CHINA’S IMAGE IN GREECE 2008-2018 – Plamen Tonchev (ed.)

Beijing authorities themselves are eager to receive feedback on the way China is viewed by European societies and the China-CEE Institute has recently commissioned several studies on perceptions of the China-led 16+1 platform in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). In this sense, the report produced by the Institute of International Economic Relations (IIER) aims to provide much-needed insight into the underlying reasons behind China’s image in Greece.”

The period of time covered by the report spans from 2008 to 2018, the rationale behind this being that China’s presence in Greece became very visible with the concession agreement for the port of Piraeus signed by the Greek government and the Chinese shipping giant COSCO in 2008.”

A consistent pattern recorded by most of the surveys reviewed is that, in general, Greeks have a positive view of China, and it is more favourable than perceptions of China in other European and western countries. (…) At the same time, Greeks do not think highly of China’s political system, which does not qualify as a democracy in their eyes. Nor do they envy life and work in China, and find Chinese commodities of inferior quality to that of western goods.”

While China’s growing prowess is seen by Greeks as bad news for Europe, it is perceived as good news for Greece, as if Greece were not in Europe;

While the vast majority of Greeks are adamantly opposed to globalisation, many Greeks expect China, the par excellence beneficiary of globalisation, to help the Greek economy stand on its feet again.”

1. Perceptions of China in Greece

in 2013 more than half the Greeks polled (57%) believed that China was bound to replace or had already replaced the US as the leading world power. A BBC survey released in July 2017 showed that perceptions of China’s influence were predominantly negative within the EU. Greece was the only European country in that specific sample leaning positively in its views of China’s influence, with a plurality of 37% offering a positive opinion (versus 25% who had a negative attitude). Aptly put, China’s power is admired by many, but is also feared. This does not seem to apply to Greece.”

In April 2017, the Greek research agency DiaNEOsis asked Greeks about their preferred political system and only 2.4% of respondents approved of China’s form of government, the most popular model being Sweden, at 57.8%.” “Notably, more than 20% of those interviewed gave an inaccurate answer [será?] to the question about China’s political system, by replying it was a ‘parliamentary democracy’ or a ‘federal republic’.”

2. China’s image in selected Greek media

In line with international coverage, Greek media duly reported the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to the imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The Greek public is informed about serious issues with capital punishment in China [but not in US!], the demographic and economic side effects of China’s former one-child policy, grave environmental challenges in the country, opacity and corruption, work safety, etc.”

E O SALÁRIO, Ó… “Tellingly, the phrase ‘Chinese salaries’ is short-hand for low-living standards and is commonly used as a simile referring to shrinking income in Greece. Thus, a 2011 article reviewed by the IIER team is titled ‘Greece following China’s labour standards’, but in fact the text itself only refers to China once. Rather, the article is a lament about the high unemployment rate in Greece and the shrinking salaries of those lucky enough to have a job.”

AH, A MANIA DOS CAPESIANOS INTERNACIONALISTAS (MoUmania)! “A large number of related news items report meetings, and are accompanied by numerous photos of Greek and Chinese officials smiling and shaking hands. Many articles are merely lists of intergovernmental agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) notably, 19 agreements and MoUs were signed by Greek and Chinese partners during prime-minister Li Keqiang’s visit to Athens in June 2014 alone.”

It is important to keep in mind that since 2008 Greece has had 5 general elections, four different governments and two caretaker prime-ministers. Media coverage of China has obviously been influenced by the fickle political setting. The media tend to change their attitude towards China, depending on political affiliation or which side of the aisle they are closer to.”

Similarly, while a large majority of Greek citizens do not think highly of China’s democracy and respect for human rights, the Greek government blocked the 2017 statement of the EU on the state of human rights in China.¹ In June 2018, the Greek PM Alexis Tsipras stated that Greece was willing to join the 16+1 platform as a full member a week later at the Sofia summit of the club, despite the irritation that this causes in EU institutions and some EU member states.² This stance of Athens is qualified by some western onlookers as a ‘Trojan horse’ behaviour, dictated by China in return for investment in the cash-strapped Greek economy. This only comes to confirm the image of a strategic ally of Greece that China projects on numerous occasions, including at the highest possible level.

¹ The EU was due to make its statement at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. A spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens reportedly called such a statement ‘unproductive criticism’.

² In the end, Greece retained its observer status, together with Austria, Switzerland and Belarus.”

There are no indications that Beijing pursues to wield influence by directly controlling Greek media, unlike what is often discussed in other parts of the world (e.g. Australia or Europe). At present, there are no Chinese-controlled media outlets to orchestrate a pro-Beijing public diplomacy campaign in Greece and there are no regular China-sponsored supplements in Greek newspapers. By contrast, China Watch, the European version of China Daily, is regularly supplemented in Le Soir and De Standaard (Belgium), Le Figaro (France), Handelsblatt (Germany), El País (Spain) and The Daily Telegraph (United Kingdom).”

3. Beneath the surface

MODERNITY IN A NUTSHELL (FROM THE CRADLE OF OUR OWN CIVILIZATION): “Indeed, what has been happening in the Greek psyche since 2010 is nothing short of a collective trauma: a chorus of anxiety, humiliation and frustration, coupled with a profound sense of insecurity in a rapidly changing world.”

E PENSAR QUE UM BRASILEIRO MINIMAMENTE ATENTO TEM PROFUNDA INVEJA DO CENÁRIO GREGO: “Despondent about the economy, largely pessimistic about the country’s prospects and worried about their children’s future, Greeks tend to see very few friends, if any. The majority of Greek people find, rightly or wrongly, that the country is heading in the wrong direction. It is only recently that the economic mood has brightened a little bit, though optimism about the trajectory of the economy has yet to return and, in general, Greeks remain downbeat about the prospects of the country.

In the spring of 2014, Greece was the least satisfied nation, at a striking 5%, among the 10 advanced economies covered by the Pew Research Center, but also among all the 43 countries included in the sample on a global scale.”

At about the same time, almost every Greek (98%) referred to joblessness as the single biggest issue in the country this is only to be expected, given that the official unemployment rate in the country peaked at 27.6% in May 2013.” A Grécia de ontem é o Brasil de amanhõje.

The average disposable income in Greece has shrunk by an estimated 25% to 30% since 2010 and prices matter a lot. Thus, cheap Chinese commodities are popular in Greece only because in the midst of the ongoing economic crisis many households do not have the wherewhithal to make ends meet.”

Losing more than a quarter of its national wealth and living standards, branded the ‘black sheep’ of the Eurozone for about a decade, facing the spectre of Grexit for several years, being next to an increasingly unpredictable and belligerent Turkey, and overrun by migrant flows since 2015, Greece is feeling lonely and abandoned by its European partners.”

Another Pew Research Center survey in June 2017 established that 36% of Greeks wanted to leave the EU and 58% were in favour of a national referendum on EU membership. According to a July 2017 BBC World Service survey, while views of the EU’s influence were mainly positive in all the European countries polled as well as in Canada, the US and Australia, Greek respondents indicated a 35% positive and 36% negative attitude. Notably, Greeks are particularly bitter in their attitude towards Germany, the biggest EU member state and economy. All the above countries demonstrated favourable views of Germany’s influence, however very negative results were recorded in Greece: 29% positive vs 50% negative.”

In fact, Greece’s case seems to confirm a broader trend: It has been pointed out that, as China perceived the EU to be failing at appropriately addressing the crisis, it realised that it could play a more central role in global governance68 and, in particular, in Europe itself. Greece being the ‘weak link’ of the Eurozone and, at the same time, at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa, Beijing strategists quite understandably chose the country as an entry point in in the region.”

Thus, the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008 were held in Athens and Beijing, respectively, which provided many opportunities for the exchange of visits and related expertise. The period from September 2007 to September 2008 was declared the ‘Cultural Year of Greece in China’.”

It should be noted that, in Greece, BRI is more often referred to as the ‘New Silk Road’. It may be that the official name, ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, does not translate into Greek nicely. More importantly, it may also be that the notion of the ‘Silk Road’ is associated with Alexander the Great’s expedition into Central and South Asia in the 4th century BC, as well as with the Byzantine empire in the Middle Ages. To a certain degree, this also contributes to the imagery of Sino-Greek cooperation on the basis of what is misconstrued as long-standing historical and cultural ties.”

An expression often used with reference to the ever-closer Sino-Greek relations is one attributed to the famous writer Nikos Kazantzakis, known worldwide for his novel Zorba the Greek. Being an admirer of eastern civilisations, including China’s, Kazantzakis once wrote ‘If you scratch a Chinese, you’ll find a Greek underneath and if you scratch a Greek, you’ll find a Chinese underneath’.73 This catchphrase is rapidly becoming a Leitmotif or a hackneyed figure of speech at official events dedicated to relations between the two countries. The previous ambassador of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Greece is on record using this expression at least twice: on 20 August 2015, at an event on the Belt and Road Initiative and, once again, in his speech during the official signing ceremony of the 2nd deal between the Greek government and COSCO on 9 April 2016. As of July 2018, a quick Google search for this quote would yield more than 20 web entries in Greek (interestingly, not in English or any other languages) and their number is likely to increase over time.”

Therefore, this sense of kinship between Greece and China may well be fictitious, after all. The facile assumption that the two countries are “relatives’ appears to reflect a self-aggrandising attitude on the part of Greeks rather than an informed view and awareness of the ancient Chinese civilisation. The perception of China as a long-lost first cousin is redolent of a fuzzy collective fiction, but then fiction is not expected to be accurate in the first place.”

With regard to the US, Greeks have traditionally been among the least sympathetic Europeans and there is a time-honoured practice of anti-American rallies in the country. In that sense, China clearly has an advantage over western powers.”

What certainly is a very interesting case in such a comparative approach is Greece’s psychological bond to Russia, which is much more deep-rooted and lasting than the ‘cultural kinship’ with China. The historical depth of Greece’s traditionally strong ties to Russia does not compare to that of the recent Sino-Greek romance.”

In June 2017, Greeks clearly preferred Russian president Vladimir Putin (50%) over western leaders Donald Trump (19%) and Angela Merkel (16%) as well as over Chinese president Xi Jinping (17%). When asked to compare the US, Russia and China, Greeks favoured Russia (64%) over China (50%) and the US (43%).”

AMERICAN NERVOUSNESS: ITS CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES (A supplement to “Nervous exhaustion: Neurasthenia”) – George Beard, 1881.

-Um glamouroso retrato da decadência ocidental, embora ingenuamente otimista quanto a ele e de um ultimado chauvinismo ianque!-

Nervousness is strictly deficiency or lack of nerve-force. This condition, together with all the symptoms of diseases that are evolved from it, has developed mainly within the 19th century, and is especially frequent and severe in the Northern and Eastern portions of the United States. Nervousness, in the sense here used, is to be distinguished rigidly and systematically from simple excess of emotion and from organic disease.”

The sign and type of functional nervous diseases that are evolved out of this general nerve sensitiveness is neurasthenia (nervous exhaustion), which is in close and constant relation with such functional nerve maladies as certain physical forms of hysteria, hay-fever [rinite alérgica], sick-headache, inebriety, and some phases of insanity; is, indeed, a branch whence at early or later stages of growth these diseases may take their origin.”

The greater prevalence of nervousness in America is a complex resultant of a number of influences, the chief of which are dryness of the air, extremes of heat and cold, civil and religious liberty, and the great mental activity made necessary and possible in a new and productive country under such climatic conditions.

A new crop of diseases has sprung up in America, of which Great Britain until lately knew nothing, or but little. A class of functional diseases of the nervous system, now beginning to be known everywhere in civilization, seem to have first taken root under an American sky, whence their seed is being distributed.

All this is modern, and originally American; and no age, no country, and no form of civilization, not Greece, nor Rome, nor Spain, nor the Netherlands, in the days of their glory, possessed such maladies.” Not in their glories, that is.

to solve it in all its interlacings, to unfold its marvellous phenomena and trace them back to their sources and forward to their future developments, is to solve the problem of sociology itself.” [!!!]

Among the signs of American nervousness specially worthy of attention are the following: The nervous diathesis [degenerescência genética, i.e., uma suposta maior vulnerabilidade a doenças dos nervos decorrente da debilidade dos progenitores]; susceptibility to stimulants and narcotics and various drugs, and consequent necessity of temperance¹ [e ainda chama essa abordagem de sociológica sem levar em conta o fator cultural?]; increase of the nervous diseases inebriety [alcoolismo ou uma ligeira variação deste – suscetibilidade exagerada –, que o autor diferenciará no segundo capítulo] and neurasthenia (nervous exhaustion), hay-fever, neuralgia [dor crônica nas terminações nervosas], nervous dyspepsia [indigestão], asthenopia [fadiga ocular e dores de cabeça derivadas] and allied diseases and symptoms [bem específico…]; early and rapid decay of teeth [já fez seu Amil Dental?]; premature baldness; sensitiveness to cold and heat; increase of diseases not exclusively nervous, as diabetes and certain forms of Bright’s disease of the kidneys and chronic catarrhs; unprecedented beauty of American women; frequency of trance and muscle-reading [a tênue linha entre a paranormalidade e simples efeitos de indução eletromagnética]; the strain of dentition, puberty, and change of life; American oratory, humor [haha!], speech, and language; change in type of disease during the past half-century, and the greater intensity of animal life on this continent. [???]

¹ Ah, obviamente Sêneca e Epicuro concordariam contigo!

longevity has increased, and in all ages brain-workers have, on the average, been long-lived, the very greatest geniuses being the longest-lived of all.” “the law of the relation of age to work, by which it is shown that original brain-work is done mostly in youth and early and middle life, the latter decades being reserved for work requiring simply experience and routine.” Pequena confusão entre decaimento fisiológico e e incorporação da experiência como forma de reduzir o esforço mental!

Poetas românticos não usavam a cabeça? Pois sua efemeridade é mais-que-popular…

in all our cyclopedias of medicine, the terms hysteria, somnambulism, ecstasy, catalepsy, mimicry of disease, spinal congestion, incipient ataxy, epilepsy, spasms and congestions, anemias and hyperemias, alcoholism, spinal irritation, spinal exhaustion, cerebral paresis, cerebral exhaustion and irritation, nervousness and imagination [!] are thrown together recklessly, confusedly, hopelessly as in a witches cauldron; and in all, and through all, one shall look vainly—save here and there, for an intelligent and differential description of neurasthenia, the most frequent, the most important, the most interesting nervous disease of our time, or of any time

still our medical graduates, after years spent in listening to lectures, must wait for their diploma before they are even ready to begin the study of this side of the nervous system. Meantime the literature of ataxia [desarranjo da coordenação motora], which is but an atom compared with the world of functional nervous diseases, has risen and is yet rising with infinite repetitions and revolutions to volumes and volumes.”

So far as I know, there has been no hostile criticism of this philosophy in Germany, but in England, even now, these views are not unanimously sustained.” Nazistas retesados.

1. NATURE AND DEFINITION OF NERVOUSNESS

Trance, with its numerous, interesting and intricate phenomena, a condition that has been known in all ages, and among almost all people, is not nervousness, albeit nervous people are sometimes subject to it. See my work on Trance [não muito interessado, mas obrigado assim mesmo!], in which this distinction between physiology and psychology is discussed more fully and variously illustrated.” “This interesting survival of the Middle Ages that we have right here with us today, is the most forcible single illustration that I know of, of the distinction between unbalanced mental organization and nervousness. These Jumpers are precious curiosities, relics or antiques that the 14th century has, as it were, dropped right into the middle of the 19th. The phenomena of the Jumpers are as interesting, scientifically, as any phenomena can be, but they aren’t contributions to American nervousness.

Brainlessness (excess of emotion over intellect) is, indeed, to nervousness, what idiocy is to insanity”

Nervousness is not passionateness. A person who easily gets excited or angry, is often called nervous. One of the signs, and in some cases, one of the first signs of real nervousness, is mental irritability, a disposition to become fretted over trifles; but in a majority of instances, passionate persons are healthy—their exhibitions of anger are the expression of normal emotions, and not in any sense evidences of disease, although they may be made worse by disease, either functional or organic. Nervousness is nervelessness—a lack of nerve-force.” “In medical science we are forced to retain terminology that is in the last degree unscientific, for the same reason that we retain our orthography, which in the English language is, as all know, very bad indeed.” <Febre da grama> realmente não é muito literal!

fear of lightning, or fear of responsibility, of open places or of closed places, fear of society, fear of being alone, fear of fears, fear of contamination, fear of everything, deficient mental control, lack of decision in trifling matters, hopelessness, deficient thirst and capacity for assimilating fluids, abnormalities of the secretions, salivation, tenderness of the spine, and of the whole body, sensitiveness to cold or hot water, sensitiveness to changes in the weather, coccyodynia, pains in the back, heaviness of the loins and limbs, shooting pains simulating those of ataxia, cold hands and feet, pain in the feet, localized peripheral numbness and hypersesthesia, tremulous and variable pulse and palpitation of the heart, special idiosyncrasies in regard to food, medicines, and external irritants, local spasms of muscles, difficulty of swallowing, convulsive movements, especially on going to sleep, cramps [cãibras ou cólicas], a feeling of profound exhaustion unaccompanied by positive pain, coming and going, ticklishness [hiperdelicadeza ou sensibilidade; em sentido mais estrito, facilidade para sentir comichão ou cócegas], vague pains and flying neuralgias, general or local itching, general and local chills and flashes of heat [calafrios e ondas de calor esporádicos], attacks of temporary paralysis, pain in the perineum, involuntary emissions, partial or complete impotence, irritability of the prostatic urethra, certain functional diseases of women [vague!], excessive gaping and yawning [bocejar exagerado], rapid decay and irregularities of the teeth, oxalates, urates, phosphates and spermatozoa in the urine, vertigo or dizziness, explosions in the brain at the back of the neck [?!], dribbling and incontinence of urine [incontinência urinária e seu reverso, alternados], frequent urination, choreic movements of different parts of the body, trembling of the muscles or portions of the muscles in different parts of the body, exhaustion after defecation and urination, dryness of the hair, falling away of the hair and beard, slow reaction of the skin, etc. Dr. Neisser, of Breslau, while translating my work on Nervous Exhaustion into German, wrote me that the list of symptoms was not exhaustive. This criticism is at once accepted, and was long ago anticipated. An absolutely exhaustive catalogue of the manifestations of the nervously exhausted state cannot be prepared, since every case differs somewhat from every other case.”

There are millionnaires of nerve-force—those who never know what it is to be tired out, or feel that their energies are expended, who can write, preach, or work with their hands many hours, without ever becoming fatigued, who do not know by personal experience what the term <exhaustion> means; and there are those—and their numbers are increasing daily—who, without being absolutely sick, without being, perhaps for a lifetime, ever confined to the bed a day with acute disorder, are yet very poor in nerve-force; their inheritance is small, and they have been able to increase it but slightly, if at all; and if from overtoil, or sorrow, or injury, they overdraw their little surplus, they may find that it will require months or perhaps years to make up the deficiency, if, indeed they ever accomplish the task. The man with a small income is really rich, as long as there is no overdraft on the account; so the nervous man may be really well and in fair working order as long as he does not draw on his limited store of nerve-force. But a slight mental disturbance, unwonted toil or exposure, anything out of and beyond his usual routine, even a sleepless night, may sweep away that narrow margin, and leave him in nervous bankruptcy, from which he finds it as hard to rise as from financial bankruptcy.”

Hence we see that neurasthenics who can pursue without any special difficulty the callings of their lives, even those callings requiring great and prolonged activity, amid perhaps very considerable excitement, as that of statesmanship, politics, business, commercial life, or in overworked professions, are prostrated at once when they are called upon to do something outside of their line, where their force must travel by paths that have never been opened and in which the obstructions are numerous and can only be overcome by greater energy than they can supply.” The purpose of treatment in cases of nervous exhaustion is of a two-fold character— to widen the margin of nerve-force, and to teach the patient how to keep from slipping over the edge.”

Our title is justified by this, that if once we understand the causes and consequences of American nervousness, the problems connected with the nervousness of other lands speedily solve themselves.” The philosophy of Germany has penetrated to all civilized nations; in all directions we are becoming Germanized. Similarly, the nervousness of America is extending over Europe, which, in certain countries, at least, is becoming rapidly Americanized. Just as it is impossible to treat of German thought without intelligent reference to the thought of other nationalities, ancient or modern, so is it impossible to solve the problem of American nervousness without taking into our estimate the nervousness of other lands and ages. [Acaba de contradizer o grifado em verde!]”

O REVERSO DA MEDALHA

Indeed, nervousness, in its extreme manifestations, seems to save one from these organic incurable diseases of the brain and of the cord; with some exceptions here and there, the neurasthenic does not go into or die of nervous disease.” They may become insane—some of them do; they may become bed-confined invalids; they may be forced, as they often are, to resign their occupations, but they do not, as rule, develop the structural maladies to which here refer.” nervousness is a physical not a mental state, and its phenomena do not come from emotional excess or excitability or from organic disease but from nervous debility and irritability.”

2. SIGNS OF AMERICAN NERVOUSNESS

No one dies of spinal irritation; no one dies of cerebral irritation; no one dies of hay-fever; rarely one dies of hysteria; no one dies of general neuralgia; no one dies of sick-headache; no one dies of nervous dyspepsia; quite rarely does one die of nervous exhaustion; and even when these conditions are the cause of death they are not noted as such in the tables of mortality” Nervousness of constitution is, indeed, an aid to longevity, and in various ways; it compels caution, makes imperative the avoidance of evil habits, and early warns us of the approach of peril.” Wickedness was solemnly assigned as the cause of the increase of nervous diseases, as though wickedness were a modern discovery.” nervous diathesis—an evolution of the nervous temperament.” “It includes those temperaments, commonly designated as nervous, in whom there exists a predisposition to neuralgia, dyspepsia, chorea, sick-headache, functional paralysis, hysteria, hypochondriasis, insanity, or other of the many symptoms of disease of the central or peripheral nervous system.”

A fine organization. The fine organization is distinguished from the coarse by fine, soft hair, delicate skin, nicely chiselled features [bem-cinzelada ou esculpida – somos belos!], small bones, tapering extremities [membros pontiagudos, i.e., que se afunilam nas mãos e nos pés, na canela e no antebraço!], and frequently by a muscular system comparatively small and feeble. It is frequently associated with superior intellect, and with a strong and active emotional nature.” “It is the organization of the civilized, refined, and educated, rather than of the barbarous and low-born and untrained”

The nervous diathesis appears, within certain limits, to protect the system against attacks of fever and inflammation.” Isso explicaria porque só tive febre uma vez desde a idade adulta.

The tuberculous diathesis frequently accompanies a fine organization; but fine organizations only in a certain proportion of cases have a tuberculous diathesis. The nervous diathesis is frequently not only not susceptible to tuberculosis, but apparently much less so than the average, and sometimes, indeed, seems to be antagonistic to it, for there are many nervous patients in whom no amount of exposure or hardship or imprudence seems to be able to develop phthisis [tísica]” Devo acrescentar alguma imunidade ao câncer?

Among Americans of the higher orders, those who live in-doors, drinking is becoming a lost art; among these classes drinking customs are now historic, must be searched for, read or talked about, like extinct or dying-away species.” There is, perhaps, no single fact in sociology more instructive and far reaching than this, and this is but a fraction of the general and sweeping fact that the heightened sensitiveness of Americans forces them to abstain entirely, or to use in incredible and amusing moderation, not only the stronger alcoholic liquors, whether pure or impure, but also the milder wines, ales, and beers, and even tea and coffee.”

I replied that there were very few nervous patients who were not injured by it, and very few who would not find it out without the aid of any physician. Our fathers could smoke, our mothers could smoke, but their children must oft-times be cautious; and chewing is very rapidly going out of custom, and will soon, like snuff-taking, become a historic curiosity; while cigars give way to cigarettes. From the cradle to the grave the Chinese empire smokes, and when a sick man in China has grown so weak that he no longer asks for his pipe, they give up hope, and expect him to die. Savage tribes without number drink most of the time when not sleeping or fighting, and without suffering alcoholism, or without ever becoming inebriates [!]” But 50 years ago opium produced sleep; now the same dose keeps us awake, like coffee or tea—susceptibility to this drug has been revolutionized.” Thus the united forces of climate and civilization are pressing us back from one stimulant to another, until, like babes, we find no safe retreat save in chocolate and milk and water.”

Reprove an Angola negro for being drunk and he will reply, <My mother is dead,> as though that were excuse enough. Even as recently as the beginning of the present century, the custom of drinking at funerals yet survived with our fathers. At the present time both culture and conscience are opposed to such habits.”

It is through the alcohol, and not the adulterations, that excessive drinking injures.” This functional malady of the nervous system which we call inebriety, as distinguished from the vice or habit of drunkenness, may be said to have been born in America, has here developed sooner and far more rapidly than elsewhere, and here also has received earlier and more successful attention from men of science.” For those individuals who inherit a tendency to inebriety, the only safe course is absolute abstinence, especially in early life; and in certain cases treatment of the nervous system, on the exhaustion of which the inebriety depends.”

AQUILO QUE NENHUMA REVISTA DE NUTRIÇÃO DIRÁ: “we so often find not only epileptics, but neurasthenics and nervous persons with other symptoms, are free and sometimes excessive eaters. They say their food does not give them strength, and it does not, for the same reason that the acid poured into the impure fluid of the battery does not give us electric force. There are those who all their lives are habitually small eaters and yet are great workers, and there are those who, though all their lives great eaters, are never strong; their food is either not digested or thoroughly assimilated, and so a much smaller fraction than should be is converted into nerve-force.”

In all the great cities of the East, among the brain-working classes of our large cities everywhere, pork, in all its varieties and preparations, has taken a subordinate place among the meats upon our tables, for the reason that the stomach of the brain-worker cannot digest it.”

Four and 5 meals a day is, or has been, the English and, notably, the German custom. Foreigners have greatly surpassed us in the taking of solid as well as liquid food.”

The eyes also are good barometers of our nervous civilization. The increase of asthenopia and short-sightedness [miopia], and, in general, of the functional disorders of the eye, are demonstrated facts and are most instructive. The great skill and great number of our oculists are constant proof and suggestions of the nervousness of our age. The savage can usually see well; myopia is a measure of civilization.” “near-sightedness increases in schools” Macnamara declares that he took every opportunity of examining the eyes of Southall aborigines of Bengal, for the purpose of discovering whether near-sightedness and diseases of like character existed among them, and he asserts that he never saw a young Southall whose eyes were not perfect.”

at the age of 20, 26% of Americans are near-sighted. In Russia, 42%, and in Germany, 62%.” A nação mais intelectual do mundo.

American dentists are the best in the world, because American teeth are the worst in the world.”

Irregularities of teeth, like their decay, are the product primarily of civilization, secondarily of climate. These are rarely found among the Indians or the Chinese; and, according to Dr. Kingsley, are rare even in idiots”

It is probable that negroes are troubled earlier than Indians. The popular impression that negroes always have good teeth is erroneous—the contrast between the whiteness of the teeth and the blackness of the face tending not a little to flatter them.”

Coarse races and peoples, and coarse individuals can go with teeth badly broken down without being aware of it from any pain; whereas, in a finely organized constitution, the very slightest decay in the teeth excites pain which renders filling or extracting imperative. The coarse races and coarse individuals are less disturbed by the bites of mosquitoes, by the presence of flies or of dirt on the body, than those in whom the nervous diathesis prevails”

It is said, for example, of the negroes of the South, that they rarely if ever sneeze.”

Special explanations without number have been offered for this long-observed phenomenon—the early and rapid decay of American teeth—such as the use of sweets, the use of acids, neglect of cleanliness, and the use of food that requires little mastication. But they who urge these special facts to account for the decay of teeth of our civilization would, by proper inquiry, learn that the savages and negroes, and semi-barbarians everywhere, in many cases use sweets far more than we, and never clean their mouths, and never suffer, except in old age.”

the only races that have poor teeth are those who clean them.” Quando o remédio vem mais tarde que a doença.

Among savages in all parts of the earth baldness is unusual, except in extreme age, and gray hairs come much later than with us. So common is baldness in our large cities that what was once a deformity and exception is now almost the rule, and an element of beauty.”

Increased sensitiveness to both heat and cold is a noteworthy sign of nervousness.”

Cold bathing is not borne as well as formerly.” “Water treatment is as good for some forms of nervous disease as it ever was; but it must be adapted to the constitution of the patient, and adapted also to the peculiar needs of each case.”

The disease, state, or condition to which the term neurasthenia is applied is subdivisible, just as insanity is subdivided into general paresis or general paralysis of the insane, epileptic insanity, hysterical, climatic, and puerperal insanity; just as the disease or condition that we call trance is subdivided into clinical varieties, such as intellectual trance, induced trance, cataleptic trance, somnambulistic trance, emotional trance, ecstatic trance, etc.

That diabetes is largely if not mainly a nervous disease is becoming more and more the conviction of all medical thinkers, and that, like Bright’s disease, it has increased of late, can be proved by statistics that in this respect are in harmony with observation.”

A ERA DA RINITE E DAS ALERGIAS: “A single branch of our neurological tree, hay-fever, has in it the material for years of study; he who understands that, understands the whole problem. In the history of nervous disease I know not where to look for anything as extraordinary or instructive as the rise and growth of hay-fever in the USA.”

Catarrh of the nose and nasal pharyngeal states — so-called nasal and pharyngeal catarrh — is not a nervous disease, in the strict sense of the term, but there is often a nervous element in it; and in the marked and obstinate forms it is, like decay and irregularities of the teeth, one of the signs or one of the nerve-symptoms of impairment of nutrition and decrease of vital force which make us unable to resist change of climate and extremes of temperature.”

The phenomenal beauty of the American girl of the highest type, is a subject of the greatest interest both to the psychologist and the sociologist, since it has no precedent, in recorded history, at least; and it is very instructive in its relation to the character and the diseases of America.”

The same climatic peculiarities that make us nervous also make us handsome”

In no other country are the daughters pushed forward so rapidly, so early sent to school, so quickly admitted into society; the yoke of social observance (if it may be called such), must be borne by them much sooner than by their transatlantic sisters — long before marriage they have had much experience in conversation and in entertainment, and have served as queens in social life, and assumed many of the responsibilities and activities connected therewith. Their mental faculties in the middle range being thus drawn upon, constantly from childhood, they develop rapidly a cerebral activity both of an emotional and an intellectual nature, that speaks in the eyes and forms the countenance; thus, fineness of organization, the first element of beauty, is supplemented by expressiveness of features — which is its second element”

Handsome women are found here and there in Great Britain, and rarely in Germany; more frequently in France and in Austria, in Italy and Spain”

One cause, perhaps, of the almost universal homeliness of female faces among European works of art is the fact that the best of the masters never saw a handsome woman.” Esqueceu da relatividade histórica do tipo belo!

If Raphael had been wont to see everyday in Rome or Naples what he would now see everyday in New York, Baltimore, or Chicago, it would seem probable that, in his Sistine Madonna he would have preferred a face of, at least, moderate beauty, to the neurasthenic and anemic type that is there represented. [?]”

To the first and inevitable objection that will be made to all here said — namely, that beauty is a relative thing, the standard of which varies with age, race, and individual — the answer is found in the fact that the American type is today more adored in Europe than in America; that American girls are more in demand for foreign marriages than any other nationality; and that the professional beauties of London that stand highest are those who, in appearance and in character have come nearest the American type.” Isso se chama cultura hegemônica, e não um argumento de defesa – e um pouco de chauvinismo também…

The ruddiness or freshness, the health-suggesting and health-sustaining face of the English girl seem incomparable when partially veiled, or when a few rods away” HAHA. Uma obra não muito recomendável na parte estética… Beleza EXÓTICA!

The European woman steps with a firmer tread than the American, and with not so much lightness, pliancy, and grace. In a multitude, where both nations are represented, this difference is impressive.”

The grasp of the European woman is firmer and harder, as though on account of greater strength and firmness of muscle. In the touch of the hand of the American woman there is a nicety and tenderness that the English woman destroys by the force of the impact.”

3. CAUSES OF AMERICAN NERVOUSNESS

Punctuality is a greater thief of nervous force than is procrastination of time. We are under constant strain, mostly unconscious, often-times in sleeping as well as in waking hours, to get somewhere or do something at some definite moment.”

In Constantinople indolence is the ideal, as work is the ideal in London and New York”

There are those who prefer, or fancy they prefer, the sensations of movement and activity to the sensations of repose”

The telegraph is a cause of nervousness the potency of which is little understood. (…) prices fluctuated far less rapidly, and the fluctuations which now are transmitted instantaneously over the world were only known then by the slow communication of sailing vessels or steamships” “every cut in prices in wholesale lines in the smallest of any of the Western cities, becomes known in less than an hour all over the Union; thus competition is both diffused and intensified.”

Rhythmical, melodious, musical sounds are not only agreeable, but when not too long maintained are beneficial, and may be ranked among our therapeutical agencies.”

The experiments, inventions, and discoveries of Edison alone have made and are now making constant and exhausting draughts on the nervous forces of America and Europe, and have multiplied in very many ways, and made more complex and extensive, the tasks and agonies not only of practical men, but of professors and teachers and students everywhere” Um tanto utópico e nostálgico para um “médico pragmático”…

On the mercantile or practical side the promised discoveries and inventions of this one man have kept millions of capital and thousand of capitalists in suspense and distress on both sides of the sea.”

the commerce of the Greeks, of which classical histories talk so much, was more like play — like our summer yachting trips”

The gambler risks usually all that he has; while the stock buyer risks very much more than he has. The stock buyer usually has a certain commercial, social, and religious position, which is thrown into the risk, in all his ventures”

as the civilized man is constantly kept in check by the inhibitory power of the intellect, he appears to be far less emotional than the savage, who, as a rule, with some exceptions, acts out his feelings with comparatively little restraint.”

Love, even when gratified, is a costly emotion; when disappointed, as it is so often likely to be, it costs still more, drawing largely, in the growing years of both sexes, on the margin of nerve-force, and thus becomes the channel through which not a few are carried on to neurasthenia, hysteria, epilepsy, or insanity.”

A modern philosopher of the most liberal school states that he hates to hear one laugh aloud, regarding the habit, as he declares, a survival of barbarism.”

There are two institutions that are almost distinctively American — political elections and religious revivals”

My friend, presidents and politicians are chips and foam on the surface of the sea; they are not the sea; tossed up by the tide and left on the shore, but they are not the tide; fold your arms and go to bed, and most of the evils of this world will correct themselves, and, of those that remain, few will be modified by anything that you or I can do.”

The experiment attempted on this continent of making every man, every child, and every woman an expert in politics and theology is one of the costliest of experiments with living human beings, and has been drawing on our surplus energies with cruel extravagance for 100 years.” Agora, 250…

Protestantism, with the subdivision into sects which has sprung from it, is an element in the causation of the nervous diseases of our time. No Catholic country is very nervous, and partly for this—that in a Catholic nation the burden of religion is carried by the church.” Coitado do Brasil, trocando o certo pelo duvidoso assim…

The difference between Canadians and Americans is observed as soon as we cross the border, the Catholic church and a limited monarchy acting as antidotes to neurasthenia and allied affections. Protestant England has imitated Catholicism, in a measure, by concentrating the machinery of religion and taking away the burden from the people. It is stated —although it is supposed that this kind of statistics are unreliable— that in Italy insanity has been on the increase during these few years in which there has been civil and religious liberty in that country.”

The anxieties about the future, family, property, etc., are certainly so wearing on the negro, that some of them, without doubt, have expressed a wish to return to slavery.”

advances in science are not usually made by committees—indeed, are almost never made by them, least of all by government committees”

The people of this country have been pressed constantly with these 3 questions: How shall we keep from starving? Who is to be the next president? And where shall we go when we die? In a limited, narrow way, other nations have met these questions; at least two of them, that of starvation and that of the future life; but nowhere in ancient or modern civilization have these 3 questions been agitated so severely or brought up with such energy as here.”

Those who have acquired or have inherited wealth, are saved an important percentage of this forecasting and fore-worry”

The barbarian cares nothing for the great problems of life; seeks no solution — thinks of no solution of the mysteries of nature, and, after the manner of many reasoners in modern delusions, dismisses what he cannot at once comprehend as supernatural, and leaves it unsatisfactorily solved for himself, for others, and for all time”

Little account has been made of the fact that the old world is small geographically. The ancient Greeks knew only of Greece and the few outside barbarians who tried to destroy them. The discovery of America, like the invention of printing, prepared the way for modern nervousness; and, in connection with the telegraph, the railway, and the periodical press increased a hundred-fold the distresses of humanity.” The burning of Chicago—a city less than half a century old, on a continent whose existence was unknown a few centuries ago—becomes in a few hours the property of both hemispheres, and makes heavy drafts on the vitality not only of Boston and New York, but of London, Paris, and Vienna.”

