Schutzer)

For a film goer to talk about a film they just saw – to truly talk about it: to account for their own experience of a film could be as difficult, or more, as talking in a psychoanalytic session.

Insofar as having an experience means communicating it to others – to oneself, included – can the film goer who, for a reason to be determined, wants to talk about it use an analyst to work him through a film or does he need to be taught how to recount an experience?

“Is there an analyst the filmgoer can see, a class they can take?” means: are analysis – itself, like film-going, a mimetic activity – and pedagogy – too overwhelmed or taken by the conscious and the normative – in a position not to see art as a rival human expression that can or must be spoken away? At their most dogmatic, both propose to cure the mimetic rival. At their most receptive, are they able to not bypass the question of art?
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Feb 092012
 

I was in one of your dreams?
Yeah.
Can you deal with that?
Yeah.

  A brilliant recent exploration of the nature of dreams, and their paradoxical (non-) place in our living environment is Jeff Nichols’s film Take Shelter (2012). In it a married construction supervisor named Curtis has nightmarish dreams of storms, or of a fantastic catastrophe, and of people attacking him.  These dreams tell of lurking dangers in the present and of a coming ecological reckoning.  The dreamer reacts by two contradictory sets of actions: one, he prepares for the imminent danger, and tears himself away from those who threaten him in his dreams, digs a hole in the ground, builds up his storm shelter.  And, two, in the same responsive manner, consults a number of health professionals to confirm his possible paranoid schizophrenia and his greatest fear: to be put away, to be removed from his family, like his own mother was.  The brilliance of the film comes from that uncomfortable co-existence of mutually exclusive elements. 

 Curtis to his family doctor: A couple of days ago I had a dream that my dog attacked me and it took the whole day for the pain in my arm to go away.

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Feb 092012
 

Psychoanalysis is likened to voodoo, and seen as deriving from dreaming. The fright of the reader of psychoanalytical texts.  Also: Masud Khan and the why of art.

Masud Khan (photo by Neil Libbert)

I am not a psychoanalyst, nor am I seeing one.  But I read psychoanalytical texts, and must ask myself why. 

I mean I try to read mostly narratives of the analytical encounter and the analyst’s subsequent attempt to extract or abstract a number of still theoretical formulations that could be useful to him, and then to others.  But I prefer it if the texts have an emotional significance, meaning that they are, at the end, tragically useless beyond what they describe.  Freud’s “Dora” is a great narrative but is contested because the patient, at the end, does not return.  A writer of such texts is, I believe, later bound to put their name to an unhappy, uncertain ending – to a text written over by the absent patient. That adds, in a way, to the drama of the texts.

 But it’s even more unclear to me what a reader of psychoanalytical texts does, or is.

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