K. by Roberto Calasso

By Roberto Calasso

De quoi parlent les histoires de Kafka? Après avoir reçu d'innombrables réponses, l. a. query proceed de susciter une sentiment de vive incertitude. S'agit-il de rêves? D'allégories? De symboles? S'agit-il d'événements qui arrivent tous les jours? Les nombreuses ideas qui ont été proposées ne parviennent pas à éliminer le soupçon que le mystère reste encore intact. Ce livre ne se suggest pas de dissiper ce mystère mais de permettre qu'il soit ' éclairé par sa propre lumière ', comme l'écrivit une fois Karl Kraus. C'est pourquoi Roberto Calasso essaie de se mêler au cours, au mouvement tortueux, à l. a. physiologie de ces histoires, en rencontrant au fur et à mesure les questions les plus élémentaires. Comme, par exemple : qui est K.?

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Dr Neill’s claim that ‘For the first time Man will be living a full twenty-four hour day, not spending a third of it as an invalid, snoring his way through an eight-hour peepshow of infantile erotica’ (Stories, 51) belittles at a stroke three foundational tenets in Freudian psychoanalysis: the significance of dreams as the ‘royal road to the unconscious’ (Laplanche and Pontalis, 475), the fundamental significance of unconscious activity as manifested in dreams for mental life, and the central role in unconscious life Freud allots to infantile sexuality.

Zone of Terror’ dramatizes the power struggle between psychological professional and patient in terms compellingly suggestive of contemporary anti-psychiatric trends; Larsen is counter-medicating himself with amphetamines against the barbiturates administered by Bayliss (Stories, 137), and is critical of Bayliss’ cryptic, minimalist approach and his ‘inaccurate diagnoses’ (Stories, 139). Bayliss’ drug regime reflects contemporary developments in drug therapy, and contemporary developments in cybernetics relevant to psychology are evoked by the simulated central nervous system in whose development Larsen is involved.

We’re reclaiming some of the marshland. Physiologically sleep is nothing more than an inconvenient symptom of cerebral anoxaemia. It’s not that you’re afraid of missing, it’s the dream. ’ A Host of Furious Fancies 31 ‘No,’ Morley said mildly. [. ] ‘What I really mean is that for better or worse Lang, Gorrell and Avery are now stuck with themselves. [. ] How much of yourself can you stand? ’ (Stories, 52) Neill’s topographical image of the unconscious as ‘marshland’ gainsays Freud’s placing of the unconscious at the centre of mental life; his dismissal of a ‘group unconscious’ rejects C.

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