Letter-writing is an index of nervousness; those nations who writes the most letters being the most nervous, and those who write scarcely at all, as the Turks and Russians, knowing nothing or but very little of it.”

The education of the Athenian boy consisted in play and games and songs, and repetitions of poems, and physical feats in the open air. His life was a long vacation, in which, as a rule, he rarely toiled as hard as the American lad in the intervals of his toil. (…) What they called work, gymnastics, competition games, and conversations on art and letters, is to us recreation.”

Up to a certain point work develops capacity for work; through endurance is evolved the power of greater endurance; force becomes the parent of force. But here, as in all animate nature, there are limitations of development which cannot be passed. The capacity of the nervous system for sustained work and worry has not increased in proportion to the demands for work and worry that are made upon it.”

GREEN COMMENT LAND: “Continuous and uniform cold as in Greenland, like continuous and uniform heat as on the Amazon, produces enervation and languor; but repeated alternations of the cold of Greenland and the heat of the Amazon produce energy, restlessness, and nervousness.”

The element of dryness of the air, peculiar of our climate as distinguished from that of Europe, both in Great Britain and on the Continent, is of the highest scientific and practical interest.” “On the nervous system this unusual dryness and thinness of the air have a many-sided influence; such as increase of headaches, neuralgias, and diminished capacity for sustaining cerebral toil.” The organs, pianos, and violins of America are superior to those made in Europe at the present time. This superiority is the result, not so much of greater skill, ingenuity, or experience, but—so far as I can learn, from conversing with experts in this line—from the greater dryness of the air, which causes the wood to season better than in the moist atmosphere of Europe.”

Moisture conducts electricity, and an atmosphere well charged with moisture, other conditions being the same, will tend to keep the electricity in a state of equilibrium, since it allows free and ready conduction at all times and in all directions.” In regions where the atmosphere is excessively dry, as in the Rocky Mountains, human beings—indeed all animals, become constantly acting lightning-rods, liable at any moment to be made a convenient pathway through which electricity going to or from the earth seeks an equilibrium.”

in the East our neuralgic and rheumatic patients, just before thunder-storms, are suddenly attacked by exquisite pains that at once disappear with the fair weather. There are those so sensitive that for 100 miles, and for a full day in advance, as Dr. Mitchell has shown, they can predict the approach of a storm.”

Dryness of the air, whether external or internal, likewise excites nervousness by heightening the rapidity of the processes of waste and repair in the organism, so that we live faster than in a moist atmosphere.”

one of the Manchester mill owners asserted that, during a season of dry weather, there was, in weaving alone, a loss of 5%, in quantity, and another loss of 5%, in quality; in spinning, also, an equal loss is claimed. To maintain moisture in mills, sundry devices have been tried, which have met, I believe, with partial success in practice.”

Even in our perfect Octobers, on days that are pictures of beauty and ideals of climate — just warm enough to be agreeable and stimulating enough not to be depressing, we yet remain in the house far more than Europeans are wont to do even in rainy or ugly seasons.” So what, Mr. Productive Media?

The English know nothing of summer, as we know of it — they have no days when it is dangerous, and scarcely any days when it is painful to walk or ride in the direct rays of the sun; and in winter, spring, and fall there are few hours when one cannot by proper clothing keep warm while moderately exercising.”

The Kuro Siwo stream of the Pacific, with its circuit of 18,000 miles, carries the warm water of the tropics towards the poles, and regulates in a manner the climate of Japan. Mr. Croll estimates that if the Gulf Stream were to stop, the annual temperature of London would fall 30 degrees [Farenheit], and England would become as cold as Nova Zembla. It is the influence of the Gulf Stream that causes London, that is 11° farther north than New York, to have an annual mean temperature but 2° lower.”

According to Miss Isabella Bird, who has recently published a work entitled Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, which is not only the very best work ever written on Japan, but one of the most remarkable works of travel ever written by man or woman, it seems that the Japanese suffer both from extremes of heat and cold, from deep snows and ice, and from the many weeks of sultriness such as oppress us in the US. The atmosphere of Japan is though far more moist than that of America, in that respect resembling some of the British Isles”

Our Meteorological Bureau has justified its existence and labors by demonstrating and popularizing the fact that our waves of extreme heat and of extreme cold and severe climatic perturbations of various kinds are born in or pass from the Pacific through these mountains and travel eastward, and hence their paths can be followed and their coming can be predicted with a measure of certainty.”

in the latter part of the winter and early spring—or what passes for spring, which is really a part of winter, and sometimes its worse part—there is more suffering from cold, more liability to disease, by taking cold, and more debility from long confinement in dry and overheated air than in early and mid-winter”

the strong races, like the Hebrews and Anglo-Saxons, succeed in nearly all climates, and are dominant wherever they go; but in unlimited or very extended time, race is a result of climate and environment.”

Savages may go to the most furious excesses without developing any nervous disease; they may gorge themselves, or they may go without eating for a week, they may rest in camp or they may go upon laborious campaigns, and yet never have nervous dyspepsia, sick-headache, hay-fever, or neuralgia.”

No people in the world are so careful of their diet, the quality and quantity of their food, and in regard to their habits of drinking, as the very class of Americans who suffer most from these neuroses.”

Alcohol only produces inebriety when it acts on a nervous system previously made sensitive. Alcoholism and inebriety are the products not of alcohol, but of alcohol plus a certain grade of nerve degeneration.”

But bad air, that is, air simply made impure by the presence of human beings, without any special contagion, seems powerless to produce disease of any kind, unless the system be prepared for it. Not only bad air, but bad air and filth combined, the Chinese of the lower orders endure both in this country and their own, and are not demonstrably harmed thereby (…) but impure air, plus a constitution drawn upon and weakened by civilization, is an exciting cause of nervous disease of immense force.”

The philosophy of the causation of American nervousness may be expressed in algebraic formula as follows: civilization in general + American civilization in particular (young and rapidly growing nation, with civil, religious, and social liberty) + exhausting climate (extremes of heat and cold, and dryness) + the nervous diathesis (itself a result of previously named factors) + overwork or overworry, or excessive indulgence of appetites or passions = an attack of neurasthenia or nervous exhaustion.”

Dr. Habsch, the chief oculist in Constantinople, says that the effect of tobacco upon the eyes is very problematical; that everybody smokes from morning to night, the men a great deal, the women a little less than the men, and the children smoke from the age of 7 and 8 years. He states that the number of cases of amaurosis [cegueira] is very limited. If expert oculists would examine the eyes of the Chinese, who smoke quite as much as the Turks, if not more, and smoke opium as well as tobacco, they would unquestionably confirm the conclusion of Dr. Habsch among the Turks. Dr. Habsch believes that in persons with a very delicate skin and conjunctiva [membrana mucosa que liga as pálpabras com o tecido ocular propriamente dito] among the Turks, smoking frequently causes chronic irritation, local congestion, profuse lachrymation, blepharitis ciliaris [inflamação dos cílios], and more or less intense redness of the eyelids. (cf. Dr. Webster on Amblyopia [Perda de visão] from the Use of Tobacco) [livro inexistente na web]”

The Hollanders, according to a most expert traveller, Edmondo De Amicis, are the greatest smokers of Europe; on entering a house, with the first greeting you are offered a cigar, and when you leave another is handed to you; many retire with a pipe in their mouth, re-light it if they awake during the night; they measure distances by smoke – to such a place by not so many miles but by so many pipes.” “Says one Hollander, smoke is our second breath; says another, the cigar is the 6th finger of the hand.”

Opium eating in China does not work in the way that the same habit does in the white races.” “when it is said of a Chinaman that he smokes opium, it is meant that he smokes to excess and has a morbid craving for it, just as with us the expression a man drinks means that he drinks too much”

It is clear that the habit of taking opium does not necessarily impair fertility, since large families are known among those who use opium, even to excess.”

Among my nervous patients I find very many who cannot digest vegetables, but must use them with much caution; but all China lives on vegetables, and indigestion is not a national disease. Many of the Chinese live in undrained grounds, in conditions favorable to ague and various fevers, but they do not suffer from these diseases, nor from diseases of the lungs and bronchial tubes, to the same extent as foreign residents there who do not use opium.”

I have been twice favored with the chance to study Africa in America. On the sea islands of the South, between Charleston and Savannah, there are thousands of negroes, once slaves, most of whom were born on those islands, who there will die, and who at no time have been brought into relation with our civilization, except so far as it is exhibited in a very few white inhabitants in the vicinity. Intellectually, they can be not very much in advance of their African ancestors; in looks and manners they remind me of the Zulus now exhibiting in America; for although since emancipation they have been taught by philanthropists, part of the time under governmental supervision, some of the elements of common school teaching, yet none of them have made, or are soon likely to make, any very important progress beyond those elements, and few, if any of them, even care to exercise the art of reading after it is taught them. Here, then, is a bit of barbarism at our door-steps; here, with our own eyes, and with the aid of those who live near them and employ them, I have sought for the facts of comparative neurology. There is almost no insanity among these negroes; there is no functional nervous disease or symptoms among them of any name or phase; to suggest spinal irritation, or hysteria of the physical form, or hay-fever, or nervous dyspepsia among these people is but to joke.” These primitive people can go, when required, for weeks and months sleeping but 1 or 2 hours out of the 24; they can labor for all day, or for 2 days, eating nothing or but little; hog and hominy and lish, all the year round, they can eat without getting dyspepsia; indulgence of passions several-fold greater, at least, than is the habit of the whites, either there or here, never injures them either permanently or temporarily; if you would find a virgin among them, it is said you must go to the cradle; alcohol, when they can get it, they drink with freedom, and become intoxicated like the whites, but rarely, indeed, manifest the symptoms of delirium-tremens, and never of chronic alcoholism”

These blacks cannot summon as much energy for a moment in an emergency as the whites, since they have less control over their energies, but in holding-on power, in sustained, continuous, unbroken muscular endurance, for hours and days, they surpass the whites.”

The West is where the East was a quarter of a century ago—passing more rapidly, as it would appear, through the same successive stages of development.”

4. LONGEVITY OF BRAIN-WORKERS AND THE RELATION OF AGE TO WORK

Without civilization there can be no nervousness; there is no race, no climate, no environment that can make nervousness and nervous disease possible and common save when reenforced by brain-work and worry and in-door life. This is the dark and, so far as it goes, truthful side of our theme; the brighter side is to be drawn in the present chapter.

Thomas Hughes, in his Life of Alfred the Great, makes a statement that <the world’s hardest workers and noblest benefactors have rarely been long-lived>. That any intelligent writer of the present day should make a statement so untrue shows how hard it is to destroy an old superstition.

The remark is based on the belief which has been held for centuries that the mind can be used only at the injurious expense of the body. This belief has been something more than a mere popular prejudice; it has been a professional dogma, and has inspired nearly all the writers on hygiene since medicine has been a science; and intellectual and promising youth have thereby been dissuaded from entering brain-working professions; and thus, much of the choicest genius has been lost to civilization; students in college have abandoned plans of life to which their tastes inclined, and gone to the farm or workshop; authors, scientists, and investigators in the several professions have thrown away the accumulated experience of the better half of life, and retired to pursuits as uncongenial as they were profitless. The delusion has, therefore, in 2 ways, wrought evil, specifically by depriving the world of the services of some of its best endowed natures, and generally by fostering a habit of accepting statement for demonstration.

Between 1864 and 1866 I obtained statistics on the general subject of the relation of occupation to health and longevity that convinced me of the error of the accepted teachings in regard to the effect of mental labor.”

The views I then advocated, and which I enforced by statistical evidence were:

1st. That the brain-working classes—clergymen, lawyers, physicians, merchants, scientists, and men of letters, lived much longer than the muscle-working classes.

2nd. That those who followed occupations that called both muscle and brain into exercise, were longer-lived than those who lived in occupations that were purely manual.

3rd. That the greatest and hardest brain-workers of history have lived longer on the average than brain-workers of ordinary ability and industry.

4th. That clergymen were longer-lived than any other great class of brain-workers. [QUE PRAGA!]

5th. That longevity increased very greatly with the advance of civilization; and that this increase was too marked to be explained merely by improved sanitary knowledge.

6th. That although nervous diseases increased with the increase of culture, and although the unequal and excessive excitements and anxieties attendant on mental occupations of a high civilization were so far both prejudicial to health and longevity, yet these incidental evils were more than counter-balanced by the fact that fatal inflammatory diseases have diminished in frequency and violence in proportion as nervous diseases have increased; an also that brain-work is, per se, healthful and conducive to longevity.”

the greater majority of those who die in any one of the three great professions — law, theology, and medicine — have, all their lives, from 21 upwards, followed that profession in which they died.”

I have ascertained the longevity of 500 of the greatest men in history. The list I prepared includes a large proportion of the most eminent names in all the departments of thought and activity. (…) the average age of those I have mentioned, I found to be 64.2. (…) the greatest men of the world have lived longer on the average than men of ordinary ability in the different occupations by 14 years” The value of this comparison is enforced by the consideration that longevity has increased with the progress of civilization, while the list I prepared represents every age of recorded history.” “I am sure that any chronology comprising from 100 to 500 of the most eminent personages in history, at any cycle, will furnish an average longevity of from 64 to 70 years. Madden, in his very interesting work The Infirmities of Genius, gives a list of 240 illustrious names, with their ages at death.”

IV comparative longevity of brain-workers

The full explanation of the superior longevity of the brain-working classes would require a treatise on the science of sociology, and particularly of the relation of civilization to health. The leading factors, accounting for the long life of those who live by brain-labor, are:

(…)

In the successful brain-worker worry is transferred into work; in the muscle-worker work too often degrades into worry.” “To the happy brain-worker life is a long vacation; while the muscle-worker often finds no joy in his daily toil, and very little in the intervals.”

Longevity is the daughter of comfort. Of the many elements that make up happiness, mental organization, physical health, fancy, friends, and money—the last is, for the average man, greater than any other, except the first.”

for a large number, sleep is a luxury of which they never have sufficient for real recuperation”

The nervous temperament, which usually predominates in brain-workers, is antagonistic to fatal, acute, inflammatory disease, and favorable to long life.”

Nervous people, if not too feeble, may die everyday. They do not die; they talk of death, and each day expect it, and yet they live. Many of the most annoying nervous diseases, especially of the functional, and some even of the structural varieties, do not rapidly destroy life, and are, indeed, consistent with great longevity.”

the nervous man can expose himself to malaria, to cold and dampness, with less danger of disease, and with less danger of death if he should contract disease, than his tough and hardy brother.”

In the conflict with fevers and inflammations, strength is often weakness, and weakness becomes strength—we are saved through debility.”

Still further, my studies have shown that, of distinctively nervous diseases, those which have the worst pathology and are the most hopeless, such as locomotor ataxia, progressive muscular atrophy, apoplexy with hemiplegia, and so on, are more common and more severe, and more fatal among the comparatively vigorous and strong, than among the most delicate and finely organized. Cancer, even, goes hardest with the hardy, and is most relievable in the nervous.”

Women, with all their nervousness—and in civilized lands, women are more nervous, immeasurably, than men, and suffer more from general and special nervous diseases—yet live quite as long as men, if not somewhat longer; their greater nervousness and far greater liability to functional diseases of the nervous system being compensated for by their smaller liability to certain acute and inflammatory disorders, and various organic nervous diseases, likewise, such as the general paralysis of insanity.”

Brain-workers can adapt their labor to their moods and hours and periods of greatest capacity for labor better than muscle-workers. In nearly all intellectual employments there is large liberty; literary and professional men especially, are so far masters of their time that they can select the hours and days for their most exacting and important work; and when from any cause indisposed to hard thinking, can rest and recreate, or limit themselves to mechanical details.”

Forced labor, against the grain of one’s nature, is always as expensive as it is unsatisfactory”

Even coarser natures have their moods, and the choicest spirits are governed by them; and they who worship their moods do most wisely; and those who are able to do so are the fortunate ones of the earth.”

Again, brain-workers do their best work between the ages of 25-45; before that period they are preparing to work; after that period, work, however extensive it may be, becomes largely accumulation and routine.” “It is as hard to lay a stone wall after one has been laying it 50 years as during the first year. The range of muscular growth and development is narrow, compared with the range of mental growth; the day-laborer soon reaches the maximum of his strength. The literary or scientific worker goes on from strength to strength, until what at 25 was impossible, and at 30 difficult, at 35 becomes easy, and at 40 a past-time.”

The number of illustrious names of history is by no means so great as is currently believed; for, as the visible stars of the firmament, which at a glance appear infinite in number, on careful estimate are reduced to a few thousands, so the galaxy of genius, which appears interminable on a comprehensive estimate, presents but few lights of immortal fame. Mr. Galton, in his Hereditary Genius, states that there have not been more than 400 great men in history.”

obscurity is no sure evidence of demerit, but only a probability of such”

Only in rare instances is special or general talent so allied with influence, or favor, or fortune, or energy that commands circumstances, that it can develop its full functions; <things are in the saddle and ride mankind>, environment commands the environed.”

The stars we see in the sky are but mites compared with the infinite orbs that shall never be seen; but no star is a delusion—each one means a world, the light of which very well corresponds to its size and distance from the earth and sun.” “Routine and imitation work can no more confer the fame that comes from work that is original and creative than the moon can take the place of the sun.”

It is this confounding of force with the results of force, of fame with the work by which fame is attained that causes philosophers to dispute, deny, or doubt, or to puzzle over the law of the relation of age to work, as here announced.

When the lightning flashes along the sky, we expect a discharge will soon follow, since light travels faster than sound; so some kinds of fame are more rapidly diffused than others, and are more nearly contemporaneous with their origin; but as a law, there is an interval — varying from years to hundreds of years — between the doing of any original work and the appreciation of that work by any considerable number of mankind that we call fame.

The great men that we know are old men; but they did the work that has made them great when they were young; in loneliness, in poverty, often, as well as under discouragement, and in neglected or despised youth has been achieved all that has advanced, all that is likely to advance mankind.”

In the man of genius, the idea starts where, in the man of routine, it leaves off.”

Original work—that done by geniuses who have thereby attained immortal fame, is the only kind of work that can be used as the measure of cerebral force in all our search for this law of the relation of work to the time of life at which work is done for the two-fold reason—first, that it is the highest and best measure of cerebral force; and, secondly, because it is the only kind of work that gives earthly immortality.”

Men do not long remember, nor do they earnestly reverence those who have done only what everybody can do. We never look up, unless the object at which we look is higher than ourselves; the forces that control the rise and fall of reputation are as inevitable and as remorseless as heat, light, and gravity; if a great man looms up from afar, it is because he is taller than the average man; else, he would pass below the horizon as we receded from him; factitious fame is as impossible as factitious heat, light, or gravity; if there be force, there must have been, somewhere, and at some time, a source whence that force was evolved.”

the strength of a man is his strength at his strongest point—what he can do in any one direction, at his very best. However weak and even puerile, immature, and non-expert one may be in all other directions except one, be gains an immortality of fame if, in that one direction he develops a phenomenal power; weaknesses and wickednesses, serious immoralities and waywardnesses are soon forgotten by the world, which is, indeed, blinded to all these defects in the face of the strong illumination of genius. Judged by their defects, the non-expert side of their character, moral or intellectual, men like Burns,¹ Shakespeare, Socrates, Cicero, Caesar, Napoleon, Beethoven, Mozart, Byron, Dickens, etc., are but as babes or lunatics, and far, very far below the standard of their fellows.”

¹ Poeta escocês, 1759-96.

SOBRE A PRECOCIDADE E “GASTO DA ENERGIA MENTAL”: “Men to whom these truths are repelling put their eyes on those in high positions and in the decline of life, like Disraeli or Gladstone, forgetting that we have no proof that either of these men have ever originated a new thought during the past 25 years, and that in all their contributions to letters during that time there is nothing to survive, or worthy to survive, their authors.

They point to Darwin, the occupation of whose old age has been to gather into form the thoughts and labors of his manhood and youth, and whose only immortal book was the product of his silver and golden decade.”

IV the relation of age to original work

The lives of some great men are not sufficiently defined to differentiate the period, much less the decade or the year of their greatest productive force. Such lives are either rejected, or only the time of death and the time of first becoming famous are noted; very many authors have never told the world when they thought-out or even wrote their masterpieces, and the season of publication is the only date that we can employ. These classes of facts, it will be seen, tell in favor of old rather than of young men, and will make the year of maximum production later rather than earlier, and cannot, therefore, be objected to by those who may doubt my conclusions.”

For those who have died young, and have worked in original lines up to the year of their death, the date of death has sometimes been regarded as sufficient. Great difficulty has been found in proving the dates of the labors of the great names of antiquity, and, therefore, many of them are necessarily excluded from consideration, but in an extended comparison between ancient and modern brain-workers, so far as history makes possible, there was but little or no difference.”

This second or supplementary list was analyzed in the same way as the primary list, and it was found that the law was true of these, as of those of greater distinction. The conclusion is just, scientific, and inevitable, that if we should go down through all the grades of cerebral force, we should find this law prevailing among medium and inferior natures, that the obscure, the dull, and the unaspiring accomplished the little they did in the direction of relatively original work in the brazen and golden decades.” Tenho 8 anos pela frente.

These researches were originally made as far back as 1870, and were first made public in lectures delivered by me before the Long Island Historical Society. The titles of the lectures were, Young Men in History, and the Decline of Moral Principle in Old Age.”

Finally, it should be remarked that the list has been prepared with absolute impartiality, and no name and no date has been included or omitted to prove any theory. The men who have done original or important work in advanced age, such as Dryden,¹ Radetzky,² Moltke,³ Thiers,4 De Foe,5 have all been noted, and are embraced in the average.”

¹ Poeta inglês, 1631-1700.

² Marechal, militar estrategista alemão que combateu inclusive Napoleão, vivendo ativo até uma idade avançada (1766-1858).

³ Provavelmente o Conde Adam Moltke (1710-1792), diplomata dinamarquês. Seu filho foi primeiro-ministro.

4 Marie Adolph –, político e escritor francês, 1797-1877, foi presidente eleito na França após a queda dos Bourbon.

5 Daniel Defoe viveu 71 anos e também foi ensaísta e publicou obras de não-ficção, além de seu maior sucesso.

The golden decade alone represents nearly 1/3 of the original work of the world. (…) The year of maximum productiveness is 39.”

All the athletes with whom I have conversed on this subject, the guides and lumbermen in the woods — those who have always lived solely by muscle — agree substantially to this: that their staying power is better between the ages of 35 and 45, than either before or after. To get the best soldiers, we must rob neither the cradle nor the grave; but select from those decades when the best brain-work of the world is done.”

Original work requires enthusiasm; routine work, experience.” “Unconsciously the people recognize this distinction between the work that demands enthusiasm and that which demands experience, for they prefer old doctors and lawyers, while in the clerical profession, where success depends on the ability to constantly originate and express thought, young men are the more popular, and old men, even of great ability, passed by. In the editorial profession original work is demanded, and most of the editorials of our daily press are written by young men. In the life of every old man there comes a point, sooner or later, when experience ceases to have any educating power; and when, in the language of Wall St., he becomes a bear; in the language of politics, a Bourbon.”

some of the greatest poets, painters, and sculptors, such as Dryden, Richardson, Cowper, Young, De Foe, Titian, Christopher Wren, and Michael Angelo, have done a part of their very best work in advanced life. The imagery both of Bacon and of Burke seemed to increase in richness as they grew older.

In the realm of reason, philosophic thought, invention and discovery, the exceptions are very rare. Nearly all the great systems of theology, metaphysics, and philosophy are the result of work done between 20 and 50.”

Michael Angelo and Sir Christopher Wren could wait for a quarter or even half a century before expressing their thoughts in St. Peter’s or St. Paul’s; but the time of the conception of those thoughts — long delayed in their artistic expression — was the time when their cerebral force touched its highest mark.

In the old age of literary artists, as Carlyle, Dickens, George Elliot, or Tennyson, the form may be most excellent; but from the purely scientific side the work though it may be good, is old; a repetition often-times, in a new form, of what they have said many times before.”

The philosophy of Bacon can never be written but once; to re-write it, to present it a 2nd time, in a different dress, would indicate weakness, would seem almost grotesque; but to statuary and painting we return again and again; we allow the artist to re-portray his thought, no matter how many times; we visit in succession a hundred cathedrals, all very much alike; and a delicious melody grows more pleasing with repetition; whence it is that in poetry — the queen of the arts — old age has wrought little, or not at all, since the essence of poetry is creative thought, and old age is unable to think; whence, also, in acting — the oldest of all the arts, the servant of all — the best experts are often at their best, or not far below their best, save for the acquisition of new characters, in the iron and wooden decades.”

Similarly with the art of writing—the style, the dress, the use of words, the art of expressing thoughts, and not of thinking. Men who have done their best thinking before 40 have done their best writing after that period.” it is thought, and not the language of thought, that best tests the creative faculties.”

The conversation of old men of ability, before they have passed into the stage of imbecility, is usually richer and more instructive than the conversation of the young; for in conversation we simply distribute the treasures of memory, as a store hoarded during long years of thought and experience. He who thinks as he converses is a poor companion, as he who must earn his money before he spends any is a poor man. When an aged millionnaire makes a liberal donation it costs him nothing; he but gives out of abundance that has resulted by natural accumulation from the labors of his youth and middle life.”

An amount of work not inconsiderable is done before 25 and a vast amount is done after 40; but at neither period is it usually of the original or creative sort that best measures the mental forces.” “In early youth we follow others; in old age we follow ourselves.”

The same law applies to animals. Horses live to be about 25, and are at their best from 8 to 14” “Dogs live 9 or 10 years, and are fittest for the hunt between 2 and 6.”

Children born of parents one or both of whom are between 25 and 40, are, on the average, stronger and smarter than those born of parents one or both of whom are very much younger or older than this.” “we are most productive when we are most reproductive [18-26??].”

In an interesting paper entitled When Women Grow Old, Mrs. Blake has brought facts to show that the fascinating power of the sex is often-times retained much longer than is generally assumed.

She tells us of Aspasia, who, between the ages of 30 and 50 was the strongest intellectual force in Athens; of Cleopatra, whose golden decade for power and beauty was between 30 and 40; of Livia, who was not far from 30 when she gained the heart of Octavius; of Anne of Austria, who at 38 was thought to be the most beautiful queen in Europe; of Catherine II of Russia, who, even at the silver decade was both beautiful and imposing; of Mademoiselle Mars, the actress, whose beauty increased with years, and culminated between 30 and 45; of Madame Recamier, who, between 25 and 40, and even later, was the reigning beauty in Europe; of Ninon de I’Enclos, whose own son — brought up without knowledge of his parentage — fell passionately in love with her when she was at the age of 37, and who even on her 60th birthday received an adorer young enough to be her grandson.

The voice of our great prima donnas is at its very best between 27 and 35; but still some retains, in a degree, its strength and sweetness even in the silver decade. The voice is an index of the body in all its functions, but the decay of other functions is not so readily noted.”

As a lad of 16, Lord Bacon began to think independently on great matters; at 44, published his great work on The Advancement of Learning; at 36, published 12 of his Essays; and at 60 collected the thoughts of his life in his Organum. His old age was devoted to scientific investigation.

At the age of 29, Descartes began to map out his system of philosophy, and at 41 began its publication, and at 54 he died.

Schelling, as a boy, studied philosophy, and at 24 was a brilliant and independent lecturer, and at 27 had published many important works; at 28 was professor of philosophy and arts, and wrote his best works before 50.

Dryden, one of the exceptions to the average, did his best work when comparatively old; his Absalom was written at 50, and his Alexander’s Feast when he was nearly 70.

Dean Swift wrote his Tale of a Tub at 35, and his Gulliver’s Travels at 59.”

Charles Dickens wrote Pickwick at 25, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby before 27, Christmas Chimes at 31, David Copperfield at 38, and Dombey and Son at 35. Thus we see that nearly all his greatest works were written before he was 40; and it is amazing how little all the writings of the last 20 years of his life took hold of the popular heart, in comparison with Pickwick and David Copperfield, and how little effect the most enormous advertising and the cumulative power of a great reputation really have to give a permanent popularity to writings that do not deserve it. If Dickens had died at 40 his claim to immortality would have been as great as now, and the world of letters would have been little, if any, the loser. The excessive methodical activity of his mature and advanced life could turn off works with fair rapidity; but all his vast experience and all his earnest striving failed utterly to reach the standard of his reckless boyhood. His later works were more perfect, perhaps, judged by some canons, but the genius of Pickwick was not in them.”

Edison with his 300 patents, is not the only young inventor. All inventors are young. Colt was a boy of 21 when he invented the famous weapon that bears his name; and Goodyear began his experiments in rubber while a young man of 24, and made his first success at 38, and at 43 had brought his discovery to approximate perfection.”

The name of Bichat is one of the greatest in science, and he died at 32.”

Handel at 19 was director of the opera at Hamburg; at 20 composed his first opera; at 35 was appointed manager of the Royal Theatre at London; at 25 composed Messiah and Jephtha, and in old age and blindness his intellect was clear and his power of performance remarkable.”

Luther early displayed eloquence, and at 20 began to study Aristotle;¹ at 29 was doctor of divinity, and when he would refuse it, it was said to him that <he must suffer himself to be dignified, for that God intended to bring about great things in the church by his name>; at 34 he opposed the Indulgencies, and set up his 95 propositions; at 37 he publicly burned the Pope’s bull; at 47 he had completed his great task.”

¹ Realmente é impossível derivar prazer de ler Aristóteles antes dessa idade, senão uma ainda mais avançada!

Von Moltke between 65 and 70 directed the operation of the great war of Prussia against Austria and France. But that war was but a conclusion and consummation of military study and organization that had been going on for a quarter of a century.”

Jenner at 21 began his investigation into the difference between cow-pox and small-pox. His attention was called to the subject by the remark of a country girl, who said in his hearing that she could not have the small-pox, because she had had the cow-pox.” Varíola e varíola bovina. Bom… realmente existem ovos de Colombo!

old men, like nations, can show their treasures of art long after they have begun to die; this, indeed, is one of the sweetest and most refreshing compensations for age”

A contemporary deader in science (Huxley) has asserted that it would be well if all men of science could be strangled at the age of 60, since after that age their disposition — with possible exceptions here and there — is to become reactionary and obstructionists”

Se um homem não é belo aos 20, forte aos 30, experiente aos 40 e rico aos 50, ele jamais será belo, forte, experiente ou rico neste mundo.” Lutero

Só começamos a contar nossos anos quando já não há nada mais a ser contado” Emerson

Procrastinamos nossos trabalhos literários até termos experiência e habilidade o bastante, até um dia descobrirmos que nosso talento literário era uma efervescência juvenil que finalmente perdemos.” E.

Quem em nada tem razão aos 30, nunca terá.”

Revoluções não são feitas por homens de óculos, assim como sussurros contendo verdades novas nunca são ouvidos por quem já entrou na idade da surdez” Oliver Holmes

Como pode ser que “o povo da minha rua” seja, para tantos indivíduos, a gente mais burra de toda a Terra? E, pior ainda, que todos que o dizem pareçam estar com a razão?!

Dizem que os jovens são os únicos que não escutam a voz da razão na discussão sobre a verdadeira idade da razão ser a juventude, e não a velhice. Ou eles estão errados ou eles estão errados.

It is not in ambitious human nature to be content with what we have been enabled to achieve up to the age of 40. (…) Happiness may augment with years, because of better external conditions; and yet the highest happiness is obtained through work itself more than through the reward of work”

a wise man declared that he would like to be forever 35, and another, on being asked his age, replied that it was of little account provided that it was anywhere between 25 and 40.”

$$$: “Capacity for original work age does not have, but in compensation it has almost everything else. The querulousness of age, the irritability, the avarice are the resultants partly of habit and partly of organic and functional changes in the brain. Increasing avarice is at once the tragedy and the comedy of age; as we near the end of our voyage we become more chary of our provisions, as though the ocean and not the harbor were before us.” “our intellectual ruin very often dates from the hour when we begin to save money.” A do meu pai começou quando criança.

PORQUE SIM, PORQUE EU MANDEI – POR QUE VOCÊ É ASSIM? NÃO RESPEITA SEU PAI, NÃO? POR QUE NÃO FAZ UM DOUTORADO? POR QUE NÃO COMPRA UM CARRO? “Moral courage is rare in old age; sensitiveness to criticism and fear of opposition take the place, in the iron and wooden decades, of delight in criticism and love of opposition of the brazen and golden decades” Nostalgic UnB times…

fame like wealth makes us cautious, conservative, cowardly, since it implies the possibility of loss.”

when the intellect declines the man is obliged to be virtuous. Physical health is also needed for indulgence in many of the vices”

The decline of the moral faculties in old age may be illustrated by studying the lives of the following historic characters: Demosthenes, Cicero, Sylla, Charles V, Louis XIV, Frederic of Prussia, Napoleon (prematurely old), Voltaire, Jeffries, Dr. Johnson, Cromwell, Burke, Sheridan, Pope, Newton, Ruskin, Carlyle, Dean Swift, Chateaubriand, Rousseau, Milton, Bacon, Earl Pussell, Marlborough and Daniel Webster. In some of these cases the decline was purely physiological, in others pathological; in the majority it was a combination of both.

Very few decline in all the moral faculties. One becomes peevish, another avaricious, another misanthropic, another mean and tyrannical, another exacting and ugly, another sensual, another cold and cruelly conservative, another excessively vain and ambitious, others simply lose their moral enthusiasm and their capacity for resisting disappointment and temptation.”

There are men who in extreme age preserve their teeth sound, their hair unchanged, their complexion fresh, their appetite sharp and digestion strong and sure, and their repose sweet and refreshing, and who can walk and work to a degree that makes their children and grandchildren feel very humble; but these observed exceptions in no way invalidate the general law, which no one will dispute, that the physical powers reach their maximum between 20 and 40, and that the average man at 70 is less muscular and less capable of endurance than the average man at 40.”

For age hath opportunity no less

Than youth itself, though in another dress;

And as the evening twilight fades away,

The sky is filled with stars invisible by day.”

Longfellow

To age is granted in increasing richness the treasures of memory and the delights of recognition which most usually come from those who, at the time of the deeds whose value they recognize, were infants or unborn; only those who bury their contemporaries, can obtain, during their own lifetime, the supremacy of fame.”

POR QUE CRIANÇAS PRODÍGIO SÃO A MAIOR FALSIFICAÇÃO POSSÍVEL: “Mrs. Carlyle, when congratulated on the honors given to her husband on the delivery of his Edinburgh address, replied with a certain disdain, as though he should have been honored before; but only by a reversal of the laws of the evolution of fame shall the manifestation of genius and the recognition of genius be simultaneous.”

The high praise of contemporaries is almost insulting, since it implies that he whom they honor is but little better than themselves. Permanent fame, even in this rapid age [!!], is a plant of slow growth—first the blade; then, after a time, the ear; then, after many, many years, the full corn in the ear”

MEU COPYDESK E EU DE 2015 PARA CÁ SENTIMO-NOS ASSIM: “while the higher power of creating is disappearing, the lower, but for many the more needful, and with contemporaries more quickly appreciated, power of imitation, repetition, and routine, is increasing; we can work without working, and enjoy without striving”

O TRABALHO MATA AOS POUCOS: “An investigation made more recently by a Berlin physician into the facts and data relating to human longevity shows the average age of clergymen to be 65; of merchants, 63; clerks and farmers, 61; military men, 59; lawyers, 58; artists, 57; and medical men, 56 [!]. Statistics are given showing that medical men in England stand high in the scale of longevity. Thus, the united ages of 28 physicians who died there last year, amount to 2,354 years, giving an average of more the 84 years to each [!]. The youngest of the number was 80; the oldest, 93; 2 others were 92 and 89, respectively; 3 were 87, and 4 were 86 each; and there were also more than 50 who averaged from 74 to 75 years.”

That precocity predicts short life, and is therefore a symptom greatly to be feared by parents, has, I believe, never been questioned. (…) plants that are soon to bloom are soon to fade”

APOSTO MINHA VIDA QUE MORREREI ANTES DE A.: “It is probable that, of two individuals with precisely similar organizations and under similar circumstances, the one that develops earlier will be the first to die.”

MINHA ‘GENÉTICA’ NÃO AJUDA: “millionnaires in intellect as well as in money, who can afford to expend enormous means without becoming impoverished.”

Investigating the records of the past two centuries, Winterburn finds 213 recorded cases of acknowledged musical prodigies. None of them died before their 15th year, some attained the age of 103 — and the average duration of life was 58 — showing that, with all their abnormal precocity, they exceed the ordinary longevity by about 6%.”

an almost irresistible impulse to the art in which they are destined to excel manifests itself in future virtuosi— in poets, painters, etc., from their earliest youth.” Wieland

Uma idéia de filme bem ruim: O ESCRITOR NOVATO DE 40 ANOS!

A infância revela o homem, como a manhã revela o dia.” Milton

Madden – Infirmities of Genius (downloads)

MEMENTO À “PROFESSORA SORRISO”: “The stupidity attributed to men of genius may be really the stupidity of their parents, guardians, and biographers.”

Music and drawing appeal to the senses, attract attention, and are therefore appreciated, or at least observed by the most stupid parents, and noted even in the most superficial biographies. Philosophic and scientific thought, on the contrary, does not at once, perhaps may never, reveal itself to the senses—it is locked up in the cerebral cells; in the brain of that dull, pale youth, who is kicked for his stupidity and laughed at for his absent-mindedness, grand thoughts may be silently growing”

Newton, according to his own account, was very inattentive to his studies and low in his class, but a great adept at kite-flying, with paper lanterns attached to them, to terrify the country people, of a dark night, with the appearance of comets; and when sent to market with the produce of his mother’s farm, was apt to neglect his business, and to ruminate at an inn, over the laws of Kepler.”

This belief is strengthened by the consideration that many, perhaps the majority, of the greatest thinkers of the world seemed dull, inane, and stupid to their neighbors, not only in childhood but through their whole lives.”

It is probable, however, that nearly all cases of apparent stupidity in young geniuses are to be explained by the want of circumstances favorable to the display of their peculiar powers, or to a lack of appreciation or discernment on the part of their friends.”

As compared with the world, the most liberal curriculum is narrow; to one avenue of distinction that college opens, the world opens ten.”

GREAT precocity, like GREAT genius, is rare.”

O GÊNIO & O GENIOSO: “There is in some children a petty and morbid smartness that is sometimes mistaken for precocity, but which in truth does not deserve that distinction.”

A DOENÇA DE STEWIE: “Petty smartness is often-times a morbid symptom; it comes from a diseased brain, or from a brain in which a grave predisposition to disease exists; such children may die young, whether they do or do not early exhibit unusual quickness.”

A AMEBA SUPREMACISTA: “M.D. Delaunay has addressed to the Societé de Biologie a communication in which he takes the ground that precocity indicates biological inferiority. To prove this he states that the lower species develop more rapidly than those of a higher order; man is the slowest of all in developing and reaching maturity, and the lower orders are more precocious than the higher. As proof of this he speaks of the children of the Esquimaux, negroes, Cochin Chinese, Japanese, Arabs, etc. (…) He also states that women are more precocious than men”

THE RECURRING THEME: “The highest genius, as here and elsewhere seen, never repeats itself; very great men never have very great children; and in biological analysis, geniuses who are very precocious may be looked upon as the last of their race or of their branch—from them degeneracy is developed; and this precocity, despite their genius, may be regarded as the forerunner of that degeneracy.”

Leibniz, at 12 understood Latin authors well, and wrote a remarkable production; Gassendi, <the little doctor>, preached at 4; and at 10 wrote an important discourse; Goethe, before 10, wrote in several languages; Meyerbeer, at 5, played remarkably well on the piano; Niebuhr, at 7, was a prodigy, and at 12 had mastered 18 languages [QUÊ?!]; Michael Angelo at 19 had attained a very high reputation; at 20 Calvin was a fully-fledged reformer, and at 24 published great works on theology that have changed the destiny of the world; Jonathan Edwards, at 10, wrote a paper refuting the materiality of the soul, and at 12 was so amazingly precocious that it was predicted of him that he would become another Aristotle; at 20 Melanchthon was so learned that Erasmus exclaimed: <My God! What expectations does not Philip Melanchthon create!>.”

In order that a great man shall appear, a double line of more or less vigorous fathers and mothers must fight through the battles for existence and come out triumphant. However feeble the genius may be, his parents or grandparents are usually strong; or if not especially strong, are long-lived. Great men may have nervous if not insane relatives; but the nervous temperament holds to life longer than any other temperament. (…) in him, indeed, the branch of the race to which he belongs may reach its consummation, but the stock out of which he is evolved must be vigorous, and usually contains latent if not active genius.”

The cerebral and muscular forces are often correlated; the brain is a part of the body. This view, though hostile to the popular faith, is yet sound and supportable; a large and powerful brain in a small and feeble body is a monstrosity.”

a hundred great geniuses, chosen by chance, will be larger than a hundred dunces anywhere — will be broader, taller, and more weighty.”

In any band of workmen on a railway, you shall pick out the <boss> by his size alone: and be right 4 times out of 5.”

In certain of the arts extraordinary gifts may lift their possessor into fame with but little effort of his own, but the choicest seats in the temples of art are given only to those who have earned them by the excellence that comes from consecutive effort, which everywhere test the vital power of the man.”

One does not need to practice medicine long to learn that men die that might just as well live if they had resolved to live and that many who are invalids could become strong if they had the native or acquired will to vow that they would do so. Those who have no other quality favorable to life, whose bodily organs are nearly all diseased, to whom each day is a day of pain, who are beset by life-shortening influences, yet do live by the determination to live alone.”

the pluck of the Anglo-Saxon is shown as much on the sick-bed as in Wall Street or on the battlefield.” “When the negro feels the hand of disease pressing upon him, however gently, all his spirit leaves him.”

INNER VOW: “they live, for the same reason that they become famous; they obtain fame because they will not be obscure; they live because they will not die.”

it is the essence of genius to be automatic and spontaneous. Many a huckster or corner tradesman expends each day more force in work or fretting than a Stewart or a Vanderbilt.”

As small print most tires the eyes, so do little affairs the most disturb us” “the nearer our cares come to us the greater the friction; it is easier to govern an empire than to train a family.”

Great genius is usually industrious, for it is its nature to be active; but its movements are easy, frictionless, melodious. There are probably many school-boys who have exhausted themselves more over a prize composition than Shakespeare over Hamlet, or Milton over the noblest passages in Paradise Lost.”

So much has been said of the pernicious effects of mental labor, of the ill-health of brain-workers of all classes, and especially of clergymen, that very few were prepared to accept the statement that the clergy of this country and of England lived longer than any other class, except farmers; and very naturally a lurking fallacy was suspected. Other observers, who have since given special attention to the subject, have more than confirmed this conclusion, and have shown that clergymen are longer lived than farmers.” “A list of 10,000 is sufficient and more than sufficient for a generalization; for the second 5,000 did nothing more than confirm the result obtained by the first. It is fair and necessary to infer that if the list were extended to 10,000, 20,000, or even 100,000, the average would be found about the same.” “In their manifold duties their whole nature is exercised — not only brain and muscle in general, but all, or nearly all, the faculties of the brain — the religious, moral, and emotional nature, as well as the reason. Public speaking, when not carried to the extreme of exhaustion, is the best form of gymnastics that is known; it exercises every inch of a man, from the highest regions of the brain to the smallest muscle.” “The average income of the clergymen of the leading denominations of this country in active service as pastors of churches (including salary, house rent, wedding fees, donations, etc.), is between $800 and $1000, which is probably not very much smaller than the net income of all other professional classes. Furthermore, the income of clergymen in active service is collected and paid with greater certainty and regularity, and less labor of collection on their part, than the income of any other class except, perhaps, government officials; then, again, their earnings, whether small or great, come at once, as soon as they enter their profession, and is not, as with other callings, built up by slow growth.” “Merchants now make, always have made, and probably always will make, most of the money of the world; but business is attended with so much risk and uncertainty, and consequent anxiety, that merchants die sooner than clergymen, and several years sooner than physicians and lawyers.” “During the past 15 years, there has been a tendency, which is now rapidly increasing, for the best endowed and best cultured minds of our colleges to enter other professions, and the ministry has been losing, while medicine, business, and science have been gaining.”

There are those who come into life thus weighted down, not by disease, not by transmitted poison in the blood, but by the tendency to disease, by a sensitiveness to evil and enfeebling forces that seems to make almost every external influence a means of torture; as soon as they are born, debility puts its terrible bond upon them, and will not let them go, but plays the tyrant with them until they die. Such persons in infancy are often on the point of dying, though they may not die; in childhood numberless physical ills attack them and hold them down, and, though not confining them to home, yet deprive them, perhaps, of many childish delights; in early maturity an army of abnormal nervous sensations is waiting for them, the gauntlet of which they must run if they can; and throughout life every function seems to be an enemy.

The compensations of this type of organization are quite important and suggestive, and are most consolatory to sufferers. Among these compensations, this perhaps is worthy of first mention — that this very fineness of temperament, which is the source of nervousness, is also the source of exquisite pleasure. Highly sensitive natures respond to good as well as evil factors in their environment, salutary as well as pernicious stimuli are ever operating upon them, and their capacity for receiving, for retaining, and for multiplying the pleasures derived from external stimuli is proportionally greater than that of cold and stolid organizations: if they are plunged into a deeper hell, they also rise to a brighter heaven (…) art, literature, travel, social life, and solitude, pour out on them their selected treasures; they live not one life but many lives, and all joy is for them variously multiplied. To such temperaments the bare consciousness of living, when life is not attended by excessive exhaustion or by pain, or when one’s capacity for mental or muscular toil is not too closely tethered, is often-times a supreme felicity. The true psychology of happiness is gratification of faculties, and when the nervous are able to indulge even moderately and with studied caution and watchful anxiety their controlling desires of the nobler order, they may experience an exquisiteness of enjoyment that serves, in a measure, to reward them for their frequent distresses.”

The physician who collects his fee before his patient has quite recovered, does a wise thing, since it will be paid more promptly and more gratefully than after the recovery is complete.”

Nervous organizations are rarely without reminders of trouble that they escape — their occasional wakefulness and indigestion, their headaches and backaches and neuralgias, their disagreeable susceptibility to all evil influences that may act on the constitution, keep them ever in sight of the possibility of wliat they might have been, and suggest to them sufferings that others endure, but from which they are spared.”

While it is true that pain is more painful than its absence is agreeable, so that we think more of what is evil than of what is good in our environment, and dwell longer on the curses than the blessings of our lot, and fancy all others happier than ourselves, yet it is true likewise that our curses make the blessings more blissful by contrast”

There are those who though never well are yet never sick, always in bondage to debility and pain, from which absolute escape is impossible, yet not without large liberty of labor and of thought” “Such persons may be exposed to every manner of poison, may travel far and carelessly with recklessness, even may disregard many of the prized rules of health; may wait upon and mingle with the sick, and breathe for long periods the air of hospitals or of fever-infested dwellings, and come out apparently unharmed.”

This recuperative tendency of the nervous system is stronger, often-times, than the accumulating poison of disease, and overmasters the baneful effects of unwise medication and hygiene. Between the ages of 25 and 35, especially, the constitution often consolidates as well as grows, acquires power as well as size, and throws off, by a slow and invisible evolution, the subtile habits of nervous disease, over which treatment the most judicious and persistent seems to have little or no influence. There would appear to be organizations which at certain times of life must needs pass through the dark valley of nervous depression, and who cannot be saved therefrom by any manner of skill or prevision; who must not only enter into this valley, but, having once entered, cannot turn back: the painful, and treacherous, and agonizing horror, wisdom can but little shorten, and ordinary misdoing cannot make perpetual; they are as sure to come out as to go in; health and disease move in rhythm; the tides in the constitution are as demonstrable as the tides of the ocean, and are sometimes but little more under human control.” It is an important consolation for those who are in the midst of an attack of sick-headache, for example, that the natural history of the disease is in their favor. In a few days at the utmost, in a few hours frequently, the storm will be spent, and again the sky will be clear, and perhaps far clearer than before the storm arose.” nearly all severe pain is periodic, intermittent, rhythmical: the violent neuralgias are never constant, but come and go by throbs, and spasms, and fiercely-darting agonies, the intervals of which are absolute relief. After the exertion expended in attacks of pain, the tired nerve-atoms must need repose. Sometimes the cycles of debility, alternating with strength, extend through long years — a decade of exhaustion being followed by a decade of vigor.”

There are those who pass through an infancy of weakness and suffering and much pain, and through a childhood and early manhood in which the game of life seems to be a losing one, to a healthy and happy maturity; all that is best in their organizations seems to be kept in reserve, as though to test their faith, and make the boon of strength more grateful when it comes.”

Perfect health is by no means the necessary condition of long life; in many ways, indeed, it may shorten life; grave febrile and inflammatory diseases are invited and fostered by it, and made fatal, and the self-guarding care, without which great longevity is almost impossible, is not enforced or even suggested.” “Headaches, and backaches, and neuralgias, are safety-valves through which nerve-perturbations escape, and which otherwise might become centres of accumulated force, and break forth with destruction beyond remedy. The liability to sudden attacks of any form of pain, or distress, or discomfort, under overtoil or from disregard of natural law, is, so far forth, a blessing to its possessor, making imperative the need of foresight and practical wisdom in the management of health, and warning us in time to avoid irreparable disaster. The nervous man hears the roar of the breakers from afar, while the strong and phlegmatic steers boldly, blindly on, until he is cast upon the shore, often-times a hopeless wreck.”

A neurastenia também tem o nome de “cãibra do escritor”. No trecho a seguir, a referida “cãibra” está mais próxima de um surto neurastênico agudo, do qual, defende Beard, o ‘nervoso típico’ está protegido: “Those who are sensitive, and nervous, and delicate, whom every external or internal irritation injures, and who appreciate physical injury instantly, as soon as the exciting cause begins to act, cannot write long enough to get writer’s cramp; they are warned by uneasiness or pain, by weariness, local or general, and are forced to interrupt their labors before there has been time to receive a fixed or persistent disease.” “had they been feeble they would have been unable to persevere in the use of the pen so as to invite permanent nervous disorder.” Without such warnings they might have continued in a life of excessive friction and exhausting worry, and never have suspected that permanent invalidism was in waiting for them, until too late to save themselves either by hygiene or medication. When a man is prostrated nervously, all the forces of nature rush to his rescue; but the strong man, once fully fallen, rallies with difficulty, and the health-evolving powers may find a task to which, aided or unaided, they are inadequate.”

The history of the world’s progress from savagery to barbarism, from barbarism to civilization, and, in civilization, from the lower degrees towards the higher, is the history of increase in average longevity, corresponding to and accompanied by increase of nervousness. Mankind has grown to be at once more delicate and more enduring, more sensitive to weariness and yet more patient of toil, impressible but capable of bearing powerful irritation: we are woven of finer fibre, which, though apparently frail, yet outlasts the coarser, as rich and costly garments often-times wear better than those of rougher workmanship.”

Among our educated classes there are nervous invalids in large numbers, who have never known by experience what it is to be perfectly well or severely ill, whose lives have been not unlike a march through a land infested by hostile tribes, that ceaselessly annoy in front and on flank, without ever coming to a decisive conflict, and who, in advanced age, seem to have gained wariness, and toughness, and elasticity, by the long discipline of caution, of courage, and of endurance; and, after having seen nearly all their companions, whose strength they envied, struck down by disease, are themselves spared to enjoy, it may be, their best days, at a time when, to the majority, the grasshopper becomes a burden, and life each day a visibly losing conflict with death.” “the irritability, the sensitiveness, the capriciousness of the constitution, between the ages of 15 and 45, have, in a degree, disappeared, and the system has acquired a certain solidity, steadiness, and power; and thus, after a long voyage against opposing winds and fretting currents, they enter the harbor in calmness and peace.”

MEU SÉCULO ME IMPEDE DE COMPARTILHAR DESTE OTIMISMO: “It may be doubted whether, in the history of disease of any kind, there has been made so decided and so satisfactory an advance as has been made within the last quarter of a century, in the treatment of nervousness in its various manifestations.” “One great factor in the modern treatment of these functional nervous diseases is individualization, no two cases being treated precisely alike, but each one being studied by itself alone. Among wise physicians, the day for wholesale treatment of nervous diseases can never return. The result of all this progress is, that thousands who formerly would have suffered all their lives, and with no other relief except that which comes from the habitual addiction to narcotics, can now be cured, or permanently relieved, or at least put into working order where they are most useful and happy.” if all new modes of action of nerve-force are to be so many added pathways to sorrow,—if each fresh discovery or invention is to be matched by some new malady of the nerves,—if insanity and epilepsy and neurasthenia, with their retinue of neuroses, through the cruel law of inheritance, are to be organized in families, descending in fiery streams throught the generations, we yet have this assurance,—that science, with keen eyes and steps that are not slow, is seeking and is finding means of prevention and of relief.”

5. PHYSICAL FUTURE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE [epílogo cagado e ‘poliânico’ totalmente desnecessário]

This increase of neuroses cannot be arrested suddenly; it must yet go on for at least 25 or 50 years, when all of these disorders shall be both more numerous and more heterogenous than at present. But side by side with these are already developing signs of improved health and vigor that cannot be mistaken; and the time must come—not unlikely in the first half of the 20th century—when there will be a halt or retrograde movement in the march of nervous diseases, and while the absolute number of them may be great, relatively to the population, they will be less frequent than now; the evolution of health, and the evolution of nervousness, shall go on side by side.”

Health is the offspring of relative wealth.” “febrile and inflammatory disorders, plagues, epidemics, great accidents and catastrophes even, visit first and last and remain longest with those who have no money.” the absence of all but forced vacations—the result, and one of the worst results, of poverty—added to the corroding force of envy, and the friction of useless struggle,—all these factors that make up or attend upon simple want of money, are in every feature antagonistic to health and longevity. Only when the poor become absolute paupers, and the burden of life is taken from them and put upon the State or public charity, are they in a condition of assured health and long life.” “The inmates of our public institutions of charity of the modern kind are often the happiest of men, blessed with an environment, on the whole, far more salubrious than that to which they have been accustomed, and favorably settled for a serene longevity.” “For the same reasons, well-regulated jails are healthier than many homes, and one of the best prescriptions for the broken-down and distressed is for them to commit some crime.”

A fat bank account tends to make a fat man; in all countries, amid all stages of civilization and semi-barbarism, the wealthy classes have been larger and heavier than the poor.” “In India this coincidence of corpulence and opulence has been so long observed that it is instinctively assumed; and certain Brahmins, it is said, in order to obtain the reputation of wealth, studiously cultivate a diet adapted to make them fat.”

The majority of our Pilgrim Fathers in New England, and of the primitive settlers in the Southern and Middle States, really knew but little of poverty in the sense in which the term is here used. They were an eminently thrifty people, and brought with them both the habits and the results of thrift to their homes in the New World. Poverty as here described is of a later evolution, following in this country, as in all others, the pathway of a high civilization.”

the best of all antidotes and means of relief for nervous disease is found in philosophy.” Thus it is in part that Germany, which in scientific and philosophic discovery does the thinking for all nations, and which has added more to the world’s stock of purely original ideas than any other country, Greece alone excepted, is less nervous than any other nation; thus it is also that America, which in the same department has but fed on the crumbs that fall from Germany’s table, has developed a larger variety and number of functional nervous diseases than all other nations combined.”

The capacity for growth in any given direction, physical or mental, is always limited; no special gift of body or mind can be cultivated beyond a certain point, however great the tenderness and care bestowed upon it.”

In man, that higher operation of the faculties which we call genius is hereditary, transmissible, running through and in families as demonstrably as pride or hay-fever, the gifts as well as the sins of the fathers being visited upon the children and the children’s children; general talent, or some special talent, in one or both parents rises and expands in immediate or remote offspring, and ultimately flowers out into a Socrates, a Shakespeare, a Napoleon, and then falls to the ground”

That a single family may rise to enduring prominence and power, it is needful that through long generations scores of families shall endure poverty and pain and struggle with cruel surroundings”

The America of the future, as the America of the present, must be a nation where riches and culture are restricted to the few—to a body, however, the personnel of which is constantly changing.”

Inebriety being a type of the nervous diseases of the family to which it belongs, may properly be here defined and differentiated from the vice and habit of drinking with which it is confounded. The functional nervous disease inebriety, or dipsomania, differs from the simple vice of drinking to excess in these respects:

(…)

The simple habit of drinking even to an extreme degree may be broken up by pledges or by word promises or by quiet resolution, but the disease inebriety can be no more cured in this way than can neuralgia or sick-headache, or neurasthenia, or hay-fever, or any of the family of diseases to which it belongs.

(…)

Of the nervous symptoms that precede, or accompany, or follow inebriety, are tremors, hallucinations, insomnia, mental depressions, and attacks of trance, to which I give the term alcoholic trance.

(…)

even drunkenness in a parent or grandparent may develop in children epilepsy or insanity, or neurasthenia or inebriety.

(…)

The attacks of inebriety may be periodical; they may appear once a month, and with the same regularity as chills and fever or sick-headache, and far more regularly than epilepsy, and quite independent of any external temptation or invitation to drink, and oftentimes are as irresistible and beyond the control of will as spasms of epilepsy or the pains of neuralgia or the delusions of insanity. Inebriety is not so frequent among the classes that drink excessively as among those who drink but moderately, although their ancestors may have been intemperate; it is most frequent in the nervous and highly organized classes, among the brain-workers, those who have lived indoors; there is more excessive drinking West and South than in the East, but more inebriety in the East.”

probably no country outside of China uses, in proportion to population, so much opium as America, and as the pains and nervousness and debility that tempt to the opium habit are on the increase, the habit must inevitably develop more rapidly in the future than in the past; of hay-fever there must, in a not very distant time, be at least 100,000 cases in America, and in the 20th century hundreds of thousands of insane and neurasthenics.”

There must be, also, an increasing number of people who cannot bear severe physical exercise. Few facts relating to this subject are more instructive than this — the way in which horseback-riding is borne by many in modern times. In our country, I meet with large numbers who cannot bear the fatigue of horseback-riding, which used to be looked upon — possibly is looked upon to-day — as one of the best forms of exercise, and one that is recommended as a routine by physicians who are not discriminating in dealing with nervously-exhausted patients.” The greatest possible care and the best judgment are required in prescribing and adapting horseback-riding to nervous individuals of either sex; it is necessary to begin cautiously, to go on a walk for a few moments; and even after long training excess is followed by injury, in many cases.”

ANTIRRUBENISMO: “If either extreme is to be chosen, it is well, on the whole, to err on the side of rest rather than on the side of excess of physical exertion.”

Why Education is behind other Sciences and Arts? Schools and colleges everywhere are the sanctuaries of medievalism, since their aim and their powers are more for retaining what has been discovered than for making new discoveries; consequently we cannot look to institutions or organizations of education for the reconstruction of that system by which they enslave the world and are themselves enslaved. It is claimed by students of Chinese character that that great nation has been kept stationary through its educational policy — anchored for centuries to competitive examinations which their strong nerves can bear while they make no progress. In a milder way, and in divers and fluctuating degrees, all civilized nations take their inspiration from China, since it is the office and life of teaching to look backward rather than forward; in the relations of men as in physics, force answers to force, and as the first, like the second childhood is always reactionary, a class of youths tend by their collective power to bring the teacher down more than he can lift them up. Only conservative natures are fond of teaching; organizations are always in the path of their own reconstruction; mediocrity begets mediocrity, attracts it, and is attracted by it. Whence all our institutions become undying centres of conservatism. The force that reconstructs an organization must come from outside the body that is to be reconstructed.”

The Gospel of Rest. The gospel of work must make way for the gospel of rest. The children of the past generation were forced, driven, stimulated to work, and in forms most repulsive, the philosophy being that utility is proportioned to pain; that to be happy is to be doing wrong, hence it is needful that studies should not only be useless but repelling, and should be pursued by those methods which, on trial, proved the most distressing, wearisome, and saddening. That this philosophy has its roots in a certain truth psychology allows, but the highest wisdom points also to another truth, the need of the agreeable; our children must be driven from study and all toil, and in many instances coaxed, petted, and hired to be idle; we must drive them away from schools as our fathers drove them towards the schools; one must be each moment awake and alive and active, to keep a child from stealthily learning to read; our cleverest offspring loves books more than play, and truancies [matar aula] and physical punishments are far rarer than half a century ago.”

From investigations at Darmstadt, Paris, and Neuremburg, Dr. Treichler concludes that one-third of the pupils suffer more or less from some form of headache. It is not probable that these headaches in children are the result purely of intellectual exertion, but of intellectual exertion combined with bad air, with the annoyances and excitements and worries, the wasting and rasping anxieties of school life.”

Even studies that are agreeable and in harmony with the organs, and to which tastes and talents are irresistibly inclined, are pursued at an expenditure of force which is far too great for many nervously organized temperaments. I have lately had under my care a newly married lady who for some years has been in a state of neurasthenia of a severe character, and of which the exciting cause was devotion to music at home; long hours at the piano, acting on a neurasthenic temperament, given to her by inheritance, had developed morbid fears and all the array of nervous symptoms that cluster around them, so that despite her fondness for a favorite art she was forced to abandon it, and from that time was dated her improvement, though at the time that I was called in to see her she had yet a long way to travel before she would reach even approximate health.”

The reconstruction of the principles of evidence, the primary need of all philosophy, which cannot much longer be delayed, is to turn nearly all that we call history into myth, and destroy and overthrow beyond chance of resurrection all but a microscopic fraction of the world’s reasoning. Of the trifle that is saved, the higher wisdom of coming generations will know and act upon the knowledge that a still smaller fraction is worthy of being taught, or even remembered by any human being.” A tragédia é que uma filosofia do conhecimento só pode vir depois da burra e didática memorização de fatos tão lineares quanto sem nexo. Ou seja: chega-se ao ideal da educação quando ela já está finalizada ou, antes, só se chega ao suposto ideal, descobrindo-se que o começo devera ter sido diferente, quando o começo se sedimentou. Pode-se ensinar certo, mas não se pode aprender certo!

The fact that anything is known, and true and important for some is of itself no reason why all should know or attempt to know it”

Our children are coaxed, cajoled, persuaded, enticed, bluffed, bullied, and driven into the study of ancient and modern tongues; though the greatest men in all languages, whose writings are the inspiration to the study of languages themselves knew no language but their own; and, in all the loftiest realms of human creative power the best work has been done, and is done today, by those who are mostly content with the language in which they were cradled.” “of all accomplishments, the ability to speak and write in many tongues is the poorest barometer of intellectual force, and the least satisfactory for happiness and practical use”

Shakespeare, drilled in modern gymnasia and universities, might have made a fair school-master, but would have kept the world out of Hamlet and Othello.”

Of the sciences multiplying everyday, but few are to be known by any one individual; he who has studied enough of the systematized knowledge of men, and looked far enough in various directions in which it leads to know which his tastes and environment best adapt him to follow, and who resolutely obeys his tastes, even in opposition to all teachers,(*) philosophers, and scholars, has won the battle of life” Mementos: Jabur, Edsono (um representante dos jornalistas e um dos pseudossociofiloepistemólogos)

the study of the art of thinking, of the philosophy of reasoning, in mathematics, poetry, science, literature, or language, is the best exercise for those who would gain this mental discipline”

O coach está para para o acadêmico de hoje como os sofistas estavam para os filósofos jônicos e eleatas da Grécia Antiga: é um sintoma da crise e insustentabilidade desse modo de conhecimento, mas tampouco chega a lugar algum. Prenuncia um tipo de Sócrates que vem aí?

In all spheres of thought, the most hospitable of intellects, the most generous in their welcome to new truths or dreams of truth are those who have once learned the great secret of life—how to forget.”

GUSMÓN: “Conscientious professors in colleges often-times exhort their graduates to keep up some of the studies of college life during the activity of years — if those graduates are ever to do much in the world, it is by doing precisely NOT what they are thus advised to do.”

ESPECIALISTA AGRAMATICAL: “The details of geography, of mathematics, and of languages, ancient as well as modern, of most of the sciences, ought, and fortunately are, forgotten almost as soon as learned, save by those who become life-experts in these special branches”

The systems of Froebel and Pestalozzi, and the philosophy of Rousseau in his Émile, analyzed and formulated in physiological language is, in substance, that it costs less force and is more natural and easy to get into a house through the doors, than to break down the walls, or come through the roof, or climb up from the cellar. Modern education is burglary; we force ideas into the brain through any other pathway and every other way except the doors and windows, and then we are astonished that they are unwelcome and so quickly expelled.”

they see with the mind’s eye, though we close their eyelids.”

Medicine has been taught in all our schools in a way the most unphilosophical, and despite all the modifications and improvements of late years, by bedside teaching and operations and demonstrations, the system of medical education is in need of reconstruction from the foundation; it begins where it should end; it feeds the tree through the leaves and branches instead of through the roots; physiology itself is taught unphysiologically; the conventional, hereditary, orthodox style is, for the student to take systematic text-books, go through them systematically from beginning to end, and attend systematic lectures, reserving study at the bedside for the middle and later years of his study; the didactic instruction coming first, and the practical instruction and individual observation coming last. Psychology and experience require that this should be reversed; the first years of the medical student’s life should be given to the bedside, the laboratory and dissecting room, and the principles of systematic instruction should be kept for the last years, and then used very sparingly. The human mind does not work systematically, and all new truths enter most easily and are best retained when they enter in psychological order. System in text-books is a tax on the nerve-force, costly both of time and of energy, and it is only by forgetting what has been taught them in the schools that men even attain eminence in the practice of medicine.

The first lesson and the first hour of medical study should be at the bedside of the sick man; before reading a book or hearing a lecture, or even knowing of the existence of a disease, the student should see the disease, and then, after having seen it and been instructed in reference to it, his reading will be a thousand-fold more profitable than it would had he read first and seen the case afterwards. Every practitioner with any power of analyzing his own mental operations knows that his reading of disease is always more intelligent after he has had a case, or while he has a case under treatment under his own eyes, and he knows also that all his reading of abstract, systematic books is of but little worth to him when he meets his first case, unless he re-read, and if he do so, he will find that he has forgotten all he has read before, and he will find, also, that he never understood what he read, and perhaps thoroughly and accurately recited on examination. By this method one shall learn more what is worth learning of medicine in one month, than now we learn in a year, under the common system, and what is learned will be in hand and usable, and will be obtained at incommensurably less cost of energy, as well as of time. So-called <systematic instruction> is the most extravagant form of instruction and is really no instruction, since the information which it professes to give does not enter the brain of the student, though the words in which it is expressed may be retained, and recited or written out on examination. I read the other day an opening lecture by a professor in one of our chief medical schools. I noticed that the professor apologized for being obliged to begin with what was dry and uninteresting, but stated that in a systematic course it was necessary to do so. It will not be his fault only, but rather the fault of the machinery of which he is one of the wheels, if the students who listen to and take notes of and worry over his lecture, never know what he means; 5 minutes study of a case of rheumatism or an inflamed joint, under the aid of an expert instructor, will give a person more knowledge of inflammation, in relation to the practice of medicine, than a year of lectures on that subject.

I make particular reference to medical education, not because it is the leading offender, but because it has made greater progress, perhaps, than almost any other kind of modern education.” and the time will come when men shall read with amusement and horror of intelligent, human, and responsible young men beginning a medical course by listening to systematic abstract lectures.” 140 anos e nada…

In theological seminaries, students are warned about preaching, or speaking, or lecturing during their 1st or 2nd year, and tied and chained down to lectures and homiletics, and theology and history” Nothing David (or Solomon) would be good at…

Aside from the study of language, which is a separate matter, the first day’s work in a theological school should be the writing or preparing a sermon, and homiletics should follow — not precede.”

All languages should be learned as we learn our own language — not through grammars or dictionaries, but through conversation and reading, the grammars and dictionaries being reserved for a more advanced stage of investigation and for reference, just as in the language in which we were born.”

I applaud the English because they boast of their ignorance of American geography; of what worth to them, of what worth to most of us whether Montana be in California, or Alaska be or be not the capital of Arizona?”

The Harvard professor who says that when students enter his room his desire is, not to find out what they knew, but what they did not know, ought to have been born in the 20th century, and possibly in the 30th, for his philosophy is so sound and so well grounded psychology that he cannot hope to have it either received or comprehended in his lifetime; and the innovation that Harvard has just promised, of having the teacher recite and the pupils ask the questions, is one of the few gleams of light in the great darkness by which this whole subject of education has been enveloped.”

EDSONO’S EXQUISITE CLASS OF TORTURE (2009): Lectures, except they be of a clinical sort [belo troca-trilho!], in which appeals are made to the senses, cost so much in nerve-force, in those that listen to them, that the world cannot much longer afford to indulge in them and the information they give is of a most unsatisfactory sort, since questioning, and interruption, and repetition, and reviewing are scarcely possible (…) The human brain is too feeble and limited an organ to catch a new idea when first stated, and if the idea be not new it is useless to state it.”

ServIce on dem and us

dire dim straits

a threat!

One of the pleasantest memories in my life, is that, during my medical education, I did not attend one lecture out of 12 — save those of a clinical sort — that were delivered (brilliant and able as some of them were) in the college where I studied, and my regret is that the poverty of medical literature at that time compelled me to attend even those. All the long lectures in my academical course at the college were useful to me — and I think were useful to all my classmates — only by enforcing the necessity, and inspiring the habit of enduring passively and patiently what we know to be in all respects painful and pernicious, providing we have no remedy.”

Original thinkers and discoverers, and writers are objects of increasing worry on the part of their relatives and friends lest they break down from overwork; whereas, it is not so much these great thinkers as the young school-girl or bank clerk that needs our sympathy.”

In England during the last summer, I attempted, without any human beings on whom to experiment, to explain some of the theories and philosophies of trance before an audience composed of the very best physiologists and psychologists of Europe, and with no hetter success than at home. If I had had but one out of the 20 or 30 cases on whom I have lately experimented, to illustrate and enforce my views, there would have been, I am sure, no difficulty in making clear not only the facts, but what is of chief importance, the interpretation of the facts.”

Modern competitive examinations are but slightly in advance of the system of recitations and lectures. They seem to have been invented by someone who wished to torture rather than benefit mankind, and whose philosophy was: whatever is disagreeable is useful, and that the temporary accumulation of facts is true wisdom, and an accurate measure of cerebral force.”

Knowing by heart is not knowing at all” Montaigne

the greatest fool may often pass the best examination [Exemplo contemporâneo: ‘Patrick Damascenos’ se tornando médicos diplomados por universidades federais – no mínimo os minions esquecem o que aprendem em História após 30 dias (‘conteúdo inútil’, etc.), embora apostilas do Sigma ou Galois nunca fossem lá muito confiáveis, para início de conversa…]; no wise man can always tell what he knows; ideas come by suggestion rather than by order; you must wait for their appearing at their own time and not at ours” “he who can always tell what he knows, knows little worth knowing.”

The first signs of ascension, as of declension, in nations are seen in women.”

palace cars and elevators and sewing machines are types of recent improvements that help to diminish the friction of modern life. Formerly [!!!] inventors increased the friction of our lives and made us nervous.” E que diabos eram palace cars?

The Germanization of America — by which I mean the introduction through very extensive immigration, of German habits and character — is a phenomenon which can now be observed, even by the dullest and nearest-sighted, in the large cities of the Northern portion of our country.” O nazismo foi o último a chegar.

tending to displace pernicious whiskey by less pernicious beer and wine, setting the example of coolness and calmness, which the nervously exhausted American very much needs.”

Tempos em que valia a pena se conservar: “We have been all English in our conservatism, a quality which has increased in proportion as we have gained anything of wealth or character or any manifestation of force whatsoever, that is worth preserving.” Hoje os americanos são azeitonas vencidas em conserva.

after such a vacation one needed a vacation.”

The nervousness of the third generation of Germans [?] is a fact that comes to my professional notice more and more.”

Not only are the <ha, ha’s> [RONALDINHO SOCCER!], of which so much [mundial] SPORT was once made, heard much less frequently than formerly in public meetings, but there is a positive ease and attractiveness to very many of the English speakers in and out of Parliament, in the pulpit and on the platform, that is thoroughly American” it was proved that if all the [congress] speakers continued to speak as often and as elaborately as they had been speaking, a number of years would be required before they could adjourn [se significa entrar em recesso ou perder a próxima eleição, deixo a critério do leitor de criptas!].”

the forces that renovate and save are mightier far than the forces that emasculate and destroy.”

Não sei se chamo o comentário de genial ou estúpido: “The American race, it is said, is dying out; but there is no American race. Americans are the union of European races and peoples, as lakes are fed by many streams, and can only disappear with the exhaustion of its sources. Europe must die before America. In sections of America, as in New England, and in large cities, the number of children to a family in certain classes is too small for increase of population.” Uma eterna sucessão de sins e nãos no melhor estilo Cleber Machado!

Felizmente o Deus Europeu-Ocidental morreu e a Ásia com seu rostinho de beldade imortal de 20 aninhos vem aí…

DANIEL DEFOE, JONATHAN SWIFT & UM PANORAMA DA LITERATURA INGLESA DOS XVIII // OU AINDA: UMA CRÍTICA DA CLASSE MÉDIA E, AINDA, ALGUMAS CONSIDERAÇÕES PROTOFEMINISTAS – Excertos traduzidos de um capítulo de livro de Terry Eagleton, crítico literário britânico, intitulado “Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift”

Os excertos giram em torno de dois autores contemporâneos, talvez os dois mais conhecidos hoje fora da Inglaterra em termos de literatura clássica daquele país – As Viagens de Gulliver veio ao mundo menos de quinze anos depois d’As Aventuras de Robinson Crusoe. São duas obras espantosamente similares e divergentes ao mesmo tempo. Duas narrativas, eu diria, de restless wanderers, viajantes incansáveis, espécies de maníacos tragicamente involuntários por navegar o mundo, sem propósito claro em mente…

Assim como o novelista e ex-condenado Jeffrey Archer, a carreira de Daniel Defoe abrangeu dívidas e alta política, a profissão de escritor e o cárcere. Cronologicamente falando, a arte imitou a vida com Defoe, uma vez que ele começou a escrever maior parte de suas obras enquanto ativista. De outro ângulo, entretanto, sua vida imitou, sim, a arte, pois sua trajetória foi sensacionalista o bastante para que pudesse figurar tranquilamente como o protagonista de suas próprias novelas tumultuadas. Em diversos momentos ele se dedicou ao comércio de vestuário, vinho e tabaco, foi dono de uma fábrica de tijolos, um político vira-casaca, uma espécie de espião do submundo e dos bastidores da política, agente secreto oficial do governo, espécie de diplomata e assessor do império britânico por meio de suas publicações jornalísticas (o que na época chamavam de publicista). Não bastasse todo esse cartel, tomou parte ativa em uma rebelião armada contra Jaime II, excursionou incansavelmente pela Europa e teve um papel crucial nas históricas negociações da unificação política dos reinos da Inglaterra e da Escócia.

Defoe faliu mais de uma vez, foi preso por débitos e até exposto no pelourinho num processo de sedição após publicar um panfleto satírico. Mesmo depois dessa experiência, ele viria a publicar um Hino ao Pelourinho (Hymn to the Pillory), bem como um Hino às Massas (Hymn to the Mob), em que, escandalosamente para a época, enaltecia o povo de extrato inferior por sua extrema lucidez de julgamento. É difícil imaginar outro grande autor inglês fazendo a mesma coisa na mesma época. Entre suas obras, está também Uma História Política do Demônio (A Political History of the Devil), um estudo sobre fantasmas, motivado pela Grande Praga de Londres, um surto da peste bubônica que eclodiu em 1665 e durou até o biblicamente simbólico ano seguinte. Defoe publicou também uma apologia irrestrita da instituição do casamento intitulada Indecência Conjugal; ou da Prostituição Marital. Um tratado sobre a Utilidade e a Inconveniência da Cama de Casal (Conjugal Lewdness; or Matrimonial Whoredom. A Treatise Concerning the Use and Abuse of the Marriage Bed). De modo algum ele seria um ‘novelista’ no puro senso da palavra (o próprio termo em voga criou sua acepção muito mais tarde), muito embora ele tenha atacado os ‘Romances’ (o gênero pré-novelístico por excelência), que para ele eram estórias que não informavam, apenas entretinham (e isso era necessariamente ruim naquela Inglaterra). Suas obras mais consagradas, Moll Flanders e Robinson Crusoe, são ‘novelas’ apenas em retrospecto. Defoe só escrevia aquilo com que pensava poder lucrar, sendo uma espécie de autor oportunista altamente prolífico que ‘atirava para todos os lados’ no mercado literário em ebulição de seus dias. A imprensa da época não discriminava entre gêneros, muito menos Defoe o faria.

Escrever, para Defoe, pois, não passava de commodity, como ele próprio retrata o mundo em suas ‘novelas’, que podemos resumir como ‘uma série de coisas a que se dá um preço de alto a baixo’. Tampouco era Defoe um ‘homem literário’: ao contrário, sua escrita é apressada, não pesa as palavras, e é transparente demais. Um ‘grau zero’ do estilo como se sempre fosse um jornalista ou historiador relatando fatos que tendia a apagar as próprias pegadas, negando seu próprio status de escritor e, portanto, de criador de realidades. O próprio Defoe batizava seu estilo de ‘cáustico’ ou ‘abjeto’ (mean), pretensamente desprovido de conscienciosidade e ignorante dos próprios artifícios. Na linguagem lacônica e um tanto caseira e pré-fabricada de Defoe sentimos, quase pela primeira vez na Literatura, o idioma dos comuns. Linguagem despida de textura e densidade, que permite ao leitor atravessar as palavras e ver as coisas de frente e em si mesmas. ‘O conhecimento das coisas, não das palavras, molda o erudito’, comentou Daniel Defoe no Compleat English Gentleman.¹ Uma profusão de aventuras e incidentes tem forçosamente de compensar as narrativas de Defoe, devido à crueza de textura. A suprema fertilidade de sua técnica é de fato impressionante. Defoe quase não se preocupa com o sentir das coisas, não mais do que um merceeiro passaria o dia acariciando e apalpando seus queijos, que são apenas seu ganha-pão. Defoe é o utilitarista-padrão: mais interessado no valor de troca dos objetos, não em suas qualidades sensuais ou sensórias. Há sem dúvida sensualidade em Defoe, principalmente nas obras de protagonistas mulheres (Moll Flanders e Roxana), mas não sensualismo, voluptuosidade. O realismo defoeniano é um realismo das coisas, enquanto que o de Richardson, por exemplo, é um das pessoas e sentimentos.”

¹ Uma espécie de enciclopédia de seu tempo, hoje de domínio público: https://ia800900.us.archive.org/29/items/compleatenglishg00deforich/compleatenglishg00deforich.pdf. Manuscritos descobertos no séc. XIX, tudo indica que fossem anotações diversas do escritor que ele tinha a intenção de completar e publicar.

Depois de um bom tempo exercendo seu ofício errático, pau-pra-toda-obra, escrevendo meramente para sobreviver, Defoe morreu enquanto se ocultava ou fugia de seus credores, autodeterminado, quem sabe, a acabar da mesma maneira que havia começado, ignorando outros estilos de vida. Foi um Dissidente (um imoralista) numa época em que ser Dissidente (assim, com letra maiúscula mesmo) era o mesmo que não possuir direitos civis. Como muitos de seus compatriotas novelistas, provinha da classe-média baixa econômica mas que possuía um status de pequena-burguesia, devido ao fator da formação intelectual: ilustrado, completou sua educação formal, cultivava ambições de ascensão e em seu meio os jovens eram politicamente articulados. No seu Journal of the Plague Year, ou Jornal do Ano da Peste, ele tripudia de algumas superstições do povão enquanto dá crédito irrestrito a outras. Muito parecido com William Blake em sua origem social, a rebeldia de Defoe afirmava a radical igualdade entre homens e mulheres, sustentando que o handicap feminino não passava do resultado de convenções. Desigualdades sexuais eram puramente culturais, nada naturais. O que distingue suas personagens Roxana e Moll Flanders, como outras tantas prostitutas vigaristas (seja as de luxo ou as que trabalhavam em espeluncas) e objetificadas da literatura de então, é que havia a afirmação premente, em todo o livro: elas não são propriedade de homem algum, elas não são de ninguém. No mundo de Defoe, nenhuma relação é permanente, aliás.”

Quando Moll Flanders diz levianamente que está grata por ter se livrado de seu filho na barriga, todo leitor de época se sentia escandalizado e ao mesmo tempo representado. Roxana é a comerciante-mulher, que embora seja a própria mercadoria é a dona do negócio: recusa o casamento, mesmo com um bom nobre, pois isso seria a ruína total de sua independência financeira. Ser esposa, para Roxana, era o mesmo que ser escrava. Os puritanos da geração de Defoe prezavam tanto a felicidade doméstica quanto o individualismo econômico; o único problema era a completa incompatibilidade de ambos. Sobretudo no caso das mulheres, que em quaisquer das esferas, isoladamente consideradas, estavam de todo modo alijadas da autonomia. Isso não significa que não fosse também uma questão masculina: na prática o individualismo econômico significava uma castração, compelindo à afabilidade, afeição, lealdade e companheirismo que o pai de família devia simbolizar.

Para complementar as credenciais progressistas de Defoe, ele militava pela absoluta soberania do plebeu, cujo direito de não se curvar a uma soberania injusta era, ele pregava, inalienável. Ele defendia os quakers e já então propagava os méritos de uma sociedade etnicamente miscigenada. Estrangeiros, segundo ele, eram um precioso acréscimo para a nação. Defoe troçava das mitologias chauvinistas dos bretões em poemas como O Inglês Puro-Sangue (The True-Born Englishman), cujos versos não hesitam em caracterizar a raça britânica justamente pela sua alta mestiçagem, desdenhando a noção aristocrática de pureza de sangue e ridicularizando a própria idéia-título do ‘puro-sangue’ com suprema ironia: mera ficção e, aliás, contradição. Não é irrelevante para essa polêmica (à época) que Guilherme III, sob quem Defoe exerceu seus trabalhos panfletários, fosse um holandês.”

“‘O que significam as capacidades naturais de qualquer criança sem a educação?’, o autor questiona no Compleat English Gentleman. Apenas tories absolutamente reacionários como Henry Fielding seriam capazes de enaltecer só o lado das qualidades inatas. Defoe não se mostrava pudico em politizar a questão: por trás dessa doutrina pedagógica ‘inocente’ havia toda uma tentativa de impedir as reformas pedagógico-sociais necessárias à Inglaterra, mediante o argumento dos talentos e habilidades congênitos e inalteráveis, que sempre legitimariam só as crianças da nobreza.”

O homem não é rico porque é honesto, mas é honesto porque é rico.

Essa é uma doutrina escandalosamente materialista avant-la-lettre, muito mais típica de um Bertolt Brecht do que de um ardoroso cristão dos Setecentos. Valores morais são o simples reflexo das condições materiais. Os ricos são apenas privilegiados o bastante para não terem de roubar. A moralidade é para aqueles que podem cultivá-la. Ideais calham muito bem a quem tem de sobra o que comer. Defoe também exigia leis que reconhecessem a condição dos miseráveis, ao invés da replicagem de um sistema que, em primeiro lugar, criou a miséria, para depois enforcar os miseráveis por serem eles o que são.”

Se a classe média preza tanto pelo eu autônomo na teoria, como pode ser que viole tanto essa doutrina na prática? Quer ela de fato a independência de todos os seus servos, assalariados que tem tão pouco poder de barganha que são menos do que cidadãos e pouco mais que escravos, sem falar dos colonizados além-mar? Não seria preferível para o pequeno-burguês, secretamente, é claro, preferir a liberdade irrestrita para si e a negativa para todos os competidores no mercado? A pequena-burguesia acredita na autodeterminação da população; mas ao mesmo tempo seus membros, homens e mulheres, não passam de títeres de forças econômicas impessoais. Os protagonistas de Defoe – Moll, Crusoe, Roxana, Coronel Jack – estão todos enleados nessa contradição. Se eles são, num sentido, forjadores de seu próprio destino, são, inegavelmente, vítimas desafortunadas da Providência, das leis do livre comércio e de seus próprios apetites.

No ensaio A Divindade da Troca (The Divinity of Trade), Defoe vê a Natureza como um tipo de capitalista, que – em sua infinita e inapreensível sabedoria burguesa – criou corpos capazes de flutuar sobre as águas, para que se pudessem construir navios e fomentar o comércio; criou as estrelas para nortear os navegadores; e até escavou rios no seio dos continentes que levam as embarcações direto para os recursos espoliáveis de outros países. Animais foram feitos dóceis e submissos deliberadamente para que o homem os explorasse como instrumentos e também como matéria-prima; linhas costeiras pedregosas foram criadas possibilitando a construção de fortalezas; matéria-prima conveniente foi distribuída ao longo de todo o planeta para que cada nação tivesse algo para vender e algo para comprar. Ainda que estejamos falando de um período muito aquém dos oceanos de Coca-Cola e da produção da necessidade quase que instintiva de calçar um Nike, a Natureza, para Defoe, não perdia e não perdeu nada de vista.”

Ora, se o homem era divinizado e elevado de forma sem precedentes nessa nova ordem social, temos em contrapartida a desvantagem de que qualquer indivíduo é indiferentemente intercambiável. Parceiros comerciais, sexuais ou maritais em Defoe vêm e vão, às vezes com tanta individualidade quanto numa coletividade de coelhos. Mas o maior conflito se dá entre as práticas amorais de uma cultura plutocêntrica e autocentrada em excesso e os altos ideais morais que essa própria cultura insiste em pregar.”

O escritor John Dunton, também do séc. XVIII, que teve ligeiro contato com Defoe, geria um jornal mensal devotado à prostituição, ou antes a denegrir a prática da prostituição ao invés de servir como Classificados do corpo humano alheio, o Night Walker: or, Evening Rambles in Search after Lewd Women (O Caminhante Noturno [/o Homem da Noite]: ou Aventuras do Entardecer em Busca de Mulheres Lascivas). Mesmo sendo vanguardista para a época, impossível que fosse um jornal politicamente correto para nossa concepção. A novela naturalista do século XIX procedia a expedientes parecidos, num meio-termo entre a objetificação degradante e gratuita da mulher da noite e a exposição de uma espécie de mal burguês: essas escapadelas maritais tinham um odor sensual e fatalista, havia um certo prazer mórbido no retrato de becos sujos e miseráveis em que todo moralista jogava a moral fora, e a mulher podia ser vista como a vítima de uma (des)ordem social; o século XIX foi cada vez mais inquirindo sobre esta questão de forma científica, menos sensacionalista, mas Defoe não chegou a testemunhar essa evolução.”

A família, para um puritano devoto como Defoe, é um domínio sagrado, como sugere seu panfleto de costumes O Instrutor da Família (The Family Instructor). Ao mesmo tempo, ele advoga, sem constrangimento, que tais laços podem e devem ser cortados quando se tornam mais maus do que bons: quando forem sinônimo de uma degradação do casamento, quando forem sinônimo do aviltamento das relações sangüíneas, acaba sendo a conduta mais autêntica e virtuosa o corte destes laços, ignorados ou tratados como meros meios para outros fins.”

Em Crusoe, é como se o colonialista frio e moderado desse o tom do enredo. Ele (o narrador em primeira pessoa) também é aquele que dá o matiz exótico ao objeto (cenário) em questão, isto é, sua colônia involuntária no meio dos trópicos. Essas narrativas sem adornos e sem culpa de consciência não chegam a destruir os vasos capilares do decoro ideológico da Inglaterra pós-elizabetana, mas são um primeiro desnudamento de sua lógica imperialista. Não são narrativas de uma veia polêmica, ainda, são mais cândidas que outra coisa. Não há sentimentalismo, porque sentimentos não podem ser quantificados, e nesta literatura em que só o que é quantificável é real eles ainda não aparecem. Nesta atmosfera intermediária de amoralismo, o relato é fidedignamente subversivo ou subversivamente fidedigno espelhando a existência social daquelas décadas; as relações são o que são, não o que deveram ser. Não obstante, a pura e simples descrição do fato e da matéria bruta não deixa de ser explosivo em si mesmo, ou conducente à explosão da dinamite próxima. O realismo se torna de grau em grau Política.”

Moll Flanders termina sua história contando como prosperou e chegou ao sucesso após uma vida de crimes, mas acrescentando, com alguma urgência, em tom de confissão compungida, que ela se arrepende sinceramente de todo seu passado. A moral da história – o crime não compensa – é explicitamente contradita pelo final efetivo. O contraste é tão desconcertante que alguns críticos passaram seu tempo imaginando se Defoe foi ou não abertamente sarcástico. Quando o náufrago Crusoe considera a inutilidade de todo o ouro que conseguira trazer do navio até a ilha, mas, no fim, decide levá-lo consigo assim mesmo – isso é uma tirada irônica do autor ou humor involuntário? Quando Crusoe, testemunhando Sexta-Feira que escapa de seus ex-irmãos canibais para não ser comido, reflete acerca da utilidade de levar consigo um servo, sendo este acréscimo a seu ‘patrimônio’ coincidente com um suposto chamado da Providência para salvar um desgraçado, seria essa harmonia entre interesse capitalista e revelação divina um artifício do autor para produzir o riso do leitor? Defoe está ou não depreciando sua heroína Roxana quando ela declara que deve manter seu próprio dinheiro separado do de seu amo e marido, para não misturar seus ganhos ilícitos com o suado e honesto capital do cônjuge?”

Porque se essa for a opinião fática do Defoe o Realista literário e Materialista radical, dificilmente seria também o credo de sua metade dissidente e religiosa. Defoe o Cristão estabelece a moral e a religião como realidades autossuficientes e inquestionáveis. Mas autossuficientes e inquestionáveis até que ponto, cara pálida? Se esses valores transcendentais existem numa esfera própria, eles pouco impactam na conduta efetiva dos personagens. Moll sente pena de uma de suas vítimas mesmo durante o ato de roubá-la, mas sua tristeza nada impede na concretização do ato. Como o Coronel Jack, que pode muito bem ser um perfeito larápio e viver com a consciência remoída. No século XVIII, piedade e nariz empinado não eram estranhos um ao outro. E não se distinguiam muito bem. Ou a moral falha porque está muito mesclada com o mundo material, ou falha porque está, justamente, dele apartada. Defoe reconhece esta última condição quando escreve: ‘Lágrimas e orações não fazem revoluções / Não derrubam tiranos, não quebram grilhões’.”

A moralidade em Defoe é geralmente retrospectiva. Uma vez que você tenha pilhado, pode finalmente ser penitente. Como demonstra o narrador de si próprio em Crusoe, é só ao escrever seus atos que você pode julgar sua vida como um todo. Enquanto tenta entender a própria vida ao vivo, você anda ocupado demais mantendo o nariz acima do nível d’água para levar a termo qualquer reflexão, quanto mais sentir remorso. Só há dois desfechos: continuar ou se afogar. Correr e ainda assim não ganhar nenhum terreno, continuar na condição em que já estava; ou simplesmente perecer. Não é fácil se embrenhar em considerações metafísicas enquanto a necessidade imediata é fugir dos credores ou lidar com seu atual marido. A narrativa sempre ziguezagueia num passo tão frenético que um evento vai borrando o outro num contínuo. Nenhum da horda de personagens da novela Moll Flanders chega a ter um intercurso mais que casual com a heroína – a interação típica entre cosmopolitas, mas impensável na comunidade rural dos livros de uma Jane Austen ou George Eliot. As figuras que interagem com Moll entram e saem de sua vida e das páginas de sua vida como meros transeuntes cruzam pela Piccadilly. A pergunta mais premente na cabeça do leitor que atravessa este processo metonímico virtualmente infindável é: o que vem a seguir? Sentido e relato não são concordes.

Assim como um parvo, diz-se, é incapaz de mascar chiclete e caminhar ao mesmo tempo, os personagens de Defoe só podem agir ou refletir, mas nunca os dois juntos. A ação moralmente informada é rara; a reflexão moral só vem bem depois. É essa a razão da coexistência de dois formatos literários consideravelmente diferentes sob a capa do Robinson Crusoe: a história aventuresca e a autobiografia espiritual. De todos os personagens de Daniel Defoe, Crusoe é o mais feliz na combinação dessa ação racional com a reflexão moral. Mas isso se dá, em parte, por causa das circunstâncias excepcionais: Crusoe está sozinho numa ilha, tem algum trabalho a executar, mas também muito tempo ocioso para meditar.”

Como a vida é terrivelmente material mas também uma sucessão ininterrupta e agitada de eventos, cada ato parece simultaneamente vívido e sem substância. Essas novelas são tornadas artigos fascinantes pelo processo de criação em si mesmo, pelo valor de troca, e não pelo valor de uso (intenção final). Não há uma lógica conclusiva para a narrativa de Defoe, é uma narrativa pura e simples. Não há um momento do livro em que o fechamento seria mais natural que em qualquer outro fecho de capítulo. O eu-lírico apenas prossegue acumulando narrativa(s), como um capitalista jamais cessa de acumular capital. Um pedaço de enredo, como um investimento particular, acaba levando ao próximo. Crusoe mal volta à terra natal e já está em alto-mar de novo, ainda acumulando aventuras, que serão obviamente narradas e contarão com o desejo do eu-lírico de formular um propósito. A sede de narrativa é insaciável. A acumulação de capital parece ter um propósito, mas é pura aparência. Secretamente, pelo menos no mercantilismo defoeniano, subjaz a verdade de que o único fim da acumulação é a própria acumulação. Uma novela de Defoe não tem o epílogo de facto, como têm as novelas de Fielding. Todos os finais são arbitrários, e todos poderiam ser apenas novos começos, se se quisesse.¹ O viajante inquieto só repousa a fim de se preparar para a próxima viagem…”

¹ A maior prova disso é que AS AVENTURAS DE ROBINSON CRUSOE são continuadas pelas NOVAS AVENTURAS DE ROBINSON CRUSOE, por mim panoramicamente traduzidas em https://seclusao.art.blog/2018/08/25/as-novas-aventuras-de-robinson-crusoe-sendo-a-segunda-e-ultima-parte-de-sua-vida-e-contando-as-estranhezas-e-surpresas-de-suas-viagens-por-tres-cantos-do-mundo-versao-co/. O autor escolheu convenientemente que o primeiro livro é a primeira metade da vida de Crusoe, e depois veio a 2ª. Mas nada o impediria de estabelecer uma tripartição, ou uma divisão em 4. Exemplos literários correlatos é o que não falta!

E devido a essa narratividade pura poucos eventos em Defoe são fruídos com densidade o bastante para deixar uma impressão permanente ou recordação intacta. Personagens como Moll ou Roxana vivem premidas pelo pão de cada dia, contando apenas consigo próprias, flutuando conforme a maré, dançando conforme a dança, apostando tudo ou nada a cada momento. Em perfeita adaptação com o mundo altamente mutante que encontram, esses sujeitos sincopam seu ritmo. Ou seja: não há um núcleo central da personalidade, tampouco, porque memórias e aprendizados estarão sempre se acumulando sem uma síntese definitiva. A identidade é uma improvisação, um cálculo, uma estratégia de passagem. Trata-se de uma cadeia de reações possíveis para cada ação promovida pelo ambiente. Os impulsos humanos – avareza, egoísmo, autopreservação – são fixos e imutáveis, é verdade, mas para sempre alcançá-los cada personagem é obrigado a ser flexível a ponto de se converter em metamorfo. A perspicácia e cautela necessárias para lidar com o tema da epidemia no Jornal do Ano da Peste seriam versões escandalosas e exageradas das próprias exigências do cotidiano para o leitor-padrão.”

O Coronel Jack se casa quatro vezes, a despeito de poder passar tranqüilamente sem mulheres, e rompe com uma delas porque ela dilapida sua fortuna. Na veia mais hobbesiana e pragmática possível, o interesse burguês é muito mais fundamental que a o altruísmo iluminista. Só mesmo caçar para comer seria mais premente que caçar para lucrar.”

O eu-narrador deslinda a trama com ar imperturbável que sugere um presente consideravelmente distanciado do passado em que o eu-narrado aparece (anos de intervalo, com toda a certeza). Este último não se pode dar ao luxo dessa parcimônia glacial do primeiro. Há uma tensão constante entre as duas dimensões temporais.”

Embora ‘Deus não esteja morto’, pareceria, a essa altura, para o bom Protestante, que Ele se recolheu deste mundo. Essa é uma das razões para as especulações de Defoe sobre a Providência ecoarem com um quê de vacilação. Ora, lembra o autor em The True-Born Englishman: ‘O que vem da Providência, consiste no interesse de todo o universo.’. Se tomarmos a frase ao pé-da-letra, estariam justificados o estupro, o assassinato, o canibalismo. Cada um desses pecados teria seu papel na manutenção da harmonia do cosmo. Defoe declama piamente no prefácio do Crusoe como devemos honrar a sabedoria da Providência e suas obras, ‘sucedam como sucedam’; mas o protagonista, muito longe de se resignar ao destino, é hiperativo e incansável na tentativa de forjar seus próprios porquês.”

De nossa perspectiva, se Crusoe devera ser punido, não seria por ter vivido a primeira metade da vida como um pagão, mas sim por vender Xury, seu servo, à escravidão brutal e por gerir uma plantation no Brasil movida a mais trabalho escravo. Na verdade, quando naufraga, ele estava justamente prestes a comprar mais mão-de-obra escrava numa expedição clandestina para abastecer seu engenho. Mas nem o personagem nem o autor conseguiriam ver tais ações como pecaminosas, ainda que Crusoe se indigne com as condições do imperialismo espanhol nas Américas. Como com o narrador de O Coração das Trevas de Joseph Conrad, o ‘imperialismo dos outros’ é sempre mais repreensível que o nosso. O Coronel Jack defende o castigo físico dos escravos, e não há qualquer indicativo de que Defoe pensasse diferente. A liberdade era para os ingleses, não para os africanos! Como zeloso puritano, Defoe decerto cria que os ‘selvagens’ estavam condenados irremediavelmente à bestialidade nesta terra, e ao tormento eterno no além. Seu radicalismo (progressismo de vanguarda na política) tinha seus claros limites.”

A Natureza não é mais um livro aberto, mas um texto obscuro a ser decifrado com imensa dificuldade. O Protestante tateia avidamente no escuro atrás de qualquer signo ambíguo de sua própria salvação. Mas o fato é que, num universo secularizado, tudo está entregue à própria contingência, isto é, nada no mundo visível quer dizer alguma coisa nem dá qualquer pista de nada.”

Signos, nesse mundo dessacralizado, como também numa profusão de textos modernistas (dali a duzentos anos), são a priori e incontornavelmente ambíguos. Essa é a razão por que o crente nunca pode parar de trabalhar, porque se não se tem certeza da salvação agora, cada dia seu de labuta pode ser o fiel na balança para a absolvição no dia do Juízo. Ilhas tropicais, é bom lembrar, estão geralmente associadas à indolência, mas não no caso de Crusoe. Ele está sempre ocupado em melhorar e estender sua ‘propriedade paradisíaca’. ‘Eu realmente gostaria de um estábulo maior.’ Tanto é assim que o próprio Crusoe responde a si mesmo, vendo o quão ilógica é essa vontade: ‘Para quê?’. Crusoe não é um capitalista de verdade – é só um de mentirinha, sem mão-de-obra como Outro, sem mercado, consumidor, produto nem competidores ou divisão de trabalho. Mas, ainda que não tenha concorrentes, ele age como se os tivesse…”

A ilha de Crusoe é menos a utopia da pequena-burguesia numa dimensão paralela do que uma versão piorada ou distópica da situação pequeno-burguesa inglesa. Ou, antes, o que uma classe sofre no mundo, Crusoe sofre na sua ilha. Sua solidão é uma versão exponencial da solidão de todos os indivíduos da cidade moderna. Sendo absolutamente dependente num sentido, é verdade que é possível ser absolutamente autodeterminado num outro. Quão enérgico e engenhoso pode-se chegar a ser na administração de seu próprio império seria um índice de sua inclusão entre a minoria eleita. Assim poder-se-ia resolver o conflito aparente entre ser o joguete de Deus e, pelo próprio suor, pregar, no melhor estilo puritano, que o sucesso no trabalho é o melhor sinal que o mundo poderá dar de que você achou favor aos olhos da divindade.”

UM PROBLEMA ISENTO DE QUAISQUER “MEMÓRIAS PÓSTUMAS”: “A narrativa está sempre precariamente ancorada no presente que é um fio de navalha, em que a sorte do personagem é indefinida e o futuro absolutamente duvidoso; mas tudo isso é contado com um tal desassossego e afastamento, fechando um passado, que empresta certa autoridade. Supomos então que o narrador sobreviveu, nem que apenas pelo fato de estar agora, com a maior das calmas, falando de si mesmo na época em que corria perigo. Ansiedade e segurança se acoplam perfeitamente na escrita.”

E assim Defoe continua a insistir que sua estória existe com um fundo moral, embora isso seja obviamente uma farsa. O realismo, no sentido de uma atenção dedicada ao mundo material por si e nele mesmo, não está ainda avalizado neste período literário, embora se encontre em visível ascensão; embora a sociedade em que ele cresce e ascende demande-o cada vez mais, e encoraje-o mais que à moralidade, pois as pessoas passam a acreditar somente no que podem cheirar, tocar, provar. Samuel Johnson argumentava que o fato de um personagem ou evento ser fidedigno à natureza não servia de desculpa para incluí-lo num enredo ou obra de arte. Na teoria, essa colisão entre o moral e o real pode ser resolvida por justificações do autor, no estilo tabloide. Quão mais gráfica e escandalosa uma estória, mais fácil transmitir uma mensagem, poder-se-ia astuciosamente argumentar. Defoe escreve no prefácio para Roxana: ‘Se há qualquer parte da história, no relato de uma má ação, que pareça descrever as coisas de forma muito direta e impudica, todo o cuidado imaginável foi tomado para purificar o trabalho de todas as indecências e indecorosidades…’. Essas linhas, ao que parece, produziam, já naquele tempo, o mesmo efeito que hoje os avisos solenes, prévios a um audiovisual, acerca da presença de sexo e violência nos minutos que seguem: são só um chamariz a mais para a audiência (‘o que é proibido é melhor’), engenhosamente acrescentado pelo autor, sem transgredir nenhuma regra.

A novela realista se torna popular num marco da história em que o cotidiano banal começa a se tornar atrativo por si mesmo. Essa mescla do ordinário e exótico é a síntese do trabalho de Defoe. Parte do prazer extraído da leitura emana da excitação que deriva do puramente mundano. Defoe viveu em tempos turbulentos, e ninguém pode dizer que ele não viveu esses tempos intensa e perigosamente. Em épocas revolucionárias, a teatralidade adquire maior importância, mesmo fora da arte. Como a nova arte imita a vida, o teatral tem de despontar também na arte. Por último: Defoe também sabia o que era sofrer uma bancarrota, ser trancafiado nas galés e embarcar em expedições insólitas das quais não se sabia se se ia voltar.”

James Joyce, que, para nossa surpresa, enumera Defoe entre seus autores prediletos, escreveu do Crusoe que ele encarna ‘todo o espírito anglo-saxão … a independência masculina; a crueldade inconsciente; a persistência; a inteligência devagar mas eficaz; a apatia sexual; a religiosidade prática e metódica; a taciturnidade calculada’. Poderíamos dizer que essa é exatamente a visão que Sexta-Feira tem de Crusoe: Joyce é um súdito colonial da coroa britânica, e com certeza, quando alistado para a guerra, combateu muitos soldados com este perfil, em Dublin. Um ou dois assim são vistos no Ulisses. A passagem acima, que Joyce redigiu enquanto no exílio italiano, tem ainda algo do genial vislumbre do caráter imperial, que era meio-compatível com Joyce (colonizado, mas ao mesmo tempo da elite, ou seja, colonizador pela ótica dos subalternos, das massas irlandesas): outro materialista, o irlandês devia apreciar a fisicalidade intensa de Defoe. Uma vez o dublinense se descreveu como tendo a mente de um verdureiro. Defoe, por sua vez, destila em sua obra o autêntico espírito de uma nação de sapateiros.”

Quem é ele, ele se pergunta no mesmo estilo hipocondríaco do devoto liberal ou do pós-modernista, para interferir com a prática do canibalismo num povo primitivo? Mas o fato de maior parte da novela tratar justamente do know-how do homem civilizado e prático empresta lentes peculiares à tese do universalismo. A racionalidade ortodoxa, no sentido de ensinar quando o importante é se preservar, como não cair de um precipício, por exemplo, é mais plausível como universalidade de todos os povos do que qualquer outro tipo de raciocínio utilitário. É por isso que Sexta-Feira pode ajudar Crusoe nos trabalhos braçais muito antes de poder falar Inglês, porque a lógica do mundo material é comum a todas as culturas. Pedras caem em ambas (a ocidental e a autótocne) porque obedecem à gravidade, seja no Haiti ou em Huddersfield; quatro mãos aplicadas sempre trabalham melhor que duas para carregar objetos pesados; alguém pode jogar-lhe uma corda para evitar que você se afogue ainda que no sistema cultural de quem jogou a corda a água simbolize algo totalmente diferente do que você aprendeu em seus dogmas e valores. A racionalidade prática é, nesse aspecto, o epítome do Anglicismo: se o gentleman chegar de fato aos céus, está na cara que examinarão o lugar com bastante escrutínio, para tirarem o melhor proveito do que ele terá a oferecer. Mas eis um tipo de comportamento, senão onipresente, pelo menos atemporal.”

Não é escassa a literatura da tradição do comerciante-criminoso e vice-versa, dos vigaristas de John Gay em A Ópera do Vagabundo ao Vautrin de Balzac e o Mr. Merdle de Dickens. Como Bertolt Brecht disse: ‘O que é roubar um banco comparado com abrir um?’. A cozinha dos ladrões é a companhia de comércio sem a ideologia da respeitabilidade. O Coronel Jack começa como um ladrão de meia-tigela e termina como um bem-sucedido capitalista na Virgínia, sem nenhum talento a mais do que quando começara sua ‘carreira’. O mestre do crime de Fielding, Jonathan Wild, é um retrato satírico do político Robert Walpole, que funde em sua figura o mundo da alta política e da contravenção chic ou do colarinho branco. A idéia de ir parar numa terra virgem e construir do zero uma civilização deve constituir uma das fantasias mais intensas para a classe média. Sem dúvida isso ajuda a justificar a permanência de Crusoe como clássico sem o menor sinal de que vá ceder o posto tão cedo.”

Ao desafiar a influência do gentil-homem e da nobreza, era necessário, para lograr êxito, desacreditar o poder da antiguidade no processo. Defoe é sardônico sobre a obsessão aristocrática com a pureza de sangue e o matrimônio: Por que – ele pergunta no Compleat English Gentleman – os nobres permitem de boa vontade que amas-de-leite plebéias amamentem seus filhos, já que, ironicamente, elas lhes estão repassando, conforme a própria teoria eugênica dos sangue-azul, um sangue degenerado? N’O Inglês Puro-Sangue ele admite explicitamente a irrelevância do tópico da ancestralidade. Destarte, é uma fantasia muito benquista pelo homem branco imaginar-se num território virgem, poder desfazer toda a história até suas origens, recomeçando-a melhor, já com a ‘classe média’ no poder.”

O MESMO EFEITO DA ESTÁTUA DA LIBERDADE NO PRIMEIRO LONGA DE PLANETA DOS MACACOS: “O que nos deixa derrotados em Robinson Crusoe, e um dos momentos mais insólitos da literatura universal, é aquela misteriosa única pegada encontrada na areia.”

Ainda assim, Robinson Crusoe segue muitos anos sem preocupações em sua ilha; O Gulliver, de Jonathan Swift, não tem a mesma sorte.”

Como Defoe, Swift escreve numa prosa prática, transparente, célere, com o perdão do trocadilho,¹ sem muita textura ou ressonância. Seu texto não possui, como um crítico bem apontou, recessos ou raízes e ramificações mil. Há uma alarmante ausência de metáforas. É um estilo da superfície, sem muita profundeza nem interioridade.² Swift desconfia de toda reflexividade textual como de toda metafísica ou especulação abstrusa. Essa indiferença à verdade filosófica nos conta algo sobre o clero do século XVIII, do qual Swift fazia parte. É quase como um ladrão de banco ser indiferente ao dinheiro. Um aristocrata tory da época de Swift era necessariamente um amador, não um especialista: acreditava num certo número necessário de princípios básicos que o século do Iluminismo vinha tornar acessíveis a todos. Swift não poderia entender, ainda que sobrevivesse a sua época, a era da prosa de gêneros especializada. As Viagens de Gulliver não são, no sentido hodierno da palavra, uma obra ‘literária’, e não teriam saído do papel se o autor pensasse em escrever uma novela. A linguagem de Swift, como a de Defoe, tenta apagar a si mesma desdobrando o real no real, e na época não havia palavra para batizar esse zero fictício. As palavras perdem o valor e privilegiam os objetos, que ocupam o centro do palco. A própria linguagem ideal que o autor imaginou – uma língua que abole a língua – é a transparência do modelo. Isso acontece entre os laputianos gramáticos que, ao invés de conversar entre si usando as cordas vocais e convenções aceitas unicamente pelo seu povo, carregam para um e outro lado uma sacola com diversos objetos que eventualmente precisem comunicar, e vão-nos mostrando ao interlocutor, desempenhando uma caricata ‘linguagem de Babel’. A verdade é que a linguagem humana é este saco, mas sem fundo e diáfano, uma forma de levar o mundo conosco sem carregar peso algum (ainda que com a inconveniência de cada povo ter a sua língua). Os Houyhnhnms evitam elaborações verbais e mantêm uma perfeita correspondência entre palavra e coisa – a tal ponto, aliás, que são incapazes de mentir. Perfeitos como são em sua representação do mundo, se houvera dentre eles um escritor, seria este capaz de produzir uma bela novela realista!”

¹ Swift em inglês é ágil, veloz.

² Sublinhei em verde porque não posso estar minimamente de acordo com Eagleton neste trecho!

As Viagens de Gulliver, muito ao contrário do Crusoe, é um libelo do ‘anti-progressismo’ em que um protagonista amnesíaco parece não aprender nada ou aprender muito pouco em cada uma de suas jornadas; assim que ele parte para uma nova aventura, volta a aparentar ser uma tabula rasa. De fato as viagens de Gulliver são mais entrecortadas que as de Crusoe. Estas, mesmo que possam ser segmentadas pelo autor em capítulos e tomos, parecem bem-costuradas narrativamente. Gulliver vive literalmente episódios desconexos um do outro. Não em vão fala-se d’As Viagens como a suprema paródia do livro de viagem, gênero literário¹ usualmente otimista e cheio de ‘lições e aprendizados’.”

¹ O leitor de minha tradução deve ter percebido que em seu afã descritivo o crítico costuma se contradizer bastante. Aqui, vemos que na verdade o europeu do século XVIII contemporâneo de Defoe e Swift já reconhecia, senão o realismo ou o romantismo, pelo menos certos gêneros literários…

O tory Swift, ao contrário do whiggiano Defoe,¹ nada quer ter a ver com indivíduos. Sua única descrição é a de uma verdade universal, enquanto Gulliver e os personagens secundários servem apenas como meios para ilustrá-la. Gulliver não passa de um dispositivo narrativo bem conveniente, não é um ‘personagem’ propriamente dito, não é possível se identificar resolutamente com ele. Crusoe é bem diferente e vai crescendo em nossa concepção conforme avançam as páginas. Gulliver apenas ‘pede’ que observemos e julguemos os lugares que ele visitou.”

¹ Ver tabelas no final.

Os lilliputianos são cruéis, gananciosos e sectários, como se fossem réplicas em miniatura dos políticos de Westminster. Esse retrato da raça humana como corrupta e imutável é típica do conservantismo anglicano swiftiano. Ele desdenha a possibilidade de qualquer progresso dramático e mudança revolucionária para melhor no campo social, e logo se vê que a tal verdade universal que ele tenta mostrar é uma só: já conhecíamos essa verdade antes de viajarmos. Deus nos deu tudo de que precisávamos logo de partida, e velejar a esmo tropeçando em criaturinhas de uma polegada ou esbarrando no tornozelo de gigantes pouco importa nesse quadro. Talvez todos os indivíduos exóticos que encontramos não passem de distrações válidas unicamente para o momento.”

Mas só sabemos que os lilliputianos são diferentes de nós porque conservamos com eles a identidade do conceito de tamanho. Chamamos tarântulas de tarântulas e não de humanos porque usamos a linguagem, pela qual descrevemos e nomeamos as tarântulas, e elas não. Se as tarântulas fossem tão alienígenas assim à espécie humana, não seria esse o caso. Não se pode falar da diferença sem a comparação e o diagnóstico de algo igual. Os únicos diferentes reais de nós são aqueles que passam invisíveis, de cócoras, bem diante do nosso nariz, e que jamais percebemos.”

A escrita de uma viagem é, mais do que antes, como se vê, um gênero muito duvidoso para um tory se engajar naquele tempo. De um livro como esse esperam-se sobretudo novidades, que são indesejáveis para os conservadores. Defoe escreveu cedo na vida um Ensaio sobre Projetos (Essay on Projects), que era o perfeito contraponto dessa ânsia de imobilismo do tory: exibia grande entusiasmo quanto às reformas técnico-científicas. Crusoe rejeita implicitamente, ao querer sair de casa, os valores benquistos pela aristocracia (o lar, a coroa, a nação). Toda essa sede mercantilista de Crusoe não parece mais do que a pornografia do progresso para muitas mentes mais estreitas ou mais clássicas. Fantasiar com monstros desconhecidos é indecoroso; tudo que não é verossímil só pode nublar nosso julgamento. Crusoe encoraja caprichos tolos e emoções extravagantes que são péssimos para a lei e a ordem. Fora que, quanto mais viaja, mais Crusoe se sente um relativista cultural, algo igualmente insidioso para um tory. Pode ser perigoso para o viajante chegar a se tornar tão sonhador e apegado a coisas estrangeiras, a ponto de bradar, por exemplo, que se deparou com selvagens que, eles sim, são felizes e vivem em harmonia com a natureza. Isso seria negar o pecado original e inspirar nas gentes utopias cândidas e pueris, coisa contra a qual se deve lutar. Além do mais, de que vale, se o aventureiro acabaria sempre voltando ao solo inglês, muito longe dessas tais utopias inúteis? As alusões anti-monárquicas e anti-establishment de tais peregrinações pareceram, em todos os tempos, muito grosseiras aos tories.

Muito do debate em curso no século XVIII girava em torno de um consenso político que pudesse superar as terríveis dissensões do século anterior, mais animoso, de guerras civis e de queda e restauração da monarquia. Swift se referiu em vida a Defoe com toda a prepotência de um patrício: ‘Aquele sujeito que foi exibido no pelourinho – esqueci o nome dele…’. Mas não podemos deixar de observar em Swift o mesmo entusiasmo pelo comércio que em Defoe. Swift é irlandês e a Irlanda estava sempre em posição mais combalida que a metrópole. Além disso, Swift também não dava crédito à teoria da pureza da raça, e gostava de se ver como um burguês em que tudo de seus antepassados já se diluíra há muito tempo, a ponto de torná-lo irreconhecível para estes. Swift foi um tory, mas um tory radical, um exemplar do animal oximorônico que muito enriqueceu a cultura inglesa se formos considerar outros escritores tories e radicais ao mesmo tempo, como William Cobbett e John Ruskin.

Defoe era ‘progressista’ e rebelde, mas chegava a delírios de esnobeza episódicos tão altaneiros que chegou a alterar seu nome de Daniel Foe para Daniel De Foe, e que hoje escrevemos Defoe. A conjunção ‘de’ implica origem nobre. Swift e autores como Pope viam a sociedade britânica como desprovida desde os primórdios de mérito congênito, uma raça venal que além de tudo foi muito corrompida pelo poder e pelo dinheiro com o passar do tempo, atributos que eles viam encarnados pelo odioso primeiro-ministro whig Robert Walpole (já comentado). Mas Defoe não deixava, idem, de criticar a obsessão cega e sem qualquer pano de fundo pelo dinheiro.

Poderíamos ver os mesmos entrelaçamentos complementares e/ou contraditórios em pares como Henry Fielding e Samuel Richardson. Richardson era filho de um carpinteiro de Derbyshire, não completou a escola básica e se tornou impressor, enquanto Fielding era um egresso do colégio de Eton repleto de conexões com figurões. Richardson tinha estilo agressivo, era um campeão das classes médias, e afirmava que o ofício do comércio ‘é infinitamente de mais conseqüência, e devia ser muito mais estimulado que qualquer outra posição ou ranking social, sobretudo as dos títulos inócuos típicas da Inglaterra’. E não obstante Richardson se punha estupefato diante da quantidade de personalidades decrépitas e mesquinhas das novelas de Fielding: chegou a afirmar que se não soubesse quem Fielding era, pensaria se tratar de um cavalariço. Fielding rebatia. Disse uma vez que Pamela de Richardson encorajava jovens aristocratas a se casarem com as camareiras de suas mamães, e que não conseguiria por nada pôr-se no lugar dos nobres de suas novelas. Com efeito, em vez de casar-se com a empregada de sua mãe, Henry Fielding casou-se, no segundo matrimônio, com a empregada de sua primeira esposa!” HA-HA-HA-HA!

O nome Gulliver está muito bem-dado, por sinal.¹ Sua credulidade é o mais das vezes seu ponto fraco. Ele de alguma forma se sente pateticamente (afetivamente) ligado a pessoas que conhece em suas viagens um tanto rápido demais, sem muito senso crítico. Em Lilliput, vangloria-se de seu título de Nardac, espécie de análogo a cavaleiro da rainha, lança-se como líder militar, envolve-se em intrigas as mais pavonescas, tendo de enfrentar um processo para provar que não cometeu fornicação com uma lilliputiana. A impossibilidade física do ato sexual entre seu corpo descomunal perto de um lilliputiano não parece ter passado ora alguma pela cabeça do réu que tentava, afobado, se defender. (…) De herói a vilão da pátria, Gulliver parece ser sempre o mesmo, tanto num pólo como noutro, levado unicamente pelas circunstâncias e vilezas dos outros personagens.”

¹ “Gullible” é bobo, ingênuo.

E a despeito do inconveniente de ser um inglês e de explorar terras tão remotas, ele é um ótimo aluno de idiomas, aprendendo rápido a falar como os nativos em suas jornadas, apesar de que isso soa mais como recurso estilístico para justificar a comunicação de Gulliver nessas praças do que uma característica que Swift gostaria de ter dado sem mais a seu protagonista. Se essa parte da personalidade de Gulliver se mostra tão expedita para se adaptar aos costumes forasteiros, sua outra metade é a de um inglês chauvinista cabeça oca, complacente e cego quanto aos defeitos dos seus conterrâneos. Seu relato visivelmente galante da história do reino britânico ao rei Brobdingnag logo produz um efeito contrário ao esperado, horrorizando-o, a ponto deste rei considerar que, se Gulliver fala mesmo a verdade, todos os bretões não passam de uns vermes.”

Ou ele é um imperialista ou um relativista cultural, sem meio-termo. A questão é que a novela serve para demonstrar a secreta afinidade entre os dois extremos. Não há tanta diferença entre defender acriticamente a Coroa inglesa ou o poder soberano de Lilliput. Se devêramos simpatizar com outras culturas, se isso fosse um imperativo, então por que não simpatizar com a própria civilização? Se devemos desculpar os canibais, por que não as grandes multinacionais que poluem a atmosfera? Se todas as culturas estão em ordem e seguem na supracitada ‘harmonia cósmica’, então na realidade não há nada o quê escolher, e nenhum indício de que os brobdingnaguianos seriam superiores, em qualquer sentido, aos ingleses.”

Swift com certeza conhecia o que era preconceito: difamador dos bons, satirista vituperador altamente imaginativo e polemista de vocação, capaz de ignorar a verdade só para terminar com a razão, acabava inadvertidamente por levantar a bandeira da intolerância política e religiosa. Se a sátira de Fielding é genial, a de Swift é tão brusca e amalucada em contraste que parece até semipatológica. Ele era misógino, autoritário, troçador da canalha, e acima de tudo um representante da Irlanda de seu tempo, isto é, a colônia inglesa que era quase um pária e que, caso houvesse uma corrida entre todos os povos colonizados pela Inglaterra decerto não chegaria em primeiro lugar, no juízo inglês. Eis aqui, outra vez, o incômodo e involuntário papel ambíguo de diplomata e capataz, exercido, como vimos, por James Joyce.”

Enfim, o que As Viagens parece querer ensinar? Que você deveria apreciar todas as culturas humanas em sua parcialidade, sem ser um Gulliver, mas também sem recair no niilismo. Homens e mulheres precisam cultivar ideais, como as virtudes plácidas e racionais dos Houyhnhnms, caso queiram ser mais do que reles materialistas. O problema é deixar que esses ideais exerçam um papel predatório na própria consciência. Isso seria ser tão ao revés de um materialista que representaria a negação do próprio corpo, tão ruim quanto a falta de ideais. Não se deve chegar a esse ponto, o de perceber-se com desgosto por causa do Outro. Não se conformar inteiramente com o próprio corpo, é certo, mas nem por isso chegar a reprimi-lo.”

Se não fosse por terem 4 patas e cauda, os Houyhnhnms talvez não estivessem totalmente fora do lugar num salão janeausteniano, tomando chá com Mr. Knightley. Mas convenhamos que este é o ponto: os Houyhnhnms são menos uma possibilidade humana do que, como um ensaísta bem colocou, uma impossibilidade insultante.”

Qual perspectiva é a correta? Difícil responder na época em que inventaram o microscópio. Quão distanciado ou aproximado dos fatos você precisa estar para vê-lo ‘direito’? O que se vê na lente de um microscópio é a verdade ou a distorção da verdade?”

Os novelistas do Dezoito, tendo estabelecido uma distância do mundo romanesco, estão a maior parte das vezes cônscios de que a crença no fato nu e cru é tão mítica quando o próprio ideal do Romance. A novela, sendo a forma literária que é, nada pode fazer no tocante a decidir qual perspectiva é mais ‘verdadeira’, embora exerça um importante papel na definição do ‘mundo real’. Gulliver é um empiricista ultimado ou crente no fato bruto, um ponto de vista que anda de mãos dadas com seu interesse ‘progressista’ nos problemas técnicos e mecânicos (em contraponto ao próprio Swift, parecendo-se, desse ângulo, uma reedição de Crusoe). Ele é um exemplar do ‘novo homem’: cabeça-dura, ou melhor, obstinado, pragmático, aposta todas as suas fichas na religião chamada progresso, é fascinado por esquemas quiméricos e projetos de reforma social, ansioso por galardoar sua narrativa em primeira pessoa com mapas e provas documentais que para ele atestam a veracidade absoluta do que observa nas nações forasteiras.”

Mas Swift não nos brinda com uma solução ao dilema fundamental. Ele desaparece de vista e dá espaço para o leitor lidar com as contradições postas. É da natureza de sua sátira deixar de propor qualquer resposta construtiva – em parte porque um gentleman não carece de se envolver com esses problemas, ninharia de pequeno-burguês; e em parte porque qualquer solução logo se denunciaria como parcial.”

Swift e Defoe escrevem ambos numa sociedade que acredita na verdade, na razão e na justiça teóricas, mas cuja conduta contumaz se tornou tão falsa, injusta e irracional que já não é possível acreditar em nenhum indivíduo na prática.”

Se ‘primitivos’ como os irlandeses (que não são civilizados como os ingleses, ainda) e os aborígenes do Pacífico Sul forem realmente Yahoos, parece que isso justificaria o imperialismo britânico. Mas se os Yahoos são a humanidade inteira, então os colonizadores são (metaforicamente) bestiais e vivem também cobertos de fezes, o que suprime qualquer direito de soberania que tanto se arrogam. Por esta via, o colonialismo se torna uma questão de um bando de selvagens hipócritas liderando outros selvagens, não-hipócritas. Os mestres seriam tão imprestáveis quanto os súditos – uma opinião que, n’O Coração das Trevas, desautoriza qualquer colonialismo mas confirma, ainda, alguns de seus preconceitos (sim, os nativos são mesmo uns imprestáveis).”

Yahhoo boss (Quintanilla)
O chefe Yahoo

No fim, o que cavalos pensam de nós não é o suficiente para nos rotular como Houyhnhnms nem Yahoos – exceto, talvez, para os antepassados dos nobres anglo-irlandeses, para quem era regra amar um cavalo mais do que seus entes queridos, quem dirá o povão.”

comparison gulliver vs crusoe
comparison swift vs defoe

PSICANALISAR ou: Terapia como Jogo do Zero ou do Apuro da Diferença; ou: Como reavaliar e progredir sua própria análise em retrospecto – Serge Leclaire

Ed. Perspectiva

DIC poliglota:

Babotchka: a borboleta em russo.

Babouchka: Vovozinha (afetuoso) em russo.

Bücherwurm: verme-de-livro, porém no vernáculo seria entendido como “rato de biblioteca”.

deiscência: cisão em dois de algo previamente uno, no sentido de romper-se, fender-se, reabrir-se, uma cicatriz, p.ex. Pode-se dizer que o parto é uma deiscência entre mãe e filho, bem como o desmame sua reiteração simbólica.

1. O OUVIDO COM QUE CONVÉM OUVIR

Eu não acredito que o Victor Hugo nunca tenha ouvido falar de Leclaire!

é então que tudo se passa como se o psicanalista tivesse pensado em voz alta e o paciente lhe respondesse como homem versado nos rudimentos da teoria e da prática analíticas, como são hoje quase todos os que se submetem a uma análise.”

Laios: eu-lá

MA GRITE!

MATE o pai na transparência

transferência

ferro

ferido

sangue

Irrefutável é o caralho!

2. O DESEJO INCONSCIENTE. COM FREUD, LER FREUD.

De fato atualmente ninguém pode dizer que esqueceu seu guarda-chuva ou perdeu seu isqueiro – desenhos habituais de enigmas sexuais – sem provocar imediatamente o sorriso entendido do seu interlocutor, hermeneuta de ocasião.”

sexo, drogas e freud ‘n’ roll

De todas as baboseiras referentes à auto-análise de Freud mediante a interpretação de seus sonhos, o que eu depreendo é: tios mais novos que seus próprios sobrinhos têm egos enormes!

Por outro lado, Freud não diz quase nada do amarelo como cor dos judeus. Apenas alude – analisando o sonho com o Conde Thun – a uma forma botânica do anti-semitismo, a guerra dos cravos, que assolava Viena. Os cravos brancos eram a insígnia dos anti-semitas; os vermelhos, dos sociais-democratas.” Henrique Quanto?

BLÁBLÁBLÁ: “Além disso, o amarelo – como é sabido de todo analista de criança – é a cor chave do erotismo uretral.” Preferia quando o papo era sobre cores para usar na virada de ano…

Não é nada estranho para um leitor francês ver o pissenlit se inscrever tão profundamente na série botânica.” Mijar na cama mas folha da flor dente-de-leão (Löwenzahn) ao mesmo tempo. Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, planta de coloração amarela. Tudo indica que é um subgênero de margarida.

Leão não escova os dentes; criança que mija na cama bebe muita água. Bege. Neve.

“Depois de ter lido a narração da expedição de Nansen ao Pólo Norte, sonhou estar aplicando, naquele deserto de gelo, um tratamento elétrico no corajoso explorador para curá-lo de uma dolorosa ciática. Ao analisar esse sonho, descobrirá uma história de sua infância que torna o sonho compreensível. Lá pelos seus 3 ou 4 anos ouviu, um dia, os mais velhos falarem de viagens, de descobertas e perguntou a seu pai se aquela doença era muito perigosa. Sem dúvida, ele confundira viajar (reisen) com dor (Reissen).”

Raizen sun: Yusule

Yu Yu HakuDor

Chinese rice

Raiz de todos os males

H” is (rá é…)

Fakafka ferimento brancoabsurdo

Viagem

Viadagem

Vajem

Virgem

A última formiga se esconde (late-ant).

3. TOMAR O CORPO AO PÉ DA LETRA OU COMO FALAR DO CORPO?

Ao tentarmos fugir à ordem lógica das representações que a psicanálise promove, encontramos, como consolo, o modelo biológico em sua opacidade metafórica.”

moções de desejo (Wunschregungen)” “moções pulsionais (Triebregungen)”

O equívoco do conceito de representante, o recurso constante à hipóstase biológica são constantes importantes no pensamento de Freud. Elas correspondem, segundo M. Tort, a «um divórcio incontestável entre a elaboração da experiência clínica das neuroses (ou das psicoses) e a teoria ou doutrina das pulsões tratada por Freud de mitologia, cujo caráter necessariamente especulativo ele manteve».”

Se no momento eu declarar que o fetiche é um substituto do pênis, vou certamente causar uma desilusão. Apresso-me também a acrescentar que não é o substituto de um pênis qualquer, mas de um pênis determinado, totalmente especial e de grande significado nos primeiros anos de infância, que se perderá, porém, mais tarde.” F.

Tal explicação foi constatada como profundamente verdadeira em todas as análises de pervertidos.”

em uma história particular, o que dá tal privilégio a uma zona em vez de outra, o que estabelece de algum modo uma hierarquia dos investimentos erógenos e o que singularizaria a primazia genital?”

a zona erógena pode ser definida como um lugar do corpo onde o acesso à pura diferença (experiência do prazer) que aí se produz fica marcado por um traço distintivo, uma [primeira] letra [a “/” lacaniana], que se pode dizer estar inscrita nesse lugar ou colocada em sua abstração do corpo.”

Metaforicamente, podemos dizer que um intervalo é fixado no lugar em que se produziu a diferença e o jogo do desejo vai poder se desenrolar em tomo do cerco desse vazio, dentro da regra de seus engodos. É antes de tudo a ilusão retrospectiva de um primeiro objeto perdido em cuja falta se originaria o movimento do desejo” “É verdade que, num segundo tempo, o ciclo das repetições chega à eleição de um objeto determinado, substitutivo e, ao mesmo tempo, estranho à primeira letra.” “Para substituir ao mítico primeiro seio perdido, qualquer coisa que se leve à boca pode servir, até o dia em que a escolha se fixe na orelha do macaco de pelúcia que passa a ser, por um tempo às vezes bem longo, o novo mediador obrigatório de todas as satisfações.”

Tomar o corpo ao pé da letra é, em suma, aprender a soletrar a ortografia do nome composto pelas zonas erógenas que o constituem; é reconhecer em cada letra a singularidade do prazer (ou da dor) que ela fixa e nota ao mesmo tempo”

4. O CORPO DA LETRA OU O ENREDO DO DESEJO DA LETRA

Diferente, necessariamente, da diferença que reaviva como prazer de zona, o objeto deve ser concebido como elemento estranho ao corpo que ele excita.”

O objeto é fundamentalmente o outro corpo cujo encontro atualiza ou torna sensível a dimensão essencial da separação.” “O objeto parece se caracterizar por sua qualidade de estar separado na medida em que o intervalo dessa separação faz surgir a dimensão do espaço ao mesmo tempo que a anulação possível do intervalo que ali se inscreve.” “Desta forma, podemos dizer que o objeto, como parte (pedaço separado) do corpo, representa (no sentido comum da palavra) a dimensão de alteridade essencial implicada na concepção do corpo erógeno.”

De modo inverso poderíamos dizer que o objeto, por sua opacidade, representa segurança no lugar da falta.”

Quando viu a jovem empregada de joelhos, esfregando o chão, suas nádegas proeminentes e o dorso em posição horizontal, reviu nela a atitude tomada por sua mãe durante a cena do coito.”

Para a criança, essa situação privilegiada de ser assim promovido pela mãe à condição de um pequeno deus, constitui também uma situação fechada; isso porque uma tal conjuntura apaga, pela intensidade do gozo atingido, o efeito das insatisfações onde nasce o desejo. O ídolo-criança se vê assim preso numa espécie de relicário precioso cujo invólucro o isola de um verdadeiro acesso à realidade da letra” “Se essa mãe que o tem como objeto querido sente prazer com um outro, o seu mundo desmorona . . . a não ser que ele encontre uma defesa para esse golpe fatal.”

5. O SONHO DO UNICÓRNIO

Philippe gosta dos seus pés que não lhe parecem feios e se diverte em brincar com eles. Houve uma época de sua infância em que, andando muito com os pés descalços, esforçava-se por calejar a planta dos pés, sonhando deixá-la dura como corno para andar sem perigo sobre os solos mais ásperos e correr pela praia sem medo de estrepes [armadilhas, no chão ou sobre muros] ocultos na areia.” “invólucro de uma pele invulnerável”

Valor de representação fálica, o unicórnio constitui tema comum das narrações lendárias. O unicórnio, emblema de fidelidade, é evidentemente um animal difícil de ser pego. Diz a lenda que quem o quiser prender deve deixar, na solidão da floresta, uma jovem virgem como oferenda.”

A cicatriz, como toda a superfície do corpo, é uma recordação dos cuidados atenciosos que lhe dedicou uma mãe impaciente por satisfazer sua paixão ao nível das (sic) necessidades do corpo”

Philippe foi sem dúvida o preferido de sua mãe, mais que seu irmão, mas também mais que seu pai. Encontramos no horizonte sempre velado de sua história aquela satisfação sexual precoce. Nela Freud reconhece a experiência que marca o destino do obsessivo [que se contrapõe ao do psicótico]. Ser escolhido, mimado e saciado por sua mãe é uma beatitude e um exílio de onde é muito difícil voltar.”

O CORTE DE CABELO 2005

O CORTE DE CABELO APÓS AS FÉRIAS 2003

O CORTE DE CABELO DE VERÃO

ÚLTIMA ESTAÇÃO

AMBÍGUA

D’EROS

<Unicórnio> (licorne) marca assim em seu traço conciso o gesto de beber e o movimento das duas mãos juntas para formar uma taça – réplica côncava da convexidade do seio”

Poord’jeli – na própria escansão de sua enunciação secreta, saltando em torno do d’j central e recaindo sobre o júbilo do li – parece ser tanto o modelo como a reprodução do movimento da cambalhota. Há certo interesse em comparar esse nome secreto Poordjelli, que Philippe arranjou para si, com aquele que recebeu de seus pais: Philippe Georges Elhyani (transcrito também com o mínimo de deformações necessárias, tanto para resguardar o segredo da identidade real quanto para preservar todas as possibilidades de transgressão da análise).”

Com a evocação desse nome secreto, parece que atingimos um termo intransponível: modelo irredutível, desprovido de sentido, aparece verdadeiramente como um desses nós que constituem o inconsciente em sua singularidade.”

A rosa de Philippe é fonte inesgotável, indo do perfume das rosas à guerra das duas rosas, local mítico, tema místico, coração entre os dois seios no mais profundo de la gorge (peito) (garganta, literalmente).”

RAFAELDEARAUJOAGUIRAFAEL

nós narcisos

nós que atam os futuros-afogados n’orgulho de ser quem s’é

CAMBALHOTA, SALTO MORTAL

PIRUETA

piru

biruta

puta

punheta

chupeta

róta confulsa

pior de todas as rotas

ruas

perua que leva com motor barulhento

aos confins do vale dos fins

derradeiros

radiante

derredor

do nada real

reino do’Eu

6. O INCONSCIENTE OU A ORDEM DA LETRA

É verdade que a letra é justamente apresentada como esse traço cujo formalismo absoluto suprime toda necessidade de referi-la a outra coisa senão a outras letras, conexões que a definem como letra. Em outras palavras, é o conjunto de suas relações possíveis com outras letras que a caracteriza como tal, excluindo qualquer outra referência. Mas esse cuidado eminentemente louvável de restaurar a própria possibilidade de análise isolando, dentro de uma pretendida <pureza> formal, os termos mínimos de uma lógica não corresponde de fato senão a uma forma extrema de desconhecimento: a que patenteia a recusa sistemática de reconhecer que o conjunto da vida psíquica – e portanto de toda elaboração lógica – é constituído pela realidade do recalque.”

Já consideramos por que foram, entre outros monemas, Poor, d’j e li que se fixaram, quando analisamos as relações da fórmula (ou nome secreto) com o nome próprio do sujeito. O que não interrogamos, de propósito, foi o processo mesmo dessa fixação em torno do movimento de júbilo.”

com o esquizofrênico, achamo-nos confrontados com sombras de letras. Cada uma delas conduz ao conjunto das outras sombras indiferentemente ou exclusivamente a uma delas, que parece ter para ele papel de complemento sexual.”

No mal-estar, beirando o desmaio, da dor provocada por uma topada na quina de uma pedra subsiste apenas – ou se intensifica – o perfume da madressilva que cresce nas moitas ao redor. É como se no choque desta quase-deslocação pela erupção da dor, à beira do desvanecimento, o cheiro da madressilva se desprendesse, como único termo distinto, marcando por isso mesmo – antes que o desvanecimento propriamente dito ou a segunda dor se produzam – o próprio instante em que toda coerência parece se anular, ao mesmo tempo em que ela se mantém em torno desse único perfume.”

Mais simplesmente ainda, imaginemos, no auge do gozo amoroso, a cabeça caída da amante, cujo olhar perdido fixa em um olho sem fundo a imagem duplamente invertida que as cortinas abertas e presas por frouxos cordões desenham com a luz da janela. Teremos dessa forma evidenciado, em sua contingência, o próprio traço que parece fixar a síncope do prazer.

Assim, em todos esses casos, no instante em que se produz a diferença na extrema sensibilidade do prazer ou da dor, um termo aparece, se mantém ou se desprende, termo que parece impedir o total desfalecimento do momento

a própria letra, único termo que continua marcado pelo vazio do prazer.”

game gado save say V say F… safe giver hiver

lava life lie lavar wash is det

veremos, aliás, que tal possibilidade de formação de termos novos é uma característica necessária da ordem do inconsciente.”

Deixemos bem claro que é difícil falar com pertinência desta anulação, pois, por definição, o zero assim evocado é, por sua vez, realmente anulado como zero enquanto dele falamos como um termo.”

zero rose salmão cheiro de rosa e de peixe

o gozo é interdito ao falante como tal” Lacan

ninguém jamais pode dizer <eu gozo> sem se referir por um abuso intrínseco à linguagem, ao instante do prazer passado ou futuro – instante esse em que precisamente toda possibilidade de dizer se desvanece.”

Dentro de uma perspectiva dinâmica, o gozo designa a imediatidade do acesso à <pura diferença> que a estrutura inconsciente impede e dirige ao mesmo tempo.”

Muito sumariamente, podemos indicar aqui que a prevalência de um termo [letra-objeto-sujeito] da estrutura constitui o modelo de uma organização neurótica, ao passo que o enfraquecimento de um deles caracteriza a organização psicótica.”

Assim como na singularidade do exemplo do Homem dos Lobos a objetalidade maciça de um traseiro de mulher provoca o mais violento desejo, como o apelo de um vazio vertiginoso, assim também todo objeto, numa economia de desejo, parece haurir seu poder de atração do zero que ele mascara, dessa realidade do gozo que ele acalma para manter sua diferença em relação à morte.”

objetalização da letra, para fazer dela um sinal, assim como literalização do objeto, já descrita na origem do devir do obsessivo.”

A vida como processo do olho que vê “imparcial” seria o relógio de parede, em que, à meia-noite ou ao meio-dia o ponteiro da hora desaparece sob o ponteiro dos minutos (ou fundindo-se a sua cor e indistinguível a certa distância), e tudo se sucede sempre igual, de 12 em 12 horas (doze unidades de si mesmo). A vida daquele que vive (cada ponteiro) é sempre novidade e não se sabe que se está em círculo “esse tempo todo”, com o perdão da expressão tão cirúrgica, ovalada e cronométrica.

De modo mais aproximativo, poderíamos dizer que a função subjetiva é a contradição nela mesma e que esta particularidade a torna, em geral, difícil de conceber.”

É certo que a tríade objeto, letra e sujeito se oferece facilmente a uma esquematização simplista demais, na medida em que a trivialidade dos termos, que caracterizam as 3 funções, pode servir de pretexto para dissimular a originalidade radical de seu emprego na descrição do inconsciente.” Mas: “Parece inútil pretender evitar absolutamente o risco de redução simplificadora de uma descrição do inconsciente. Querer <colocar> de maneira radical a objetalidade, a literalidade ou a subjetividade da ordem inconsciente, para melhor distinguir o conceito da acepção comum das palavras em questão, seria encetar um processo <neurótico> (ou perverso) de objetalização da letra, negando com isso a intenção que o subentende no processo.”

o d’j da fórmula de Philippe seria provido de uma forte valência subjetiva e de uma função literal de valência fraca.” O contrário com li. Poor tem prevalência objetal, para seguir o didatismo do tripé.

com a diferença sexual, tudo já está escrito.”

é a relação bem problemática da função subjetiva com o conjunto do sistema literal assim concebido que permite caracterizar a dimensão essencialmente psicanalítica da <transferência>.”

7. O RECALQUE E A FIXAÇÃO OU A ARTICULAÇÃO DO GOZO E DA LETRA

Sem dúvida, é essa espécie de tendência fundamental do sistema primário [o inconsciente] para o seu próprio aniquilamento que Freud observou e sustentou contra todos como <pulsão de morte>. (…) o conjunto das relações recíprocas que descrevemos tendem a manter em torno do zero radical um jogo que o produz por meio do objeto, o representa pela letra e o oculta pela alternância do sujeito. Pela articulação da letra, que é a palavra, o horizonte do gozo em sua anulação não cessa, como a beatitude na palavra de Deus, prometida e recusada, outorgada somente depois da morte.”

Após essa lembrança da instabilidade do sistema oscilante que é o inconsciente – aparentemente ameaçado a todo instante de reabsorção – compreenderemos melhor por que ele tende a suscitar a organização paralela de um sistema antinômico ao seu, capaz de assegurar-lhe de algum modo uma organização menos precária.”

é próprio da ordem do inconsciente suscitar o deslize da letra em direção ao sinal indicador do objeto e gerar uma instância unificante e estável, a que chamaremos de moi. É também da natureza própria da ordem inconsciente manter a função estável do objeto, deixando <esquecer>, por assim dizer, que o objeto tem essa estabilidade devido ao absoluto do zero que ele mascara.”

Não nos deteremos nessas leis que regem o sistema da consciência. Elas são por demais conhecidas por todos, psicólogos ou não.”

O recalque é a roda que locomove os dois eixos in e cons.

levantamento do recalque. Esse passo dá acesso à ordem inconsciente como tal numa fórmula literal – Poord’jeli – desprovida de significado mas carregada, em sua permanência, de imperativos libidinosos.”

Como substituto materno, Lili constitui um objeto incestuoso – por isso mesmo interdito – que a organização consciente se vê obrigada a recalcar para as partes inferiores do inconsciente.”

Do ponto de vista consciente, a fórmula parece muito <inocente>. (…) quanto mais um elemento é estruturalmente inconsciente, no sentido em que o definimos, tanto menos poderá ter acesso a uma ordem em que nada o pode acolher, a não ser para se alterar por sua vez.”

um deslize da função literal para um valor significativo.” Cf. DIMITRI & O BILHETE

lit-lit

cama-cama

coma-coma

nurse nurse

coma — morte

s e x o

reprodução consciente

use condom

nur’s or not nur’s the q?

arse null

o interdito se apresenta como a barreira de um dito, isto é, como o fato de uma articulação literal, escrita ou falada.” NEM SEQUER PRONUNCIARÁS ISTO AQUI.

Não comerás tua mãe porque não queres que teu filho como tua esposa.

INFÂNCIA INFALADA (redundança): “Aquele que diz, por seu dito, se interdita o gozo ou, correlativamente, aquele que goza faz com que toda letra – e todo dito possível – se desvaneça no absoluto da anulação que ele celebra.” Ponto G de Gozo de Inexprimível.para.o.Homem GIH

life safe GIHver

Gozo = cegueira = bliss = blind…doublebind…morte em vida PERIGO PERIGO PERIGO

Prazer = gozo calculado (racional) +18 civilização & all (reversibilidade imediata)

Aquele que diz, por dizer, se interdiz(ta)” Lacan, intraduTZível

Aquele que dita, por ditar, se interdita

gozozero

G O Z O

Z E R O

0 E R 0 (S)

0s

Or?G

the her0

hoe

O infinito são dois zeros sucessivos com intervalo 0 entre eles.

COMO SALVAR FREUD COM UM MÍNIMO (PRÓXIMO DE ZERO) DE ESFORÇO! “o gozo não poderia, por isso mesmo, ser pura e simplesmente confundido com a morte, a não ser que se queira confundir a ordem inconsciente com a ordem biológica.”

A precariedade da ordem inconsciente, que anteriormente já apontávamos, manifesta-se clinicamente nas organizações psíquicas de tipo psicótico. Em tais casos, parece que o recalque não se teria exercido, ao mesmo tempo, na medida em que os mecanismos próprios da ordem inconsciente se manifestam de maneira mais ou menos patente à luz do dia – fato indicativo de falta de recalque propriamente dito – e na medida em que as próprias estruturas inconscientes se demonstram enfraquecidas ou, pelo menos, precárias, como se as funções que as asseguram estivessem inseguras – fato indicativo de falta de recalque originário.”

ÓLEO DA RODA DO DEVIR (DENTES SE ENTRELAÇANDO ENTRE DOIS ABISMOS INFINITOS – QUE IMAGEM!): “Assim, acham-se correlativamente perturbadas tanto a função estável [“nadal”] quanto a função tética [existencial], a ponto de – como já lembramos – uma não se poder mais distinguir da outra e as letras serem ali manipuladas como objetos ou, reciprocamente, os objetos como letras.”

O zero clama por (se)u(m) Hamlet, sem o qual ele (o nada!) não seria nada!

Mas persiste aqui uma questão de importância capital: como se realiza o recalque originário? Interrogação legítima e necessária na medida em que, como acabamos de ver, esse tempo parece faltar no caso dos destinos psicóticos.”

AS 3 ETAPAS DE QUEM SE INSCREVEU NO COMPLEXO DE ÉDIPO E PORTANTO FUGIU DA PSICOSE PRIMÁRIA

De início, é preciso que a carícia ao nível da covinha seja sentida como prazer; que uma diferença entre as duas bordas da encantadora depressão tenha sido sensível, intervalo que vai se marcar e que, por ora, reduziremos à (I) fórmula C1-C2, inscrevendo esse intervalo entre 2 pontos sensíveis, mas ainda não-erógena, da covinha. A seguir, é preciso – para que tal carícia seja tão intensamente sensível, agradável e diferente do contato de um pedaço de lã ou das costas da própria mão da criança – que a epiderme do dedo acariciador seja particularmente distinguida como sendo de outro corpo, intervalo que formularemos em (II) Cu-Do, covinha de um, dedo do outro. Finalmente, é evidente que – para que este último intervalo possa ser realmente distinguido nessa clivagem de alteridade – a condição mais importante e absoluta é que o dedo acariciador esteja constituído como erógeno (na economia do corpo do Outro), (III) intervalo que poderemos formular como D1e-D2e marcando assim a diferença sensível, e já erógena para ela [covinha da criança], da ponta do dedo da mãe.”

(I-II) sensibilidade esquisita

(II) “diferença” proximal 0

(II-III) erogeneidade do Outro

clivagina

tô fala no

Pobre da criança que não sabe o que é um cafuné…

novas zonas coloniais

ALGO TÃO BANAL PORÉM TÃO ESSENCIAL: “Mas como pode então suceder que essa operação não se produza ou se efetue de modo tão precário que pareça estar mal-assegurada, tal como supomos que deveria se produzir na origem dos destinos psicóticos?” “Precisamos, pois, considerar com mais atenção o que designamos como <intervalo erógeno do corpo do outro>, enquanto nos parece que sua dimensão própria é essencial para que seja efetuada a clivagem do recalque originário.”

O CARENTE-PADRÃO: “De um lado, podemos considerar que a perturbação do intervalo erógeno, no quadro da ordem neurótica, resulta do efeito do recalque secundário. Nada mais trivial que a extrema erogeneidade de uma zona íntima velada por uma hiperestesia ou uma anestesia que não exige analistas para despertar sua função erógena.”

ATAVICOSE: “Mas pode ser que o recalque seja mais vigoroso e que o conjunto do revestimento cutâneo caia sob o golpe dos seus efeitos. Imagina-se, então, no quadro de nosso exemplo, o pouco efeito <inscritor> que pode ter a mão de uma mãe afligida por tal recalque.” PSICOSE É LOUCURA DE FAMÍLIA

ANALFABETOS DO CORPO E DO ESPÍRITO, SEGREGAI-VOS!

MARCA DE ZONA ERÓGENA POR TELECONF.

ERAM OS MACACOS PSICOPATAS?

De um lado o fálus é aquele traço que, isolado em sua ereção em forma de estela ou de obelisco,¹ simboliza universalmente o caráter sagrado e central dessa eminente zona erógena. De outro lado, ele é, sem outra mediação, reduplicação ou representação, em si mesmo, termo diferencial que faz o corpo macho ou fêmea.”

¹ Uh, pedra filosofal da porra toda!

Afirmar que o fálus é a um só tempo a letra e o estilete que a traça não equivale a afirmar que gerar sexualmente basta para garantir, da parte do genitor, uma realização verdadeira do recalque originário. Isso porque nada impede o exercício de sua função orgânica a despeito de todo gozo digno desse nome. Contudo, a implicação fálica em tudo que se relaciona com o gozo, isto é, em tudo que se refere à afirmação da letra e à sua transgressão, deve-se ao privilégio dessa parte do corpo de ser em si mesma um termo diferencial (da fundamental diferença dos sexos) sem outra mediação, reduplicação ou representação.”

EDIPIADAS TRANSVERSAIS

O gozo genital, no homem e na mulher, parece guardar dessa determinação erógena mais ou menos antiga, suas características profundamente diferentes que Tirésias por experiência, diz a lenda, teria podido testemunhar em termos aritméticos: <…Um dia Zeus e Hera discutiam para saber quem, o homem ou a mulher, sentiria maior prazer no amor quando lhes ocorreu a idéia de consultar Tirésias, único que fizera a dupla experiência. Tirésias, sem vacilar assegurou que se o gozo do amor se compusesse de 10 partes, a mulher ficaria com 9 e o homem com 1 só>.” E com isso Hera (uma vez) arrancou a luz dos olhos de Tirésias.

Foucault banha-se milhões de vezes no rio, ao contrário de Lévi-Strauss, diria Heráclito.

O LADO ESCURO DA LUA

A conjunção dessas 3 aberturas em um mesmo eixo, produz o que se pode chamar de o contrário de um eclipse, na medida em que aquilo que é eclipsado, escondido, escamoteado, é justamente o esconderijo ou a ocultação habitual que sutura mais ou menos todo intervalo.” A diferença é que talvez só haja uma oportunidade para esse eclipse astronômico acontecer, ele não é cíclico…

O LÓBULO ESCURO E SURDO AO PÉ DA ORELHA

O músico é o lóbulo do músico.

O sol é líquido por fora e a lua é sulcada de crateras. Isso já o bastante para sermos felizes até o gás hélio acabar!

8. PSICANALISAR. NOTA SOBRE A TRANSFERÊNCIA E A CASTRAÇÃO.

O convite para falar que é feito ao paciente não se abre sobre algum acontecimento maiêutico ou alívio catártico… assemelha-se mais, em realidade, ao <diga 33, 33> do médico cujo ouvido está atento apenas à ressonância torácica da voz.”

On démolit

le Cherche-Midi

à quatorze heures

tout sera dit.” Queneau

O jogo do zero e sua representação – ou a relação do sujeito à falta que ele acentua no conjunto do qual faz <parte> – evocam esta <cena primitiva> em que Freud nos ensinou a situar o espaço do impossível saber sobre <a origem> de <cada um>.”

Quem sou eu?

Filho dos meus pais.

Filho 2 de 2 pais.

Ângulo negro de uma casa de luz fraca.

É preciso contrair uma dívida para comprar a liberdade

E viver escravizado daí em diante num novo espaço.

Confere?

No entanto não deixa de ser

Um novo zero

No bom sentido

Do número

Se é

Que m’entende!

Não há outro artifício na psicanálise que proporcionar ao paciente a suspensão necessária de nossa <compreensão>, onde o dizer poderá evoluir”

que vazio faria aparecer seu desaparecimento?”

1. nunca ter nascido

2. morrer hoje

Todo mundo já maquinou este simples exercício. Honestamente? Sabe-se lá! Mas eu já escrevi cerca de 2 necrológios para mim mesmo! Montaignesco!

a PEDRA no meu sapato que me incomoda há tanto tempo;

a TESOURA, pois eu corto com mordacidade o discurso dos Outros;

o PAPEL de mãe e ao mesmo tempo o dinheiro que eu rasgo, e que pode embrulhar a pedra e qualquer estômago de pedra, triangulando uma vitória!

tábula rasa instrumento cortante BAGULHO INÚTIL EM EXCESSO SOBRE A TERRA, sendo aliás a própria terra!

Pode ir na frente, eu vou de patinete!

Preciso manter o peso, perder se possível, não sou motorizado!

Meu combustível?! Autopropalado!

Eu ajudo quem os pais atrapalham Sociedade Anônima e Anômica

Eu sou o verdadeiro Messias da minha própria autocriada época.

Devaluei o $$. Olhos de serpente não vêem nada neste covil empoeirado, embolorado. Fica um dissabor equivalente, equidistante. Notícias boas e ruins vêm e vão em caráter indiferente. Ó, valei-me! Escapei dos braços de muitas Shivas e religiões!

A fúria e o Som (WILSON!!! – voz do solitário), não necessariamente nesta ordem. Significando tudo, retrocedendo quase nada. Epílogo da peça elizabetana. N de não-vingança. Eu adoro o mato, tanto que o verbo eu conjugaria, noutras circunstâncias e, sabe-se, eu tenho bastante mato escapando pelo couro, ah!, cabeludo, eriçado! Ar-tista sem fôlego – mas que espécie de paradoxo é esse?! Viva cada dia como se fosse seu último – IN VINO VERITAS!

Rogai por nós cobradores agora e na hora de nossa dívida, Aquém!

Eu e eles somos ambos (?!) gratos, a nosso modo.

Em uma fórmula oriunda do ensino de J. Lacan, que muitos analistas presentemente adotaram, a transferência está situada como o efeito de uma não-resposta ao pedido constituído pelo discurso do paciente.”

Seja um pai para mim ou me diga aquilo que eu quero que me digam: talvez nada! Por desencargo de consciência… Para dar uma descarga no FLUXO DE CONSCIÊNCIA, melhor dizendo.

Refletir sobre a i-nelutável disparidade i-ntelectual…

Rafa el Escritor

Resta o problema, colocado desde o primeiro capítulo, da sujeição do psicanalista ao modelo teórico que determina sua posição e sua função. Vemos à luz do que acabamos de desenvolver, que convém que este suplemento de sujeição seja reduzido ao extremo. Quer isto dizer que o modelo teórico só pode consistir numa fórmula onde apareça como dominante a função radical do zero e onde se manifeste, reduzida à sua <mesmidade>, a função alternante do sujeito.”

TOGASHI ROLUDO (OU FENDIDO): “De modo mais figurado, digamos que a castração é a cavilha ausente que junta os termos para constituir uma seqüência ou um conjunto; ou ao contrário, digamos que ela é o hiato, a clivagem que marca a separação dos elementos entre si.”

a castração – mesmo se permanece mal[-]pensada ou insuficientemente conceitualizada – entra em cena em todo processo psicanalítico, na medida em que o tratamento visa evidenciar, analisar a articulação singular de cada <um> [I] com o espaço do zero [0] que ele desvenda no conjunto dos outros <uns> [11111110101010101…].”

Houve um tempo em que a psicanálise cheirava a enxofre e fazia felizmente parte das atividades malditas: sabia-se então o que ela era: uma interrogação sobre o gozo.” “O que é bendito, benedictus, bemdito, é a afirmação redobrada e magnificada do dito que põe barreira à anulação que é o gozo. O maldito, maledictus, maldito, não é precisamente esta interrogação – diabólica – a respeito da própria função do dito?”

DEL SIGNIFICADO A LAS OPCIONES – Gillo Dorfles

Trad. Carlos Manzano (1973, 1975)

DIC:

capellone: (it.): cabeludo

engreimiento: presunção

gagà (it.): presumida

PREFACIO: PREFERENCIA Y SIGNIFICADO

El problema de la preferencia (o de la proairesis para los griegos) es un problema candente, por el cual se suele mostrar demasiado poco interés.” Em síntese, o problema monumental para o qual as massas não estão maduras (talvez jamais estejam): a relatividade e o absoluto envolvidos no <gosto>.

SEMÂNTICA PROAIRÉTICA: SIGNIFICADO (Semiótica) + PREFERÊNCIA (Estética)

A supostamente utópica ou impossível DISCUSSÃO DO GOSTO após a Metafísica.

Até que ponto e mediante que meios é possível determinar as razões primordiais que me permitem considerar algo como preferível e atribuir um significado a tal preferência?”

Superioridade intrínseca e escala de valores.

Outridade

mosaico de opções”

Que peso tem a preferência do indivíduo contra a das massas?”

Se não se pode discutir a arte, não se pode discutir mais nada.

Hume (Of the standard of taste), ensaísta e crítico do lado de lá (metafísico): a moral bíblico-alcorânica e o drama sanguinolento são inaceitáveis.

Zeitgeist da aletheia e do Belo.

SEMÂNTICA AUTOGENÉTICA: Fragmentação pós-moderna. Morte da Zeitgeist. Coabitação virtual de todas as Zeitgeister no mesmo indivíduo. Fim de um ciclo milenar e início do IMPÉRIO DA ESQUIZOFRENIA, que não sabemos quanto tempo durará.

a necessidade de restabelecer, com critérios diferentes, um critério valorativo [valor dos valores] para aplicação aos fenômenos da vida, da arte e da sociedade.”

as enquetes de Kinsey, método contestável”

Vejamos alguns exemplos de vanguardas artísticas consideradas escandalosas quando apareceram: 1) numa galeria romana, o pintor Kounellis apresentou o quadro de uma mulher grávida, nua, por cujo ventre passeavam algumas baratas; 2) o artista americano Acconci, em NY, apresentava-se confinado em uma cabine estreita de madeira dentro da qual se entregava à masturbação; 3) na exposição Documenta de Kassel (1972), o romano Vettor Pisani expôs uma mulher nua (que vinha a ser sua irmã), cujo pescoço tinha uma argola metálica, e Pisani lhe aplicava uma <tortura simulada>, cutucando uma ferida falsa pintada na perna da modelo; 4) a escultora polaca Alina Szapocznikow expunha em Paris (1970) alguns <tumores>, modelados em plástico, hiperrealistas; 5) o artista austríaco Herman Nitsch alugou um castelo nos arredores de Viena (1968-72) para representar seu <teatro das orgias e dos mistérios> (Orgien und Mysterien Theater): tratavam-se de matanças <rituais> de cordeiros e bezerros, com cujo sangue e tripas os expectadores eram banhados; para isso, Nitsch usava condutos especialmente concebidos, que derramavam o sangue e pedaços dos intestinos sobre o público; o roteiro incluía a participação dos expectadores, que deviam, além de receber os restos mortais dos animais, besuntar-se a si mesmos e aos seus vizinhos com seus próprios excrementos; havia uma série de outros <jogos> sado-masoquistas na exposição, como a celebração de missas hereges e a crucificação simbólica de algumas das ovelhas. Aos interessados, uma descrição detalhada e explicação crítica deste evento figuram em PETER GORSEN, Das Prinzip Obszön, Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburgo, 1969,(*) pp. 114-5, que transcreve também um comunicado da polícia austríaca proibindo esse gênero de <espetáculo aberrante>. Segundo Nitsch, em carta ao próprio Gorsen, o cordeiro crucificado representa simultaneamente o Pai, o Rei, a autoridade política, o ídolo estatal, a divindade. Em suma, tratava-se de uma revivificação dos cultos dionisíacos (<A revolução é um fenômeno dionisíaco>, diz Nitsch), conducentes à liberação do homem de seus tabus religiosos e políticos. (…) É típico de nossa época pretender ressuscitar cultos e práticas iniciáticos ou pseudo-mágicos pertencentes a culturas antigas, em que ditas práticas possuíam ou podiam possuir um valor autêntico; hoje sua <imitação> – seja mediante a astrologia, alucinógenos, ritos budistas, mistérios dionisíaco-órficos como neste caso, ginástica iogue, etc. – tende a ser daninha e contraproducente a despeito da intenção autoral.

(*) Até o momento, o volume-resenha mais completo sobre as relações entre arte, pornografia e sociedade.”

Exemplos como os acima multiplicam-se em outros segmentos: já pude discorrer em outra obra sobre o caso do musicólogo que gravou em fita magnética os últimos gemidos de um homem agonizante após um acidente de trânsito; bastante conhecido é ainda o caso do cineasta japonês que filmou o transcurso dos últimos instantes da vida de seu pai moribundo de câncer.”

um deslizamento (contínuo) do significado por debaixo do significanteLacan

Conceito de ASSIMETRIA ESTÉTICA por VON WRIGHT (ou mais bem uma primeira lei da assimetria): “Assimetria significa que se um estado é preferido em relação a outro, necessariamente o segundo estado não é preferido em detrimento do primeiro; i.e., pelo mesmo sujeito na mesma ocasião” Relação subsumida na fórmula-função (pPq) ~(qPp), p≠q.

O assimétrico é a premissa de qualquer proairesis.” “O simétrico se identifica com a geometrização mórbida da esquizofrenia.” Paradoxo: a ERA DA ASSIMETRIA é a ERA DA ESQUIZOFRENIA. Que seja apenas um estágio transitório entre duas eras mais autênticas, não destrói-se a contradição inerente. Resta saber se ficaremos indefinidamente presos a uma simulação indefinida desta mesma condição, como diz Baudrillard, ou se essa dialética deixa de ser estéril e se torna propulsora da superação em algum momento. Em suma, se o “novo elemento” vitorioso será ou seguirá sendo a esquizofrenia, em seu sentido pejorativo, ou a assimetria. Em busca de uma nova simetria, de um novo pathos normal.

moral corrente: contradição em termos! moral petrificada

PRIMERA PARTE – UN ANÁLISIS PROAIRÉTICO

CAPÍTULO 1. PREFERENCIA, PREVISIÓN Y CAUSALIDAD

belief is nothing but a strong and lively idea derived from a present impression (perception) related to it” HUME, A Treatise of Human Nature, 1739

A maioria das vezes, os lingüistas realizam o estudo dessas modificações [de significante-significado] exclusivamente por zelo científico e erudito, sem ter em conta adequadamente as premissas socioantropológicas que as originam (ou, se se quer, invertendo os termos da proposição no sentido de Whorf, até que se vejam as próprias premissas socioantropológicas determinadas por tais modificações!).”

Quando, p.ex., um termo como o italiano testa (para nos atermos a um dos exemplos oferecidos por Guiraud, La sémantique), originariamente uma metáfora estilística nascida da associação da cabeça (caput) com o vaso de terracota (latim testa), passou a significar cabeça, com o que se semantizou de outro modo, enquanto que – acrescentaria eu – em outras línguas românicas adquiriu um significado mais parcial e setorial: testa em português = <frente> ou, inclusive, permaneceu unido ao lexema antigo (cabeza em espanhol = caput), etc., encontramo-nos perante um exemplo fácil do difícil que resulta <prognosticar> a evolução semântica de um termo – do difícil que resulta a previsão de um significado –, mas ao mesmo tempo da importância que pode ter para os efeitos denotativos e conotativos de uma língua o fato de que se produzam semelhantes transformações.

Outro exemplo: a palavra italiana finestra – em espanhol ventana, em português janela – apresenta, ainda considerando só estes 3 idiomas, conotações completamente diferentes, relacionadas com as condições de <abertura ao exterior> (finestra e também no caso do alemão fenster), de <proteção contra o vento> (ventana e também no caso do inglês window) ou de <porta pequena> (janela, de janua).”

Our ideia of necessity and causation arises entirely from the uniformity observable in the operations of Nature.” Hume

Max Müller, para quem a própria interpretação falsa ou aberrante de algumas normas é a que abre caminho para muitas interpretações míticas destinadas a se consolidar depois com o hábito e a adquirir valor de norma. Müller explica as razões do mito de Deucalião e Pirra, que fazem nascer os homens das pedras, pela analogia entre as expressões laoi e laas; e o mito de Dafne, transformada em planta de laurel, pelo fato de que a palavra dafne tem a mesma raiz sânscrita ahana, que significa aurora, etc.” “Pouco tempo depois Cassirer viria a refutar tal teoria, detalhadamente.”

Segundo Julius Schwabe (em seu riquíssimo volume sobre os signos do zodíaco, Archetyp und Tierkreis. Grundlinien einer kosmischen Symbolik und Mythologie, 1951), a constelação de Gêmeos conotava no passado um elemento masculino em Pólux e outro feminino (ou fracamente masculino) em Cástor. Prova-o o fato de que entre os romanos os homens <juravam a Pólux> e as mulheres a Cástor. Outra prova desta masculinidade duvidosa de um dos gêmeos da constelação seria seu próprio nome, que apresenta um evidente significado castratório, como, além do mais, a própria lenda sobre o animal castor. De acordo com a lenda, esse animal, quando caçado, preferia autocastrar-se antes que ver-se privado de seus testículos pelo caçador: segundo os antigos, nestes órgãos encontrava-se uma substância utilíssima para o preparo de medicamentos contra a histeria, o tifo e outras doenças.”

Segundo a concepção da alternância de grandes ciclos temporais (que alguns chamam de <grande ano platônico>), à medida que avançam as diferentes constelações no céu, entra-se ou sai-se de uma era determinada. Cada grande era <cósmica> pertenceria a uma constelação zodiacal determinada e se veria influenciada por ela. Pois bem: podemos comprovar então que o nascimento de Cristo se produziu ou coincidiu com a passagem do sol da constelação de Áries para a de Peixes (e temos de sobra exemplos e conotações, não só astrológicos, como geofísicos, geográficos e lingüísticos para a sucessão dos <anos platônicos>), o que nos levaria a reconhecer uma razão muito mais profunda e <oculta> para o uso do nome e da imagem do peixe como símbolo de Cristo, além da aparição do nome peixe em grego para se referir algumas vezes a Jesus Cristo no Novo Testamento. A passagem da Era de Áries à Era de Touro, e desta à de Peixes (que coincide precisamente com o cristianismo e, portanto, com nossa era), à qual sucederá a de Aquário, aparece agora ilustrada com muitos dados inéditos a respeito dos já conhecidos à época de Schwabe. A propósito da denominação das <eras cósmicas> a partir dos signos do zodíaco, consultar o referido autor.”

Ist es nötig noch darauf hinzuweisen, dass die Urchristen, als sie das uralte Fischsymbol aufgriffen, sich damit eben als eine Gemeinschaft kennzeichnen wollten, die an Wiedergeburt im Geiste, Auferstehung, und Unsterblichkeit glaubte? Sie knüpften damit an die orphischpythagoreische Vorstellung der delphinischen Menschenseele an.” Schwabe “Is it necessary to point out that when the original Christians picked up the ancient fish symbol, they were trying to identify themselves as a community that believed in rebirth in the spirit, resurrection, and immortality? In doing so, they followed up on the Orphic-Pythagorean concept of the Dolphinic human soul.”

Quanto à relação entre peixe e golfinho, considerado como animal fundamental, veja-se KARL KERÉNYI, Einführung in das Wesen der Mythologie.”

as discussões sobre a importância que esses deslocamentos das constelações no firmamento poderiam ter para a confecção do horóscopo, segundo se tenha ou não em conta a posição astronômica e real do sol com respeito ao zodíaco, foram e seguem sendo numerosíssimas e encarniçadas: alguns astrólogos sustentam que o horóscopo não deveria considerar deslocamentos puramente físicos; outros afirmam que tais modificações contam também para fins astrológicos. Vemos que até o possível aspecto premonitório, presente nas práticas astrológicas, se encontra subordinado a um aspecto puramente semiótico, ou pelo menos se discute a partir dele – algo no mínimo curioso para uma crença esotérica!”

Só a arte está em condições de propor os invólucros vazios de um significado ainda não exposto à luz do dia.”

Por lo demás, estudios recientes sobre el factor tiempo, sobre su base fisiológica, biológica, patológica, han demostrado de sobra la posibilidad de una dilatación o de una restricción de lo <vivido> temporal y la posibilidad de obtener (mediante drogas, medicamentos y ejercicios especiales del tipo del Yoga, como el <training autógeno> de J.H. Schultz) las modificaciones más variadas de la temporalidad.”

CAPÍTULO 2. EL SIMBOLISMO DEL TIEMPO EN EL ARTE DE HOY

Mucho más evidente es el aspecto simbolizador del tiempo en la categoría limítrofe del arte óptico-cinético (op art) en la que nos encontramos con obras inmóviles en realidad, pero que <sugieren> el movimiento (Bridget Riley, Alviani, Soto, Cruz Díez, etc.). En dichas obras – que hace unos 10 años [1962] aproximadamente estuvieron muy en boga – el tiempo existe <potencialmente>”

Por que o ritmo é tão importante para nossa existência e por que uma alteração daquele se reflete num mal-estar profundo?”

No me parece que haya otra forma de explicar la razón por la que muchas creaciones de nuestros días – basadas en tiempos alterados (en sentido psicodélico, en sentido musical-aleatorio, en sentido poético, etc.) – conducen a otras tantas situaciones de malestar físico y psíquico.”

Así, pues, esa sensación de ligereza y de <ausencia de tiempo> que se puede experimentar en un rápido vuelo transoceánico (en el que la única sensación experimentada es, no la de la velocidad, sino la de la lentitud, dado que así se nos aparece el movimiento del avión frente a la vastedad y a la inmovilidad del paisaje de nubes y del océano situado debajo) corresponde a la ausencia de tiempo de muchos ejemplos de música moderna y de algunas situaciones de las artes visuales que hoy utilizan la dimensión temporal para expresarse.”

la obsolescencia de la obra (de arte o producida por la industria) – hoy tan aguda, tan paradigmática – demuestra tangiblemente la invasión y la acción de la <consunción> [destruição lenta mas progressiva], del factor temporal, sobre las obras del hombre y la necesidad de su simbolización por parte de las diferentes artes”

la marcada separación entre mentalidad y comportamiento juvenil y senil encuentra una contrapartida en una diversificación igualmente marcada en la mentalidad y en las actitudes de quienes tienen 16, 25, 30 años. Así, pues, existe una diferenciación destacada entre grados que todavía pueden referirse a una edad juvenil, cosa que no me parece sucediera con igual relieve hace 20 o 40 años.” [!]

En mi opinión, ese hecho significa que se está produciendo una aceleración del tiempo <existencial> con respecto al fisio-patológico. El tiempo – como símbolo de un devenir que no se detiene – ha invadido estructuras todavía ayer sólidas y consistentes.”

la sensación de una <amenaza temporal>, propensa a resquebrajar la seguridad de la existencia, está presente por todas partes y la simbolizan los aspectos artísticos y pseudoartísticos a los que he aludido”

O conceito de tempo “SAE (Standard Average European” de Whorf.

No hay duda de que el fenómeno de la progresiva desaparición o atrofiamiento del pretérito indefinido en lenguas como el italiano (a excepción del toscano) y el francés (y NO en el español), o como la eficacia cada vez menor del futuro (en lenguas que lo presentan, p.ej., en forma compuesta exclusivamente: alemán, griego moderno, croata, esloveno) o <asimilado> al presente (como el ruso y otras lenguas eslavas, cuando utilizan el presente del aspecto perfectivo para indicar el futuro) o recurren a construcciones complejas en lugar de utilizar la forma originaria del futuro (como el francés: je vais faire, el español: voy a hacer, y el propio italiano: conto di fare, sto per fare, mi accingo a fare, por no hablar del futuro japonés, que muchas veces se puede identificar con el presente), demuestra que la actitud del hablante tiende la mayoría de las veces a eludir las situaciones temporales <definitivas> o bien definidas y a adoptar otras más desdibujadas y ambiguas.”

CAPÍTULO 3. ARTE CONCEPTUAL: PREFERENCIA Y TESAURIZACIÓN [“MAL DO ACUMULADOR”]

El abismo que separa a 2 Weltanschauungen – o, mejor, a dos Kunstanschauungen – a sólo pocos años de distancia parece insalvable.”

¿Por qué kitsch? Porque el cielo es demasiado azul, la vegetación demasiado verde, la superficie de la figura demasiado translúcida; y, en consecuencia, el conjunto aparece ya manipulado en gran medida y preparado para que se lo comercialice y se lo ofrezca a los turistas, para uso del <delfín burgués>, que pasará en este lugar vacaciones suficientemente prestigiosas como para que sirvan de status symbol de cara a los amigos y a los conocidos.”

la presentación más o menos exacta, más o menos magnificada, de la realidad, ya sea la fotográfica, ya sea – con mayor razón aún – la impresionista o la enteramente abstracta, resulta estar superada.”

Aquí quisiera limitarme a precisar el porqué de la aparición de una clase de preferencia por el aspecto conceptual en el arte visual, tal como se ha ido revelando en el último decenio, porque me parece uno de los temas en que la separación entre la época actual y la que acaba de transcurrir resulta más marcada, en que resulta más sintomática la afirmación de un tipo de preferencia hasta hace poco inimaginable.”

dadá, el surrealismo, fueron las consecuencias extremas de un persiflage de la presentación naturalista del mundo exterior. El informalismo señaló un regreso inútil a una especie de impresionismo pictórico, sin <contenidos>, pero no sine materia; e incluso la pintura-objeto, que desembocó, por un lado, en el pop-art y, por otro, en el arte programado y cinético (me excuso por la rapidez telegráfica y por la aproximación de estas definiciones), seguía recurriendo, a pesar de todo, a la tangibilidad densa y manipulable de la obra.”

Por lo demás, no es casualidad que un movimiento tan vasto y, en definitiva, tan <incómodo> como el del conceptualismo se haya revelado precisamente en estos últimos años (de 1965 en adelante): años que han visto el surgimiento de las sublevaciones estudiantiles de 66-8 y su decadencia, la extensión y continuación de la guerra en Vietnam y de las guerrillas en tantas partes del mundo, la difusión de la droga, la decadencia de los movimientos de vanguardia en el cine y en el teatro underground, la crisis de la novela y de la música dodecafónica y, después, de la aleatoria”

un nihilismo diferente del dadaísta, porque carece de fermentos irónicos y humorísticos, un nihilismo ya no propio de Duchamp, con frecuencia macabro, a veces irritante, otras masoquista o sádico.”

hace 20 años [1952], la única o más importante tarea del crítico comprometido, del estetólogo, era la de defender la vanguardia, de intentar hacer de mediador entre el universo circunscrito, circunspecto, del artista y el obtuso, cargado de anteojos culturales y morales, del público.”

la temporada de los happenings fue de corta duración, y en muchos casos se vio <comercializada> mediante la reproducción cinematográfica.”

nuestra época ha llegado a un punto en que la escisión entre arte <puro> y arte utilitario es cada vez más clara y cruel. El primer sector se va alejando cada día más de la comprensión y del interés del gran público (incluso de un público relativamente culto), más aún de lo que ocurría con el arte abstracto de los años 30, con el op y el pop de los años 60; el segundo sector se acerca cada vez más al producto del diseño industrial y se une a la gran familia del kitsch.”

El público se alimenta constantemente, de um modo que ya otras veces he definido como absurdo, de <sonidos musicales>, casi siempre carentes de interés artístico alguno, sin propósito renovador alguno, con una función de <relleno sonoro> exclusivamente, ni más ni menos que la del ruido que sube de la calle o del <gorjeo de los pájaros> de los tiempos remotos.” Aqui, muita coisa mudou!

el llamado público de conciertos, los viejos ambientes de los aficionados a la <música clásica>, incluso gran parte de los profesionales (directores de orquestra, profesores de conservatorio, etc.) desarrollan sólo programas a base de música del pasado, sin interés ni comprensión algunos por la música de nuestros días (me refiero a la de Stockhausen, Schnebel, Berio, Cage, Donatoni, etc.). Las obras de los músicos contemporáneos están destinadas a pocos centenares de personas dispersas por el mundo, todavía menos que las que se interesan por el arte conceptual, por el land art, por el arte pobre.”

Algunos de esos conceptos (como los de tesaurización y analidad aplicados al coleccionismo) surgieron en una discusión con el neurofisiólogo y psicoanalista Mauro Mancia.”

CONCEITO DE ANALIDADE POBREMENTE APLICADO AO COLECIONADOR: “Para muitos colecionadores, o fato de entrar em posse do quadro, da estátua, é por si mesmo fonte de gozo, de igual modo que o é o entesouramento [retenção] de suas próprias fezes pela criança.”

Muchas veces, las casas de los coleccionistas tienen pocos muebles y objetos, están mal conservadas, con mobiliario anticuado y desmesuradamente moderno, incluso de gusto dudoso. Las obras están amontonadas en las paredes, una junto a otra, sin ningún respeto por su naturaleza particular, sin ninguna preocupación por ese <espacio vital> que cada una necesitaría ni por su convivencia recíproca.”

En realidad, poetas concretos tradicionales como Ferdinand Kriwet, Rot, De Campos, etc., siguen ateniéndose, como por lo demás, Gominger (quizás el más riguroso y más imaginativo de los concretistas), al aspecto semántico del lenguaje verbal”

En definitiva: muchos artistas conceptuales han tenido que someterse al deseo de los aficionados. Han tenido que encontrar el modo de saciar el apetito voraz de los <objetos>, siempre renovado, de aquéllos; han tenido que renunciar a sus sueños de pureza, de transitoriedade, de pobreza.”

CAPÍTULO 4. LA MODA COMO EXALTACIÓN PROAIRÉTICA

Nenhum outro setor da atividade e da criatividade humana é mais representativo que a moda para uma investigação de caráter proairético [que versa sobre as preferências estéticas do público].” “a moda encarna, quase em estado puro, a preferencialidade, que, ressaltamos, não é a <superioridade> de determinada situação.” Sendo assim, a moda não é uma arte. Ou quem sabe seja o que vem depois do fim da arte.

Quando dizemos hoje: <a lingüística, o estruturalismo, a psicanálise, o marxismo, a fenomenologia, etc., estão na moda>, no fundo reconhecemos que essas doutrinas poderosas, que essas solenes correntes do pensamentos, podem-se reduzir, no final, a simples momentos efêmeros de preferência, e que, portanto, depois de saboreadas o suficiente, destrinchadas e ostentadas, acabarão rápida e afortunadamente sendo substituídas por outras.”

A palavra alemã Genuss, que os dicionários costumam traduzir por: gozo, posse, desfrute, uso, etc., significa na realidade: saboreio unido a gozo de uma substância ou situação determinada, e não me parece que exista uma palavra em nossa língua com a qual se a possa substituir. Fala-se de um Genuss pelo café, pelo álcool, pela droga, etc.”

Estilo X Styling (kitsch)

(passado – séc. XIX X séc. XX)

ex: Estilo Império, estilo Luís XVI, rococó, estilo Rainha Ana…

Havia um sincronismo e validades universais (ditados pela aristocracia).

Bastaria recordar os numerosos trabalhos de Wölfflin, Dvorak, Panofsky, para se dar conta de que muitas de suas análises já não se podem aplicar às formas artísticas de nossos dias. Mas hoje – dado que nossa análise é predominantemente sincrônica – já nem podemos falar de estilo a propósito de certos móveis dinamarqueses, ou eletrodomésticos italianos, senão, sobretudo, de moda e de styling. É um fato – e muitos o afirmaram com razão – que o Art Nouveau, o Jugendstil, constituiu-se como o último estilo autêntico de nossa época.”

A moda do kitsch e o kitsch da moda.

El propio hecho de haber considerado que se pudieran aplicar esquemas estructuralistas a la moda (como ha hecho Barthes en su Système de la mode), pero limitando en realidad su análisis al aspecto <verbal>, de nomenclatura, relacionado con ella, ha hecho que muchos prediquen la necesidad, o la oportunidad, de incluir la moda dentro de un aspecto lingüístico-estructuralista, como tantos otros sectores de la sociedad y de las ciencias humanas en general. Y la cosa no presentaría dificultad, si no se diera en este caso una eventualidad que no me parece se haya considerado: la de una institucionalización a priori, y no a posteriori, de los elementos lingüísticos relativos a dicho supuesto código.”

Con frecuencia se afirma que la moda es un fenómeno vinculado a la sociedad capitalista y desconocido, o poco conocido, en los países socialistas y revolucionarios; no resulta muy difícil demostrar la falsedad de esa hipótesis.”

A redundância: tudo é um invólucro teatral e barroco da propriedade doméstica: a mesa é coberta por uma toalha de mesa, ela mesma protegida por uma outra toalha de plástico. Cortinas e cortinas duplas às janelas. Tapetes, capas, revestimentos, abajures…” Baudrillard

se o fato de trajar mangas de jaqueta excessivamente largas ou calças excessivamente apertadas (nos períodos em que <é moda>) deve ser considerado de mau gosto – kitsch –, podíamos também ampliar este juízo a outros setores para além da moda. Sempre voltará a época da lâmpada com luz oblíqua, talheres escandinavos, louça de aço inox, etc.”

Mesmo no cinema, apenas em casos excepcionais – Potemkin, Greta Garbo, Buster Keaton, O vampiro de Düsseldorf (para citar 4 exemplos bem distintos entre si) – as imensas qualidades artísticas conseguem <vencer> o desgaste estilístico devido a uma questão de moda, que predomina nos longas bons mas não <ótimos>. O modo de se mover dos personagens, as frases pronunciadas, a entonação das vozes, certas atitudes românticas ou passionais hoje completamente defasadas e consideradas ingenuamente românticas, ou ridiculamente licenciosas, acabam contaminando mesmo as cenas que eram (e seriam ainda) de qualidade estética e técnica.”

observar os rostos carrancudos e truculentos ou então inexpressivos, severos e carnavalescos dos diferentes hierarcas nazifascistas é – para todos, hoje – um espetáculo grotesco, ainda mais cômico que propriamente penoso e entristecedor. Como justificar o fato, senão pensando que um grande componente de moda interveio para dar àquela época o trato que ela merece?”

De praxe, consideramos a toilette (a higiene, os hábitos e estilo) de nossos pais mais ridícula e démodé que a de nossos avós ou bisavós.”

Na música, teatro, poesia não se adverte esse envelhecimento estético tão veloz decorrente da passagem da moda, uma vez que conseguimos substituir instintivamente com nosso modo de ser e de nos comportarmos aquilo que está descrito na novela ou indicado na peça. No cinema e na fotografia (meios <realistas>) isso é impossível. (…) Uma possível fonte de retroalimentação, que pode ser causa, ainda que também efeito de um espírito de época, desse estado de coisas efêmero é o fato de que no passado não era possível apresentar aos próprios descendentes, documentalmente, e com absoluta fidelidade, uma dada moda, sendo assim imperceptível, senão menos evidente e estridente, o contraste entre o ontem e o hoje.”

Está ligeiramente out (fora de moda) quem ostenta nas paredes de seu chalé ou casa de verão uma pintura informal (em 1972), como também o está quem usa como música de fundo para receber seus amigos um Respighi¹ ou Pfitzner², embora o mesmo não se possa dizer de quem opta pelo jazz de vanguarda mais recente ou uma marcha de Bach.”

¹ Compositor italiano do XIX-XX, já ele mesmo um nostálgico de períodos ainda mais remotos (sécs. XVI ao XVIII).

² Praticamente o mesmo se pode dizer deste segundo compositor alemão, incluindo o período em que viveu e exerceu sua influência e seu gosto nostálgico, particularmente entusiasta de Palestrina.

…e as coisas estão mudando enquanto escrevo”

na Itália, basta seguir um automóvel para observar um exemplo perfeito dessa veemência gesticulatória do povo (não só abundante como até excessiva), com freqüência a causa de acidentes de trânsito, graves até: a maioria das vezes ambas as mãos do motorista abandonam o volante para que ele possa comunicar a seu companheiro a profundidade de seu pensamento de maneira apropriada (que o <co-piloto> decerto não vê, ocupado em vigiar o tráfego!).” “um baixo contínuo que acompanha a palavra”

o V de vitória com a mão era quase desconhecido, antes de Churchill popularizar o gesto”

A saudação de punho cerrado de tipo comunista está, talvez, em fase de decadência, como muitos gestos indicativos de <ter fome>, <enganar>, <vou dormir>. A saudação fascista, que esteve em voga, desgraçadamente, por muitos anos, seguiu, depois, existindo com um valor de saudação <normal>, desde que fosse executada com menor elevação do braço e com menos vigor (perdendo assim seu ar <romano>).”

O ciao ou adeus italiano na estação de trem, p.ex., antes de uma larga viagem, era vertical ou frontal (oscilações do braço entre a pessoa que saúda e a direção do viajante); com o tempo, passaram a usar o tchau que hoje conhecemos: oscilações laterais, à moda anglo-saxã ou germânica. Mais curioso ainda: em poucos anos, usos gestuais passaram por transformações importantes: antes mexiam-se os dedos das mãos no adeus, e a palma ficava imóvel; depois, os dedos ficavam juntos e sem se mexerem, e a mão adquiriu dinamismo.

a passagem do tabaco da aspiração ao fumo se deveu a um aperfeiçoamento do gosto, ou <mudança de moda>. Não se pode dizer que amanhã não se voltará à moda de aspirar o tabaco ou de fumar o café ou mascar o chá.” Congelamento!

é provável que num futuro próximo (quando, como é verossímil, se tenha liberado a maconha e substâncias semelhantes) o período atual pareça fortemente condicionado: primeiro, pelo proibicionismo; depois, pela liberação; e, finalmente, pela provável decadência do uso de tais substâncias.”

Isso é o que não me parece admissível: buscar refúgio numa abolição ou atenuação da própria atividade consciente mediante fármacos que a embotam (ou a exaltam, mas desfigurando-a, desegotizando-a) é contrário a todos os princípios a que se dirigiu a civilização ocidental; é ainda adverso buscar refúgio ou auxílio em tentativas mecânicas de vidência ou de visões supressensíveis (práticas iogues, p.ex.).”

conhecida é a relação entre sexualidade e iniciação no budismo clássico, como na prática do despertar do Chakra” “métodos ocultos que não são apropriados para nossa época”

Um tal Timothy Leary, psicólogo doidão, prescrevia o cogumelo Teonanacatl, tradicional entre aborígenes mexicanos, a seus pacientes nos anos 70. O Dalai-Lama rebateu este “profissional” em 1971: “O que mais falta aos próprios usuários desses narcóticos é o que poderia ser benéfico em seu uso – a Claridade, a Pureza e a Liberdade.”

CAPÍTULO 5. IDEOLOGÍA COMO PROAIRÉTICA PATOLÓGICA

Joseph Gabel, em seu La conciencia falsa, que segue sendo indubitavelmente o melhor estudo dum aspecto patológico-político ou, se se quer, psicanalítico-marxista da ideologia, analizou bastante bem este <ponto fraco> do fanatismo ideológico.”

Segundo Dévreux, se podemos considerar o período nazi como o estabelecimento de uma forma esquizofrênica, poderíamos, igualmente, considerar a sociedade européia de finais do séc. XIX como tendencialmente <histérica>.”

Talvez não se possa dizer o mesmo da Itália em sua relação com o fascismo o mesmo da Alemanha em sua relação com o nazismo; a <cura> italiana não se produziu com o mesmo vigor.”

Um caso de paranóia política poderia ser o de Israel: o enlace com pontos de partida ético-religiosos, que remontam a milhares de anos; a incrível firmeza na perseguição de um ideal construído sobre um conceito de <nação>, totalmente teórico; o fato de ter ressuscitado uma língua morta há vários séculos…”

É sabido que a ignorância das funções mais elementares relacionados com o sexo era (até há pouco, se bem que segue sendo em parte) enorme, como também é conhecida a razão para isso: religião ou confissão (catolicismo), falso moralismo (vitoriano) ou alegações puritanas de virtude hipócritas (quakers, calvinistas e protestantes no geral).”

O VOCÁBULO “TEMPO” NOS IDIOMAS ESLAVOS (TEMPO METEOROLÓGICO, TEMPO CRONOLÓGICO):

Croata – vrijeme (clima); goda, rok (devir)

Eslovaco – cas (devir)

Esloveno – vreme (clima); ura (devir)

Polaco – cas (devir)

Russo – vremja (raiz ambivalente); pogoda (clima); cas (devir)

Tcheco – cas (devir)

SEGUNDA PARTE – LAS OPCIONES ECOLÓGICO-URBANÍSTICAS

INTRODUCCIÓN

A arte (pintura e escultura, mas inclusive a poesia) deixou-se implicar nessa <glorificação do objeto> (a partir do surrealismo, percorrendo a pop art e a op art) de tal modo que não consegue mais livrar-se dessa objetualização dominante.”

O sutil mal-estar, o sentimento de frustração que experimenta hoje um homem que tenha vivido sua infância no tempo pré-guerras, especialmente nas zonas densamente industrializadas, talvez passem batidos ao jovem nascido no pós-guerras, quando o estrondo das motos, a concentração de fumaça, o estrépito do tráfego, a poluição dos mares eram já uma realidade. E é igualmente possível imaginar que o homem de um futuro próximo esteja já imunizado, ainda mais que o jovem contemporâneo [1972!], contra o barulho e o ar poluído e cinzento onipresentes.”

Numa praia contaminada nos arredores de Roma tive a ocasião de presenciar um filho perguntar ao pai se podia encher seu baldinho de água do mar: estava o menino tão impregnado da noção de contaminação que não podia deixar de considerar a água do mar como uma espécie de veneno, que se deveria evitar ao máximo.”

Expressões como “o céu azul” e “os eternos cumes nevados da montanha” já se tornaram tão kitsch quanto “amor à pátria” ou “lar doce lar” ou “a moral cristã”, “o seio materno”, “o espírito do corpo” e por aí vai…

Seria hoje absurdo seguir falando de construção e urbanismo nos termos caros a um Le Corbusier ou um Lúcio Costa há não mais de 20 anos, ou a um Gropius, por exemplo.”

1. DESFASE [DEFASAGEM] ECOLÓGICO Y RESEMANTIZACIÓN URBANÍSTICA

a indiferença quase total quanto à contribuição e à missão das <artes visuais> em integração com o meio ambiente tem feito com que o que se chama de arquitetura perca quase toda conexão com sua matriz expressiva primária.”

RECADO A LÚCIO COSTA: “A utopia do Bauhaus, que creu poder predicar e pôr em prática a identificação absoluta entre <utilidade> e <beleza> chegou ao fim.”

Em lugar de almejar colonizar montes de pedra sem atmosfera como os da Lua (meta de aventuras recentes, já nada empolgantes, uma vez que nem as crianças assistem mais os programas dedicados aos vôos lunares na TV [1972!]), seria melhor que o homem tentasse não arruinar em definitivo o belíssimo planeta no qual teve a ventura de nascer.”

Em primeiro lugar, é necessário livrar-se de formulações estéticas antiquadas que se obstinam em considerar a arquitetura como uma arte plástica, irmã da pintura e da escultura, como se fôra uma espécie de superdecoração em escala de cidade.”

Se bem que em algumas artes (música e poesia) se possa apontar os equivalentes das partículas elementares da fala (morfemas, lexemas, sintagmas), no caso da arquitetura e urbanismo isso é muito mais problemático.”

De um ponto de vista semiótico-territorial serão mais aceitáveis as tristíssimas favelas brasileiras, ou tugúrios colombianos, que as villas miseria argentinas. Talvez esta afirmação necessite um esclarecimento: significará, então, o que eu disse que não se pode identificar o aspecto semiológico com o sociológico? Se nos dispusermos a aceitar as abomináveis favelas, por se integrarem de modo mais <orgânico> à cidade do Rio, somos por isso insensíveis às conotações sociais que esta preferência supõe? Aí está o núcleo do problema: também na antiguidade romana, babilônica, grega, pré-colombiana, existiram as injustiças sociais mais inacreditáveis, mas não monstruosidades urbanístico-arquitetônicas como nas atuais Milan, Roma e Buenos Aires.”

Os centros das cidades-satélites suecas não são nada senão shopping centers de tipo americano, enquanto que, na contra-mão, o <não-centro> das grandes cidades ianques (Cleveland, Atlanta, Houston) – excluindo-se talvez Manhattan, Boston e São Francisco da conta – já deixaram de existir, degradaram-se até se converter em setor de negócios ou mera sede administrativo-bancário-política, onde ninguém vive, onde a vida cessa quando cessa o expediente. E esse fenômeno começa a prevalecer em algumas cidades alemãs de design <americanizado>.”

2. LOS FACTORES PROAIRÉTICOS EN EL DESIGN AMBIENTAL

Alvin Toffler contaba cómo en 70 de las mayores ciudades americanas el tiempo de residencia media en el mismo lugar era menos de 4 años. El desarraigo con respecto al hábitat propio no sería grave por sí mismo, si condujese a la reconstrucción en otro lugar de otro Heimat; pero eso es precisamente lo que ya no sucede a causa del carácter provisional del empleo, de la familia, que provocan el desinterés afectivo por el suelo urbano o por el natural.”

3. PREFERENCIAS Y PREVENCIONES EN LA ARQUITECTURA INDUSTRIALIZADA Y EN EL DESIGN

a arquitetura industralizada (ou pré-fabricada, como com freqüência se diz, erroneamente) constitui um dos pontos delicados da exposição, que reaparece sempre que se fala de originalidade dos edifícios, de fantasia construtiva, da tão necessária luta contra o descenso do nível inventivo, contra a uniformização e a homogeneização das construções arquitetônicas de nossos dias.”

4. LOS PRECEDENTES DE UNA SEMIÓTICA ARQUITECTÓNICA

Por mi parte, estoy convencido de que antes que nada hay que considerar la lingüística como una de las ramas de la semiótica, y no al revés (…) (como sostienen con frecuencia algunos autores franceses).” “En el caso de la arquitectura es evidente que no se puede hablar de una división en fonemas, sino, si acaso, sólo en <morfemas> (o sea, en partículas morfológicamente significativas, ¡ya que el elemento fonético está ausente!)” Um capítulo que não faz o menor sentido (como quase toda a segunda parte do livro)!

Desgraçado do edifício que se disfarça sob o aspecto de outro, como – desgraçadamente – ocorre com freqüência: igreja com aparência de night club; estádio com a de templo; escola com a de açougue [!!!] (a menos que não seja incomum alguns prédios constituírem uma espécie de curiosidade <agradável>, conquanto isso parece ter sido moda passageira dos 1800)!”

si una partitura de Bussotti puede considerarse con el mismo criterio que una pintura o un diseño moderno, también algunas notaciones arquitectónicas (croquis, proyectos, etc.), modernas y antiguas, tienen ya de por sí un gran valor artístico: basta con pensar en los célebres esbozos de Mendelssohn, en los de Haering o, sobre todo, en los de Scharoun, y, en el pasado, en algunos proyectos, realizados o no, de Ammannati, de Leonardo, de Miguel Angel, de Leon Battista Alberti. El valor artístico de dichos proyectos – prescindiendo de su <colocación semiótica> – es notable, y sería muy difícil decidir hasta qué punto se trata de obras de diseño, de maqueta, o equiparables a las realizaciones arquitectónicas auténticas. Como es sabido, según algunos, el croquis y el proyecto, si se desarrollaran y profundizaran lo suficiente, equivaldrían perfectamente a la obra ya realizada. (Y en cierto sentido lo vimos, cuando, durante la última guerra, se pudieron reconstruir algunas arquitecturas de la antigüedad sobre la base y con la ayuda de diseños de la época conservados y, por tanto, realizables.)”

La lectura de la partitura, aunque informa, incluso de forma muy precisa, sobre determinado fragmento musical, no por ello deja de ser una lectura-no-musical (o, por lo menos, no sonora); según la opinión de algunos músicos (Stockhausen, Castaldi) no es otra cosa que el registro mediante un código muy perfeccionado de un objeto sonoro cuyo auténtico disfrute sólo puede producirse a través del órgano del oído. Stockhausen, p.ej., afirma que el tipo de <goce> que le produce el recorrer rápidamente una partitura (incluso saltando de un ponto a otro de la composición) es totalmente diferente al de la audición del mismo fragmento.” Cf. STOCKHAUSEN, Texte zur elektronischen und instrumentale Musik, 1963.

5. LA OPCIÓN POR LO ASIMÉTRICO Y LA ASIMETRÍA DE LAS OPCIONES

en la Weltanschauung zen y taoísta predomina la tendencia a lo asimétrico, y algunos conceptos como los de wabí y de sabi podrían aproximarse al de asimetría.”

Parece impossível, mas minha criada de quarto não admite que eu coloque minhas coisas na cômoda de forma assimétrica; quando limpa minha casa se apressa em <colocar simetricamente>, de acordo com um esquema fixo seu, todos os objetos que eu havia colocado de propósito fora do lugar.” Léger

Podemos antecipar o começo do fenômeno, se pensamos na marcada tendência nessa direção que se pode advertir a partir dos últimos anos do séc. XIX com o florescimento do simbolismo na França e ainda antes, com o do pré-rafaelismo na Inglaterra: pintores e decoradores como Gustave Moreau, D.G. Rossetti, Burnes Jones, Odilon Redon, Khnopff, Puvis de Chavanne e, à geração seguinte, os austríacos da Secessão: Klimt, Schiele, etc., são todos tendencialmente assimétricos, pois começam a olhar com simpatia para o Extremo Oriente” “a adoração pelo número áureo, derivada dos círculos renascentistas, teria de ceder e ver-se invertida por novos módulos estéticos.”

por que o coração está à esquerda e o fígado à direita? por que é mais comum ser destro? por que a mãe costuma segurar o recém-nascido pelo lado esquerdo?”

O rosto esquerdo revela o lado oculto ou noturno (sinistro) da vida.” Werner Wolff

…ao passo que a metade direita – precisamente por <depender> do hemisfério cerebral esquerdo, sede dos processos de criação de idéias mais racionalizados – parece ser o <espelho> da personalidade humana mais socializada e consciente.”

normalmente o homem entrelaça as mãos de com o polegar direito superposto ao esquerdo, e a mulher ao contrário”

e como pode ser que o laevus latino não se conservou no italiano (enquanto que se conservou no left inglês, no link alemão, no lijevo esloveno e croata e no lievyi russo?)”

derecho droit destro direito

izquierdo gauche sinistro esquerdo

Se consideramos alguns esquemas urbanísticos clássicos – dos hipodâmicos aos estelares (tipo Palmanova), aos de L’Enfant (tipo Washington) ou Haussmann (tipo Paris) ou inclusive à aparente heterodoxia de Lúcio Costa no caso de Brasília –, vemos facilmente que em quase todos predomina um princípio de euritmia e equilíbrio, i.e., de obtenção do máximo de equilíbrio baseando-se numa simetria <dinâmica>, numa pseudo-assimetria, à la Hambidge. Hoje (1972!), até esse tipo de equilíbrio me parece pouco aceitável rumo a uma evolução da ordenação territorial e do <caráter distributivo> de nossos edifícios.”

Na linguagem e no pensamento a assimetria está em todo lugar ou, para ser assimétrico, em quase todo lugar: podemos considerar simétricas as manobras analogizantes ensaiadas – de forma muitas vezes ingênua, mecânica – por um Lévi-Strauss? Sim, sem dúvida; mas isso seria pertencente à exceção: uma tentativa ou mania de assimilar códigos diferentes (sociológicos, alimentares, musicais, etnológicos!) sobretudo dum ponto de vista meramente sintático e sem levar em conta, salvo superficialmente, os autênticos aspectos semânticos e axiológicos que se interrelacionam. Mas, continuando, o fato de considerar como analógicas as metáforas propriamente ditas conduzirá à descoberta dum aspecto assimétrico também nelas, i.e., porque unem dois signifiés diferentes por meio dum signifiant único.”

#SugestõesdeTítulosdeLivros

OXÍMORO OU CARÍBDIS

LEITURAS PROSPECTIVAS

YASUICHI ARAKAWA, Die malerei des Zen-Buddhismus. Pinselstriche des Unendlichen, 1970

JEAN BAUDRILLARD, Le système des objets, 1968

MARIO BUNGE, The Place of the Causal Principle in Modern Science, 1963

GERMANO CELANT, Arte povera

Revista “Noigandres” (São Paulo), sobre a vertente mais séria da dita poesia concreta de origem germano-suíço-brasileira

GILLO DORFLES, Il Kitsch, antologia del cattuvi gusto, 1969 (1972) / El kitsch, antología del mal gusto, 1973

LUDWIG GIESZ, Phänomenologie des Kitsches, 1960 / Fenomenología del kitsh, 1973

HECAEN, La Symétrie en Neuropsychologie, 1970

EUGÈNE MINKOWSKI, Les conséquences psychopatologiques de la guerre et du nazisme, 1948

ALEXANDER MITSCHERLICH, La inhospitalidad de nuestras ciudades, 1969

EDWIN SCHUR, The Family and the Sexual Revolution, 1964

DAISETZ SUZUKI, Zen and Japanese Culture, 1959

VÁRIOS AUTORES, Psicología del vestir, 1975

HERMANN WEYL, Symmetry, 1952

IVOR DE WOLFE, Civilia, Architectural Press, Londres, 1972

KANT AVEC SADE, 1962

Ainda kantiano, demasiado kantiano

Nous choisissons cette place pour remarquer que, s’il y a toute chance pour que cette édition, qui s’annonce elle-même comme « définitive », soit menée à bonne fin, il n’y a pas encore en français d’édition des oeuvres complètes de Kant, non plus que de Freud. Il est vrai qu’il eût fallu que fût poursuivie une traduction systématique de ces oeuvres. Une telle entreprise eût semblé s’imposer pour Kant dans un pays où tant de jeunes forces se qualifient par l’enseignement de la philosophie. Sa carence à beaucoup près laisse à réfléchir sur la direction assurée aux travaux par les cadres responsables.”

Ici SADE est le pas inaugural d’une subversion, dont, si piquant que cela semble au regard de la froideur de l’homme, KANT est le point tournant, et jamais repéré [diagnosticado, reconhecido] – que nous sachions – comme tel.

La Philosophie dans le boudoir vient 8 ans après la Critique de la raison pratique.”

Todo diabo é fundado por um beato.

La recherche du bien serait donc une impasse, s’il ne renaissait, das Gute, le bien qui est l’objet de la loi morale. Il nous est indiqué par l’expérience que nous faisons d’entendre au-dedans de nous des commandements, dont l’impératif se présente comme catégorique, autrement dit inconditionnel.”

padecer o pai descer

pas d’être

Retenons le paradoxe que ce soit au moment où ce sujet n’a plus en face de lui aucun objet, qu’il rencontre une loi, laquelle n’a d’autre phénomène que quelque chose de signifiant déjà, qu’on obtient d’une voix dans la conscience, et qui, à s’y articuler en maxime, y propose l’ordre d’une raison purement pratique ou volonté.”

« J’ai le droit de jouir de ton corps, peut me dire quiconque, et ce droit je l’exercerai sans qu’aucune limite m’arrête dans le caprice des exactions que j’aie le goût d’y assouvir »

entre deux l’impudeur de l’un à elle seule faisant le viol de la pudeur de l’autre.”

Tels phénomènes de la voix, nommément ceux de la psychose, ont bien cet aspect de l’objet. Et la psychanalyse n’était pas loin en son aurore d’y référer la voix de la conscience.”

Assurément le christianisme a éduqué les hommes à être peu regardants du côté de la jouissance de Dieu, et c’est en quoi KANT fait passer son volontarisme de la Loi pour la Loi, lequel en remet, peut-on dire, sur l’ataraxie de l’expérience stoïcienne.”

Quand la jouissance s’y pétrifie, il devient le fétiche noir, où se reconnaît la forme bel et bien offerte en tel temps et lieu, et de nos jours encore, pour qu’on y adore la Présence de Dieu.”

Le désir, qui est le suppôt de cette refente du sujet, s’accommoderait sans doute de se dire volonté de jouissance. Mais cette appellation ne le rendrait pas plus digne de la volonté qu’il invoque chez l’Autre en la tentant jusqu’à l’extrême de sa division d’avec son pathos, car pour ce faire, il part battu, promis à l’impuissance. Puisqu’il part soumis au plaisir, dont c’est la loi de le faire tourner en sa visée toujours trop court. Homéostase toujours trop vite retrouvée du vivant au seuil le plus bas de la tension dont il vivote.”

L’expérience physiologique démontre que la douleur est d’un cycle plus long à tous égards que le plaisir, puisqu’une stimulation la provoque au point où le plaisir finit. Si prolongée qu’on la suppose, elle a pourtant comme le plaisir son terme: dans l’évanouissement du sujet.”

Une structure quadripartite est depuis l’inconscient toujours exigible dans la construction d’une ordonnance subjective. Ce à quoi satisfont nos schémas didactiques.”

la peu croyable survie dont SADE dote les victimes des sévices et tribulations qu’il leur inflige en sa fable.”

Unique (Justine) ou multiple, la victime a la monotonie de la relation du sujet au signifiant”

L’exigence dans la figure des victimes d’une beauté toujours classée incomparable (et d’ailleurs inaltérable, cf. plus haut) est une autre affaire, dont on ne saurait s’acquitter avec quelques postulats banaux, bientôt controuvés, sur l’attrait sexuel. On y verra plutôt la grimace de ce que nous avons démontré dans la tragédie, de la fonction de la beauté: barrière extrême à interdire l’accès à une horreur fondamentale.”

On le voit bien au paradoxe que constitue dans SADE sa position à l’endroit de l’enfer. “L’idée de l’enfer, cent fois réfutée par lui et maudite comme moyen de sujétion de la tyrannie religieuse, revient curieusement motiver les gestes d’un de ses héros, pourtant des plus férus de la subversion libertine dans sa forme raisonnante, nommément le hideux SAINT-FOND. Les pratiques, dont il impose à ses victimes le supplice dernier, se fondent sur la croyance qu’il peut en rendre pour elles dans l’au-delà le tourment éternel.

Cette incohérence dans SADE, négligée par les sadistes, un peu hagiographes eux aussi, s’éclairerait à relever sous sa plume le terme formellement exprimé de la seconde mort. Dont l’assurance qu’il en attend contre l’affreuse routine de la nature (celle qu’à l’entendre ailleurs, le crime a la fonction de rompre) exigerait qu’elle allât à une extrémité où se redouble l’évanouissement du sujet: avec lequel il symbolise dans le voeu que les éléments décomposés de notre corps, pour ne pas s’assembler à nouveau, soient eux-mêmes anéantis.”

pulsão de quase nada

Ni recueilli un de ces rêves dont le rêveur reste bouleversé, d’avoir dans la condition ressentie d’une renaissance intarissable, été au fond de la douleur d’exister?”

…la relation de réversion qui unirait le sadisme à un masochisme dont on imagine mal au dehors le pêle-mêle qu’elle supporte. Mieux vaut d’y trouver le prix d’une historiette, fameuse, sur l’exploitation de l’homme par l’homme: définition du capitalisme on le sait.

Et le socialisme alors? C’est le contraire…”

Ótima piada!

L’objet, nous l’avons montré dans l’expérience freudienne, l’objet du désir là où il se propose nu, n’est que la scorie d’un fantasme où le sujet ne revient pas de sa syncope. C’est un cas de nécrophilie.”

le moraliste nous paraît toujours plus impudent encore qu’imprudent.”

Il n’y a de fourgon que de la police, laquelle peut bien être l’État comme on le dit du côté de HEGEL, mais la loi est autre chose comme on le sait depuis ANTIGONE.”

Treize ans de Charenton pour SADE en sont en effet de ce pas – mais ce n’était pas sa place – tout est là. C’est cela même qui l’y mène. Car pour sa place, tout ce qui pense est d’accord là-dessus, elle [sa <folie>] était ailleurs. Mais voilà: ceux qui pensent bien, pensent qu’elle était dehors, et les bien-pensants, depuis ROYER-COLLARD qui le réclama à l’époque, le voudraient au bagne, voire sur l’échafaud.”

Si le bonheur est agrément sans rupture du sujet à sa vie, comme le définit très classiquement la Critique, il est clair qu’il se refuse à qui ne renonce pas à la voie du désir. Ce renoncement peut être voulu, mais au prix de la vérité de l’homme, ce qui est assez clair par la réprobation qu’ont encourue devant l’idéal commun les épicuriens, voire les stoïciens. Leur ataraxie destitue leur sagesse.”

Que le bonheur soit devenu un facteur de la politique est une proposition impropre. Il l’a toujours été et ramènera le sceptre et l’encensoir qui s’en accommodent fort bien.”

La tête de SAINT-JUST, fût-elle restée habitée des fantasmes d’Organt, il eût peut-être fait de Thermidor son triomphe.”

Nous voilà enfin en demeure d’interroger le « Sade, mon prochain », dont nous devons l’invocation à l’extrême perspicacité de Pierre KLOSSOWSKI. Disons que c’est la seule contribution de notre temps à la question sadienne qui ne nous paraisse pas entachée des tics du « bel esprit ».”

Nous croyons que SADE n’est pas assez voisin de sa propre méchanceté, pour y rencontrer son prochain. Trait qu’il partage avec beaucoup et avec FREUD notamment.” Homo tempranus

Chez SADE, nous en voyons le test, à nos yeux crucial, dans son refus de la peine de mort, dont l’histoire suffirait à prouver – sinon la logique – qu’elle est un des corrélats de la Charité.”

Nenhum personagem sádico infringiu o C.d.E.

THE NAKED THERAPIST – Sheldon Kopp em “kopperação” com outros terapeutas

“This is not the first time my writing has been informed by my dreaming self. By now I am wise enough to trust such experiences even before I can make sense of them.”

Acceptance and praise foster a feeling of well-being in the child. They encourage confidence, spontaneity, hope, and a sense of being worthwhile. Punishment and threat induce guilt feelings, moralistic self-restriction, and pressure to atone. Guilt is the anxiety that accompanies transgressions, carrying with it the feeling of having done bad things and the fear of the parents’ angry retaliation. In the interests of self-protection, the child learns to deal with this anticipated punishment preemptively by turning it into an internalized threat against himself. § Disapproval and contempt make a child feel ashamed of not being a worthwhile person. The implied danger of abandonment may make him shy, avoidant, and ever anxious about making mistakes, appearing foolish, and being open to further ridicule.” “Aceitação e elogios alimentam na criança uma sensação de bem-estar e conforto. Encorajam a confiança, espontaneidade, esperança, um senso de capacidade e de cumprir o seu papel. Punição e ameaças induzem sentimentos de culpa, auto-restrições morais, pressão corretiva. A culpa é a ansiedade que acompanha transgressões, carregando consigo o sentimento de ter feito coisas ruins e o medo da retaliação furiosa dos pais. Com a auto-preservação em vista, a criança aprende a lidar com esse castigo iminente de modo preventivo, internalizando a ameaça contra si mesma. § Desaprovação e desdém fazem a criança se sentir envergonhada por não ser uma pessoa valorosa. O perigo implicado no sentir-se abandonado é o desenvolvimento de uma personalidade tímida, esquiva, evitativa, constantemente ansiosa ou apreensiva quanto ao cometimento de erros, com medo de acabar parecendo um tolo ou de estar vulnerável ao ridículo dos outros.”

A ANTIGA SÍNDROME DE RENAN: Medo de ser expulso de casa. Medo de dar muitas despesas. Medo de ser um mero mortal.

<Look how foolish you are, how clumsy, how stupid! What will other people think of you when they see that you can’t seem to do anything right? You should be ashamed of yourself acting like that. If only you really cared, if only you wanted to act right, if only you would try harder, then you could be the kind of child we want you to be.> Repeated exposure to such abuse calls forth an inner echo of self-contempt. § Eventually the child learns to say of himself, <What an idiot I am, what a fool, what an awful person! I never do anything right. I have no self-control. I just don’t try hard enough. If I did, surely they would be satisfied.>” “<Olha quão tolo você é, desajeitado, estúpido! O que vão pensar de você, se você não consegue fazer nada direito? Você devia sentir vergonha de si mesmo agindo desse jeito. Se apenas você se importasse, se você só quisesse agir adequadamente, se você apenas tentasse mais, aí então você seria o tipo de criança que queríamos que você fosse.> A exposição repetida a tal tipo de discurso leva a uma internalização dum eco de auto-desprezo; uma voz interna passa a repetir as mesmas coisas antes faladas pelos seus superiores. § Eventualmente, chega-se ao ponto em que a própria criança dirá, diante de cada nova decepção: <Que idiota que eu sou, que imbecil, que péssima pessoa! Nunca faço nada certo. Não tenho sequer auto-controle. E eu nunca tento o bastante. Se eu tentasse, com certeza satisfaria a vontade dos outros.>”

“My own mother often told me: <I love you, but I don’t like you.> It was clear that this meant that she loved me because she was a good mother, but that she did not like me because I was an unsatisfactory child.”

“The experience of being seen as momentarily not yet able to cope is a natural part of growth. It is also natural to experience the embarrassment that accompanies making mistakes, stumbling, blundering, or fucking-up.”

“Some parents are too hard on their children because of their own personal problems, others because of harsh cultural standards. Some cultures make excessive demands for precocious maturing of the child. In such settings, shaming inculcates the feeling that other people will not like the child unless he lives up to their expectations. § When shaming arises out of the pathology of neurotic parents, the child may be expected to take care of the parents. Such a child may never learn that the natural order of things is quite the reverse. He is discouraged from ever realizing that it is the parents who are supposed to take care of the child. § Even more insidious is the impact of the parent who unconsciously needs to have an unsatisfactory child. Such a parent will never be satisfied, no matter how hard the child tries, no matter how much he accomplishes. Anything less than perfection is unacceptable. If the child gets a grade of 95 on an examination, he will be asked why he didn’t get 100. If he gets 100, he will be asked what took him so long to get a satisfactory grade. Told that he should have been getting 100 all along, he may become afraid to do well lest perfect grades be demanded of him all the time from then on. If he happens to be a chronic straight-A student, then he may be asked, <If you’re so damn smart, how come you can’t keep your room clean?>” “This can lead to his spending a lifetime vainly seeking the approval of others in the hope that he may someday be validated at last. § My own parents shamed me needlessly and often. They made it clear that it was my clumsiness, my inadequacies, and my failures that made them unhappy. Even my successes and accomplishments were made to reveal how inferior and insufficient I was.”

“<Enough,> she stilled me. <A boy doesn’t interrupt when a father is talking, a father who sweats in the city all week long for him.>”

“Those who have been shamed can some day learn to overcome feeling unworthy. Embarrassment, in contrast, is a natural reaction that is inevitable in certain social situations.”

quavering speech [fala tremida] or breaking of the voice, sweating, blanching [empalidecimento], blinking, tremor of the hand, hesitating or vacillating movement, absent-mindedness” Goffman, Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior, 1967

“The medical term for less-than-normal breathing capacity, for instance, is respiratory embarrassment.”

“Some unexpected physical clumsiness, breach of etiquette, or interpersonal insensitivity may leave a person open to criticism for being more crude or coarse than he claims to be. But this is an issue of manners, not of morals. It may make for a temporary change of social status, but never carries with it the self-threatening sanctions of shame, with its implications of abandonment, loss of love, and ultimate emotional starvation.”

“For a moment all bets are off. Trust of myself and others is in jeopardy. All values are once again in question. First there is the question of trust in myself. Am I an adequate human being or a fool? What can I expect of myself? Do I really know what I am doing?” “It is a time for the exotic flowering of my paranoia. At such times I may mistakenly expect contempt and ridicule from loving friends and neutral strangers. It is just as though they would turn from me in disgust as my parents did when I did not meet their impossible standards.”

Where is my floor?

Please open that door

Shut those windows

Cracked room and mind

of a sweet-salty boy

Sing along and refrain

from hiding.

There seems to be no way for any of us to get through the day without making a careless error, doing something foolish, committing a gaffe or faux pas.” Gof., op. cit.

“After hitting the lamppost I sat on the curb and cried as little as possible. I was really worried. Now it was time to go home and face my mother. Instead of seeing this mishap as an unfortunate accident around which I could feel sorry for myself and expect some sympathy, I knew that I had let my parents down again. I headed home and climbed the stairs to our apartment, skates over my shoulder.”

“Still, echoes of this grotesque situation can be heard at times from out of my unsettled and unworthy depths. I remember just a couple of years ago when I learned that I had to undergo a second bout of neurosurgery.”

“At such times my mother’s explicit instructions were: <Don’t fight, but never, never deny that you are a Jew.> She seemed to want me to be well-behaved, but did little to help me to avoid occasions of sin.”

“One afternoon after school Charlie started beating on me in front of a girl I had a crush on. For the first time in my unhappy marriage to Charlie Hooko, my own fear of being seen as a shamefully brutal, lower-class street fighter was overcome. The fear of being humiliated in the eyes of this girl was even more shameful. And so in the midst of the fight I punched Charlie right in the mouth. He couldn’t believe it. I could hardly believe it myself. § Charlie stopped the play at once. He took me down to the park and we both washed our faces at the fountain. Charlie announced to everyone around that I was a tough guy, that he admired me, and that we would be friends from then on. That ended months of regularly scheduled defeat.”

Punch like a girlish girl

Yea, just feel the flow

“As an early teenager I did eventually graduate to becoming a marginal member of a fighting street gang. I pretended that I was a better and more enthusiastic fighter than I ever really was.”

“As my children grew, being creatures of their age they moved toward the freak culture. Part of this involved their being the first kids in our neighborhood to let their hair grow long. So it was that another macho incident came about. One of our neighbors, strong both of will and of muscle, flew the Confederate flag.”

“What proof did he have, I demanded? His only answer was that my kids had long hair. He believed vandalism occurred only in the ghetto. Ghetto kids had long hair and they broke windows, he insisted. My kids had long hair. And so he concluded that it must have been one of them who had broken his window.”

Ironically, the blunderer often unwittingly reveals the discomfort of his predicament by the very means by which he tries to hide it: <the fixed smile, the nervous hollow laugh, the busy hands, the downward glance that conceals the expression of the eyes.>” “Ironicamente, o atabalhoado freqüente e inadvertidamente expõe seu desconforto situacional pela própria tática utilizada para disfarçá-lo: <o sorriso fixo, a risada nervosa despropositada, as mãos hiper-ativas, a vista caída que esconde a expressão dos olhos.>”

“Essa necessidade social salutar de ocultar-se o embaraço é enfatizada nas pessoas que foram excessivamente submetidas a vexames na infância. Potencialmente, o indivíduo virá a desenvolver um estilo de conduta de tipo neurótico, agindo timidamente a maior parte do tempo e preferindo evitar que outros venham a percebê-lo ou a conhecê-lo.”

“Tendo tantas dificuldades de interação, não é raro que a pessoa acredite que sua abertura para o constrangimento e a vivência de situações ridículas [pois socialmente é impossível fugir de tais ocasiões] é realmente singular. Ela pode desenvolver a crença que outras pessoas não têm a mesma tendência de <se passarem por tolas> de tempos em tempos, como ela tem.”

“Sua própria conscienciosidade de seu problema age como um efeito bola de neve: a apreensão pela sua hiper-sensibilidade eleva seu senso de isolamento, peculiaridade, solidão, enfim. Que trágico que a pessoa deva sempre sentir-se como um desajustado! Basicamente, não diferimos uns dos outros. Ninguém é capaz de lidar o tempo todo com as demandas sociais, sempre excessivas. Mas é que o comportamento tímido-neurótico é sempre desproporcional, alimentando a convicção íntima de que <há algo muito errado consigo>.”

“As maneiras reservadas do introvertido <clássico> (não-mórbido) são parte, provavelmente, de sua orientação psicológica inata; e ele estará sempre mais inclinado ao mundo interior das experiências privadas, que lhe é bem mais confortável. Certo nível de acanhamento da personalidade é mesmo, senão natural, incentivado socialmente. Algumas pessoas (como o próprio que escreve) escondem sua timidez crônica debaixo de um véu de arrogância simulada.”

“When he does try to express himself, he is likely to be hesitant, needlessly soft-spoken, ingratiating, and apologetic. Whenever possible, he simply will try to avoid contact with other people.”

A person who is not neurotically shy understands that it is the external situation that contributes to embarrassment, rather than some defect in his own character. Unlike the shy neurotic, he has come to learn that these anxieties are triggered by his reaction to particular people and situations.” “Uma pessoa que não é neuroticamente tímida compreende que é o contexto exterior que contribui para seu embaraço, em vez de qualquer defeito de seu próprio caráter. Ao contrário do tímido neurótico, aquela pessoa aprendeu a ver que essas angústias são acionadas pela sua reação a pessoas e eventos particulares.”

AUTONOOBSAIBOTADOR

 

The shy neurotic cannot get anywhere in overcoming his excessive shyness without first revealing to himself that what he truly fears most is not rejection but acceptance, not failure but success. He begins to go after what he wants out of life.” “O tímido neurótico não chegará a lugar algum, enquanto tenta superar ou minorar sua timidez, caso não admita para si mesmo que o que ele realmente mais teme NÃO é a rejeição mas a aceitação, NÃO é o fracasso, e sim o próprio sucesso! É aí que ele começa a alcançar seus verdadeiros objetivos de vida.”

we’re all looped, leaked, sinking, seeking and not finding, just overwhelmed by our own hopes’ weights… what if…

a head dive in a pool of danger

“Feeling undeserving of such unfamiliar achievement and acceptance, he has unwittingly learned to discredit these pleasureable experiences. A poignant early expression of this self-defeating attitude occurs during the first phase of psychotherapy.”

Anything that makes him feel worthwhile calls forth the echo of his mother’s voice, demanding that he question his presumption. It is as though he can almost hear her demanding, <Just who do you think you are?> Believing even for a moment that he is satisfactory as a human being evokes the underlying shameful feeling that he has presumed too much.” “Qualquer coisa que o faça sentir-se valorizado evoca o eco da voz de sua mãe, mandando que baixe a bola. É como se realmente pudesse ouvir, <Vem cá, quem você pensa que é?>. Acreditar por um só momento que ele é um ser humano completamente satisfatório é o suficiente para ter sua paz de espírito quebrada por pensamentos de culpa de que ele agiu presunçosamente.”

O supremo oposto do vaidoso dos vaidosos – e o que isso trouxe? Mais ódio dos ‘cristãos’ sobre sua cabecinha…

“So it is that each moment of decision is followed by a moment of revision. A minute later, he has reversed his thrust forward, retiring once more into his customary shyness.”

“His life is not what he meant it to be at all. It’s just not it at all.”

Evitar a confrontação é como comprar à prestação!

Guy de Maupassant’s short story, The Diamond Necklace, is a classic example of the high price of false pride. It is the story of Matilda, a woman tortured and angered by having to live a shamefully ordinary life because she does not possess the luxuries and delicacies which she insists befit her station.”

“It was my parents who started me off down my own painful path of shame and false pride. My parents are no longer responsible for this trip that I sometimes continue to make. Now the enemy is within. It is only my own overblown ego that shames me. It is only I, still sometimes arrogantly insisting on having higher standards for myself than I would impose on others. How much easier to accept the flaws in others than in myself. To the extent that I cling to being special in this way, I remain stuck with the tediously painful life of the perfectionistic striver. I must get everything right, all the time, or suffer shame. It is far too heavy a price to pay for maintaining the illusion that I might be able to rise above human frailty.”

“I give up being satisfied with myself as a pretty decent, usually competent sort of guy who, like everyone else, sometimes makes mistakes, fucks up, and plays the fool. Instead I insist that if only I tried harder, really cared, truly wanted to, I could become that wonderful person who could make my long-dead parents happy. Then they would approve of me. I would be the best. Everyone would love me.”

Guilt and shame originate from different kinds of faulty parenting. Guilt arises out of a certain kind of bad fathering, shame out of bad mothering.¹ Either parent may elicit one or the other depending on the particular parent’s role and attitude rather than on his or her gender alone.

Excessive authoritarian fathering creates guilty anticipation of punishment for transgression against the lawful order of things. Overly demanding mothering breeds shame.”

¹ Kleiniano demais…

“Paradoxically, too much shaming often produces defiance rather than propriety. No longer able to bear the overwhelming burden of shame, a child may develop a secret determination to misbehave. He comes to wear a mask of spite and shamelessness.

“We were studying Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. At the beginning of one week, the English teacher announced that we were to memorize Marc Antony’s eulogy. I protested loudly. Memorizing materials that needlessly cluttered up my head was both a waste of my time and an intrusive violation of my mind. No arbitrary school system had any right to do that to me.”

<Ma, how come you always talk funny when you come to see a teacher?> This was one of my rare opportunities to shame her”

Straight people were simply not prepared for coping with those of us who shamelessly stepped outside of the system, acted with contempt for the rules, and covertly shamed them for the arbitrariness of their principles.”

“At times my shameless behavior has gotten me into trouble. But so long as it sometimes gets results like that, who am I not to be tempted to continue to be outrageous?”

“More privately, I had developed the false pride of perfectionism to hide my shame and worthlessness from my own eyes. I had to avoid risking further failures and more mistakes. I had to be able to change my image so that I might escape without looking like I was running away or hiding out.”

NOSSAS TORRES DE MARFIM

“No longer would I be the fumbling incompetent who was too timid to go to parties because he never knew how to go about making friends. Instead I became a <heavy> intellectual. With such profoundly developed sensitivity, I could no longer be expected to be bothered devoting my precious energies to the pursuit of the mundane social goals that somehow seemed to excite almost everyone else I knew.

Even armoring as exquisite as this was not enough. Somewhere inside I knew I was just too damn lonely. I still needed to be needed. Acting obsequious, or even <being nice>, was an unthinkable solution. Instead I began to advertise myself as ever ready to rush into the gap whenever a task presented itself that ordinary folk found too unrewarding to mess with.”

“For the first few years of my career as a therapist I worked in impossibly archaic monolithic custodial institutions such as state mental hospitals and prisons. Though allegedly established and maintained as society’s attempt to care for and rehabilitate its social deviates, these institutions turned out to be punitive warehouses for those undesirables about whom the rest of us wished to forget. I cast myself as the champion of the oppressed.¹ Doggedly and unsuccessfully I fought the administrative powers, hoping to attain decent care, effective treatment, and eventual release for the inmates.”

¹ Incrivelmente similar a minha loucura de querer me tornar professor!

“Now I had a new problem. There were no bad parents to fight. How was I to define my role in this more benevolent situation?”

“I do not usually shake hands with a new patient unless the patient gives some indication that this is part of where he starts out in social relationships, in which case I respond.”

“His opening lines were: How long have you been a therapist? Don’t you know that phobic patients can’t stand to be touched? You insist on shaking hands with me knowing that I am too compliant to refuse. It could only make me anxious. The demands you make on me!

“Should he awaken during the night and need to go to the bathroom to urinate, he must simply suffer through the hours until dawn. He was not able to risk disturbing his dog by getting out of bed. His feeling of friendship with the dog was substantiated by his bringing him along to the treatment sessions.”

“There he asked to be deported to Russia for asylum. Surely he would get better treatment under Communism than he had from the barbaric democratic psychiatric services in America’s capital.” “I described my own experience, and I pointed out that the patient was crazy. He had made me crazy. I warned this man that he would make him crazy, too, unless we all understood that just because the patient claimed that something difficult needed to be done did not mean that we had to do it. The patient was all heat and no light. We were vulnerable to his unrealistic outcries because of our own needs to meet every challenge heroically, no matter how nutty it might be. If we thought it over for a minute, we would realize that there wasn’t much in the way of disastrous consequence in this for anyone but the patient himself. That was unfortunate for him, but that was the way it had to be. Happily, the perspective I offered was sufficient to relieve the Congressional Counsel of his own anxiety.”

“The patient was an attractive woman in her early twenties whose birth defects included having no feet and only rudimentary hands. She managed to get about with a combination of prosthetic devices and monumental denial.” “Focusing on her frustrated wishes to become a star in the public eye allowed her to avoid her anxiety and despair about the oppressive difficulties that she encountered in everyday living. My own parallel defensiveness led me to join her, supporting her crazy longings with my own denial of shame-filled helplessness. She made her own contribution by avoiding my tentative therapeutic interventions. There was just no way she could hear my timid suggestions that this whole show business preoccupation was an avoidance of dealing with the day-to-day quality of her life.”

“Unattended snot ran out of her nostrils and down her face (her measure of how much messiness I could tolerate?). I listened and sympathized as if my mere presence would heal her.” “For some reason, which I still do not understand, after about a year of this circus she let me in on her <secret>. All during this time she had been seeing me on Thursday afternoons, and now she confessed that she had also been in therapy on Monday mornings at another clinic with another crazy therapist.”

“This new challenge’s chart described her as a borderline psychotic, a part-time alcoholic, an unhappy, aggressive woman with preoccupying sexual hangups and several previous unsatisfying bouts of psychotherapy. When I went out to the waiting room to invite her in for our first therapy session she struck me as a slight, timid waif of a woman. She looked more like an emaciated 12-year-old than a life-hardened 32-year-old.”

Oh, now I get it, the old color symbolism test. A male therapist with a red shirt, and now I’m supposed to tell you that I’m sometimes gay, and you probably are, too!” “You’re the therapist I’ve been looking for all of my life. I’m never, never going to leave you. I know that you’ll be able to accept whatever I do without ever making me feel bad or throwing me out.” “My relief and sense of well-being was immediately transformed. I got the sinking feeling that I had just made a lifetime contract with an albatross.”

 

“By then I was off balance, but I knew the direction in which I must go. I told her that alcoholic beverages were not permitted in the clinic. If she opened the beer here in my office that would be the end of treatment. As in the first session, she seemed relieved rather than upset by my setting some limits on her acting out.”

“She had gone to visit her dentist to have a tooth extracted. He knew that she had bad reactions to the usual anesthetics that he used. Therefore he had brought a bottle of whiskey and insisted that she have a couple of straight shots to prepare her for the extraction. She described herself as having been rather uncertain. Still she yielded to his encouragement to have one, two, and then another couple of shots. She claimed that soon she was so high that she could not resist his insistence that she perform fellatio.”

* * *

Albert Ellis

 

“While I have the floor, let me also disagree with Shelly’s [Sheldon’s] (and almost all other therapists’) allegation or implication that shame largely stems from early childhood experiences. Shit, no! If anything, early childhood experiences largely arise out of our innate predispositions toward inventing <shameful> conditions and actions and consequently idiotically making ourselves—and I mean making ourselves—unduly embarrassed about our inventions.” “Because Shelly’s feelings of shame in regard to the incident with his parents have a high degree of correlation with his feelings of shame today, he mistakenly assumes that the former caused the latter.” “Shelly’s parents indubitably taught him various standards of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’—including the standard, ‘You act rightly when you stubbornly refuse to imagine yourself letting either of your parents drown and wrongly when you even consider saving only one of them from drowning.’ Given such standards, and having the human tendency to adopt them, Shelly will assuredly believe that he acts ‘rightly’ when he tells his parents that under no conditions would he let either of them drown and ‘wrongly’ when he tells them that he would choose one over the other. Granted.”

A person’s history therefore has relatively little to do with present feelings of shame or self-downing. Shelly may have learned his standards of good and bad behavior from his parents (and others), but he decided to take them seriously and he still decides to do so if he feels ashamed of anything he does today.”

“I had a female client who had serious feelings of inadequacy about herself, especially in her relations with men, and whom I helped considerably to overcome some of these feelings. She had an attractive female friend to whom she talked about me and the way I had helped her, and who got somewhat turned on to me. This friend, in her own manipulative way, managed to meet me at a series of lectures I gave and suggested that we date.

Now I knew that I’d better not do this. Not only have I refused from my first days as a therapist to have social relations with my clients—for although this may have some advantages, I recognize that it tends to lead to more harm than good—but I also have refused to maintain close relations with any of their intimates. (…) A good idea, and I invariably—or almost invariably—stick with it. But not this time! The friend of my client seemed so charming and attractive that I decided to break my self-imposed rule and to date her. I saw her a few times, got intimate with her socially and sexually, and then decided to stop seeing her because I found her much less charming and interesting than I previously had thought. In the course of my fairly brief relations with her, I deliberately mentioned nothing about my client, since I knew that they had a somewhat close relationship, and I didn’t want to give away any confidences.

Nothing happened for several weeks; and then, after I and my client’s female friend no longer saw each other, all hell suddenly broke loose. My client, Josephine, came in one day terribly upset and said that she had discovered that I had seen her friend socially. She found this most distressing for several reasons. She thought that I might have revealed some things about her to her friend. She felt constrained, now, in telling me certain feelings that she had about this woman. She confessed a sexual interest in me and said that she felt jealous that I had shown no inclination to have sex with her while I had obviously had it with Sarah. She hated Sarah for having seduced me and then having boasted about it. Most of all, curiously enough, she felt upset because I had stupidly allowed myself to get taken in by Sarah, who, according to Josephine, had no interest in me other than as a conquest, who had fooled me into thinking she had more intelligence than she actually had, and whose inherent nastiness I had presumably entirely failed to perceive.” “I, like Josephine, at first upset myself more about my mistaken diagnosis of Sarah than about anything else.” “Her interest in me stemmed mainly from her belief that I might help her with her own personal problems and from the ego boost she experienced from telling others that she had a well-known psychotherapist interested in her. Although I had told her very specifically not to mention our association to Josephine, whom I guessed would upset herself about it, she had not only told all to her friend but had also lyingly stated that she had given me up and that I still had a great interest in resuming relations with her.” “I took a chance that my relationship with Sarah would never get back to her. I really had preferred Sarah over her, and perhaps some of this preference had come through in my relationship to Josephine. I had given her an opportunity to see some of my diagnostic weaknesses—and thereby helped remove some of her confidence in me as therapist. When she had shown an overt sexual interest in me, I had quite ethically but perhaps too brusquely repulsed her, partly because at the time I already had established a sexual relationship with Sarah, and Josephine did not seem half so attractive to me. If I had never gone with Sarah, I might well have handled rebuffing Josephine in a more tactful and more therapeutic way.” “She seemed to accept the fact that I had not deliberately done anything to hurt her and had only made some understandable errors.” “Fortuitously, she got involved with a well-known psychiatrist who treated her with a dishonesty similar to Sarah’s treatment of me, and I helped her considerably in accepting herself with her gullibility [naiveness] and in breaking away from him without feeling terribly hurt.”

“I set a few more rigorous rules for myself about socializing with the friends and relatives of my clients, and eventually I mainly forgot about the entire incident.”

“If I down ‘me’, ‘myself’, or my totality for my errors, I essentially take myself out of the human condition and view myself as a subhuman. Falsely! For, as a human, I cannot very well attain superhumanness or subhumanness except by a miracle!”

As far as I can see, you do not really admit the true wrongness of your acts if you don’t make yourself feel very guilty about them. And, even if you do acknowledge their badness, you do not motivate yourself strongly enough to change them and keep yourself from recommitting them in the future. Poppycock [Baboseira]!” “As a person who admits his own irresponsibility but who doesn’t down himself totally for having it, I save myself immense amounts of time and energy that I otherwise would spend dwelling on my poor actions, obsessively showing myself how wrongly I did them, and savagely berating myself for having such fallibility.”

“I try not to make myself guilty about making myself guilty, nor to make myself feel ashamed of making myself ashamed. I don’t find it easy! I keep slipping. My goddamned fallibility clearly remains.”

Gerald Bauman

“I felt the role of therapist to be an artificial one requiring that I adopt a facade that made me feel like the newly clothed emperor. I think I persisted in this unpleasant exercise partly because doing therapy was then the wave of the future for young clinicians, partly because I was assured by colleagues and supervisors that I was reasonably competent and talented, and partly because I tend to become stubborn under duress.”

“The most difficult <incident> of all lasted about two years. In the course of some very significant changes in my life, I was subject to severe anxiety attacks while working with clients (and at other times as well). The awful feeling would gradually well up in a great surge that might last for several minutes and then gradually subside. The experience was particularly frightening because I never felt certain how <high> the surge would go. While working, for example, I felt as though if it went much further, I might fall out of my chair or flee the room (these never happened). Though appearing to occur at random, these <attacks> themselves seemed to become more intense over about two years; then I gradually became able to overcome them and resolve the underlying issues.”

CONTRA-MEDIDAS PARA MOMENTOS DE “NUDEZ TERAPÊUTICA”:

  • “Minimize (or eliminate) pretense in self-presentation. This is especially relevant to, and difficult for, beginning therapists.”;
  • Buscar uma espécie de “acordo tácito” com o paciente sobre o nível de nudez ideal que o terapeuta e o “tratando” desejam para a terapia;
  • Sempre ter em mente flexibilidade nas regras de resolução de problemas meta-terapêuticos – incluindo seguir ou não, conforme o caso, até mesmo ESTA regra!

Howard Fink

 

O INSEGURO ESTEIO MORAL DA NAÇÃO: “He began to wonder if his suspicious attitude toward his wife was some sort of an illusion he had to maintain to give him the upper hand in the relationship, to be the constant moral superior.”

“The subject of his wife and I forming some sort of a conspiratorial love pair against him was never again mentioned without a lot of genuine humor associated with it. In fact, as if to further discount the possibility, he once said that he never thought I could lose enough weight anyway to be called slim or skinny by anybody.”

Arthur Colman

 

“While I have known her, she has worked as a topless and bottomless dancer, a masseuse in a parlor catering to conventioneers, and now nude encounter. She has been only partially successful at these jobs. She turns off as she undresses.”

“When she worked as a masseuse, she did not like to touch men’s genitals and do <a local>. It was formally against the policy of the club, although she admitted that to <jerk a customer off> got you a larger tip.”

“Here she was, earning twenty dollars a half hour (exactly my fee, dollar for minute) by sitting nude talking to men who chose their state of dress. No touching, no closeness, no real intimacy. She didn’t admit to seeing the analogies in our situations, probably because she was frightened of exploring their meaning. Her fear protected me from the full impact of the miming that she portrayed as the naked therapist.”

“Being embarrassed about experiencing a particular feeling is just the beginning of the cycle. Confronting the need to keep the feelings hidden increases its potency. Deciding to risk the uncovering process by telling the patient what has been happening inside of me can momentarily increase the embarrassment until it is released in a rush as the communication is finally made.”

O velho dilema de se apaixonar durante as sessões.

“My wife and I have written a book, Love and Ecstasy, about merger experiences in the solitary, dyadic, and group orientations.”

“I remember one patient that I worked with in the Kopp/Colman office. Yvonne was an exquisite, delicate 18-year-old rebel. Her father was a wealthy member of the State Department, her mother the dependent matron of a colonial mansion. Yvonne worked at shattering all family hypocrisy. She attacked with reckless competence, trying everything, flagrantly, desperately, and always self-destructively. She came to Shelly through some of her friends. He represented a bearded refuge for her, an adult who might understand. He sent her to me.

Her name should have been Jezebel. At that point in my life she represented impulse, license, sensuality, limitless possibilities. (…) Falling in love with her would be a lot simpler solution to my malaise than reclaiming the lost parts of my own spirit.”

“I knew I was clever enough to translate what was happening inside of me into words and actions that would facilitate her therapeutic work with me, but I wasn’t sure that I had the courage to risk such an intimate and painful personal statement, with its unknown repercussions for both of us.”

“It is not unusual now for me to feel love in a variety of forms for men and women with whom I work.” “Fantasies from therapy (in the case of Yvonne) invaded my sexual relationship with my wife and my paternal relationship with my daughter, just as those relationships entered my therapy relationship with her.” “She described her evaluation session with me and noted that she was sure I had had an erection during some of the hour. Triumphantly she proclaimed that she was positive of that fact as I got up to escort her out of the room at the end of the hour. She wondered about my ability to work in such a state and about my designs on her. She also wondered about the quality of my marriage and my sex life.” “I remembered being sexually aroused by Susan. My response had been prompted largely by the provocative role she had assumed during the hour rather than from a personal attraction. She could be very sexy, but most often used it as a weapon and a defense. I knew that precisely because of my reaction to her—arousal without great interest.” “I said I got sexually excited by many of my patients, female and male. I tried to use all my responses to an individual in my work, those of my body (including my penis) in all its states, and of my mind, with all its fantasies. I certainly did not plan to cut off parts of myself in the therapy encounter. Integrating that openness in the special setting of therapy with my family and other personal life was difficult and a challenge.”

QUANDO DOIS JUNGUIANOS SÃO CASADOS: Libby knows me and herself well enough to assume that we could experience other people sexually and still focus our most intimate sexual expressions in each other, that she as Every-woman could become a repository for all my sexual fantasies just as I could for hers.”

Arthur Reisel

 

Verdade e vitória são contraditórias.

Meu analista tem uma voz paciente, e eu ouvidos doutorais!

Arthur, it takes ten years before a therapist begins to know what he’s doing.”

 

“Thinking that a straightforward discussion of the pot experience might ease some of this mother’s extreme fears, I asked the girls what it was like for them to smoke pot. Their replies were cautious and evasive. As I should have anticipated, they hit the ball smartly back into my court, asking me if I had smoked pot and if so, why didn’t I describe how it felt? Being a more skilled player than the girls, I could have used a therapeutic trick shot to put the ball back in their court. Yet something told me that the truth was called for here even if the shocked mother were to decide that a therapist who smoked pot was not for her family. Fortunately, it turned out well. Despite her innocence the mother is an open-minded woman who accepts differences in others.”

“Used with Karen’s permission, excerpts from her letters to me will amplify and enrich my presentation.”

I think you protest too strongly and judge too harshly of a previous generation; but the protesting quite vehemently part interests me the most because I have seen it come out before with Carolyn; it wasn’t what you said as much as the intensity with which it was said. You see, on occasion I am also interested in getting into other people’s lives even though I do not get paid for it. I am interested in what makes them tick, and I try to remain as receptive as I can to subtle, non-verbal clues.”

you are very, very far from being an open book. In other words, there is much about you that I do not know. I don’t really know how it makes you feel. I know at one point in the therapy I felt like I was naked, and you were a rapist, and you called me a beggar, and it hurt, and I thought: I’d rather be a beggar than a rapist. It just seemed that you kept taking and taking”

 

you can’t beat them; you never beat them; all it accomplishes in the long run is letting them beat you. I don’t think either one of us would think that was a life well spent.” deixar-se levar é como ir para o inferno, pois não existe paraíso sem esforço. se isso significa que você “tem de dar valor”? Hoho, chega, descanse os nervos, o inferno não deve ser tão ruim… Me chama que eu vou!

I did not tell you my complete reaction to your giving away one of your pictures. My initial feeling was a tinge of jealousy that you thought enough of one of your other female patients to give her a picture you liked very much. What felt like a little child in me yelled out: What are you doing? Don’t you know? I’m supposed to be the most important one! You’re not supposed to give your favorite picture to someone else! On that same level, I’m still not exactly bouncing off the walls about it; a little of the same feeling came back when you brought it up today. However, I feel it is so ridiculous, and childish, and unrealistic that I don’t even know if I completely allow myself to feel it, much less express it.”

uimpulsaindimpulsa

She wasn’t going to think you had designs on her, was she? You didn’t, did you? Then, what’s to feel uneasy about? It was a very nice thing. People should do it more often. I’m glad you did, a little jealous, but pleased.”

 

I get the very strong impression from you that you like doing things according to schedule, and that you really do not take deviations too gracefully. It is too bad that people’s needs do not run according to schedule also, or maybe most of your patients can program them for their hour or whatever.”

 

Fuck your schedule; it might have fucked our lives. We should have gone elsewhere, but you didn’t have to worry about that because I was already too attached to you for that, and I’m sure you didn’t lose any sleep over it. I have resented it; I didn’t realize I resented it so much.”

“She then sent a brief note to apologize for blaming me for fucking up her and her husband’s lives. Karen knew they were responsible for their own lives, and she felt badly about hitting below the belt over the issue of my schedule.” Below the belt, but not too much…

Quantos anos de serviço contribuídos como “terapendo”?

Jacqulyn S. Clements

 

Alan, in his 5th year of hospitalization, had been recalling the days when he was an airplane mechanic. He concluded with the comment, <That’s why I can’t ever get married; I’m a mechanic.>

You may be noting the symbolism. What I said was, <Well, I don’t know about that. I’ve known a number of mechanics and most of them were married.>

Alan pondered this thoughtfully. Then with a twinkle in his eyes, he leaned close to me and said, <But were they schizophrenic?>

“Telling these stories is vaguely embarrassing, but, as lived, they were really good experiences for me and for the clients. My response in each case was a silent but clear <Touché!>. I don’t recommend dumb comments; but if you’ve got a Bobby or an Alan, you can learn a lot and enjoy each other.

An incident from my practice that illustrates a negative feeling of goofing and embarrassment occurred on the day I handed Mrs. B the A-child’s appointment card. My comments made it obvious that I thought she was married to Mr. A, who was also seated in the waiting room. These weren’t new people; I’d interviewed each with their real spouses. When Mrs. B pointed out my error, I wished I could disappear into a hole in the floor, and my right arm flew up in the air. I used it to touch my hair and said, <Oh, my, where is my head today?> Then, taking the A-child back to the therapy room, I quipped, <I almost got you a new mother today—ha ha.> As far as I know this had no big effect on therapeutic progress, although I certainly wouldn’t call it a confidence builder.”

“Sophisticated clients know what Gestalters and such are like; they probably saw their 6th Fritz Perls film just last week.” Um dos fundadores de um dos ramos da Gestalt (que não é monolítica): Perls, F., Hefferline, R., & Goodman, P., Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality (1951).

“I went to all those miscellaneous workshops and training institutes like everybody else, but I never did manage to come home a recognizable anything. I tell them I’m a Jackie-therapist, and this means, of course, my confidence rests almost solely on results. Yes, this has bothered me some. I’ve never felt ashamed not to be a walking encyclopedia on psychoanalytic theory, but often when another therapist is visiting the premises, I feel tempted to ask my client to please get down on the floor and scream like he’s having an avant-garde breakthrough.”

“I’ve had a few clients with outstanding embarrassment records. Cindy, age 14, recalled her 1st date: She spilled Coke in the boy’s lap, bowled [derrubou] a 16, and then left his car door open, resulting in $70 worth of damage. In such award-winning-goofers I also plant seeds to the effect that they’ve hit bottom, so what’s left to fear?”

“It’s amazing how many children I’ve seen who won’t run on a dropped ball. Little princesses just pose and posture the whole game—any game. The strikeout freezers can usually stay on the team if their batting average is high enough. But princesses are eventually ridiculed and chosen last.”

NÓ CEGO: “My other chronic childhood embarrassment worry had to do with body functions. In grade school about the worst thing I could imagine was wetting my pants in class. However, I was also too embarrassed to ask to be excused to go to the restroom. Would this qualify as a double bind? I am probably one of the few people in existence who neither asked to go nor went anyway.”

“It wasn’t until this very year that I got blood on my skirt in public. I was seeing a teenage boy for therapy when it happened. I laughed.” Quando crescemos e aprendemos que dar aquela freada ou mijada na rua não é nada de mais. “Now I’ll ruin the story a little bit: The teenage boy had gone before I realized it had happened, and then I laughed.”

“Life’s traumas, goofs, negative embarrassments and such should be stored lightly. If they’re off in the warehouse, they’re hard to get at when you need them and could do something constructive with them. But even sending the empty storage cabinet to the warehouse is ill advised. Then you wouldn’t have anything to put these memories in. They’d be laying around in sight too much. There are times for getting them out, but really nobody wants to see or hear that stuff all the time, even your best friends. And how about your own probable concentration on them? That’s called negative feedback overload. To avoid repression or indiscriminate hang-out, better get those storage cabinets out of storage!” O que está sempre exposto passa a ser ignorado (como certos livros na prateleira, que estão na sua frente mas você não os vê mais).

The hypothesis was born: Be they orthodox or atheists, Jews have one foot stuck on the wailing wall. This was a hunch, not a put-down.” “A hipótese havia nascido: Fossem ortodoxos ou ateus, os judeus têm um pé fincado no Muro das Lamentações. Isso era um palpite, não uma afirmação ou acusação.”

IDENTIFICAÇÃO ESPIRITUAL, NO NEED FOR SHOWING (wallpaper de estrela de Davi e correlatos): “My fantasies went even further. I pondered the possible effects of Jewish Depression on the theory and practice of psychotherapy. Since nearly all the geniuses and heroes in this field really are you-know-whats, there might be an accidental bias that could be labeled the J.D. factor. Non-Jewish therapists would pick it up by identification and introjection. By now, almost everybody probably has J.D. This means things may not be as bad as they look.” Ser antissemita é ser antiocidental como um todo, mas não significa ser pró-oriental. Na verdade o Oriente desconhece o pânico anti-judaico; isso é uma doença exclusiva do homem moderno autocastrador. Ser antissemita seria negar nossas mais vincadas raízes pagãs. Ser antissemita é ser um destruidor dos próprios antepassados, nobres e elevados (recado a Varg & simplórios desta era).

Wailing Wall. To wail is to cry. A wall is a block. A crying block? Crying because of a block?” Trocadilho impossível em Português.

“Note that Adam and Eve had no neurotic human parents and did not live in an uptight culture. They didn’t even have any childhood memories. Archetypal shame may be rather far removed from psychological theories regarding its derivatives. Note also that Adam and Eve were not Jewish; they were everybody. There was a wailing wall long before the one in Jerusalem. The latter is likely a modern intensification, or reenactment.”

“For many years, as an adult, I had frequent repeats of two rather common dream themes. In one I was to be in some play. It was opening night, and the curtain was soon to rise. I couldn’t remember any of my lines. I couldn’t recall ever having been to rehearsals. I couldn’t even find a script to refresh my memory or to take, hidden, on stage with me. In the other dream it was time to go take some school exam. I hadn’t been going to class. I’d forgotten I’d even enrolled in the course. If I’d ever had the textbook, I didn’t know where it was.

Despite years of individual therapy, group encounters, and hundreds of psychological theory and how-to books, these dreams continued unchanged. Then last year I had breakthrough dreams for both of them and have not had either one since.

In the breakthrough play dream, the curtain actually goes up and I step on stage. I not only have to improvise my lines, but I’m not dressed like the others. Six women glide by in beautiful satin gowns, and I’m standing there in a terrycloth robe with a Kotex [absorvente] sticking out of one pocket. Everybody laughs. In the school dream, I go to the room, take the exam, and presumably flunk.”

All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) is a commentary on general goodness, not just what we call self-righteousness. As such, it always sounded like a real bummer to me. Maybe the frequency of righteousness wasn’t high, but what a slam on quality. I once thought: Now there’s a good recipe for neurosis.”

“Of course, the righteousness insight didn’t really pop out of nowhere. I’ve been on a gradually emerging spiritual journey for 3 or 4 years now. Sometime during this period the following dialogue probably took place, although I’m surely still working on the last line of it.”

Donald D. Lathrop

 

<I have never had a failure in psychotherapy!> My out-bragging the braggart was so incredible that it shut him up. What a blessing for me! The rationalizations that would have poured out of my mouth in justification for my clearly unreal claim humiliate me even now as I think of them. Evidently he recognized at that point that I was crazy. He never attended another supervisory session.”

“The type of therapy—the goals, the expectations, the method—defines failure. In psychoanalysis, the best studied of the therapies, failure has two important faces. One is the therapy that never ends, the <interminable analysis>. The other is the therapy that ends without a full completion of one of the technical dimensions of (psychoanalytic) treatment, namely the resolution of the transference neurosis.” “In most psychotherapies, the transference neurosis is left almost totally untouched. Good results are achieved by minimizing its development.”

“We talked about Arlene Mildred and her father. There were parallels. Arlene had been suicidal for months and was perpetually rejected by her parents. Yet if she killed herself, there is no question that her father would be on the phone screaming threats at me.”

“I feel better (as always) when I work, when I do the work that is my calling. It’s hard to concentrate, but there is relief for me in involving myself with the immediate problems of the living. Now there is something new. I am now haunted by the reality that no one in my care, not my patients, not my family, not myself, is safe from death through my unawareness. The only relief for me is talking into my machine, blindly recording for what purpose I do not know.”

“I recalled today that Mildred had had an illegitimate child and that her parents had condemned her for it; they had disinherited her, had left her with the feeling that in no way could she redeem herself. Now that she is gone, they are going to punish me.”

“But maybe not! Sometime in the late afternoon, sometime after the first woman had comforted me, I began to permit myself to think that maybe they would not sue me. Even now this goes back and forth, now one way, now the other. I know that I will just be waiting, waiting for however long it will be before the letter comes, before the papers are served, waiting and scared and at the same time a little defiant. They are not going to destroy me. I am not going to destroy myself.”

“That’s another strange quirk in this. I can no longer take comfort, as I have for so many years, in fantasies of committing suicide myself. Some recent realizations have convinced me that not only is suicide no longer a possibility for me, but comforting myself with fantasies of suicide is no longer acceptable. How strange, how ironic, that at the same time this door is closed to me, I have experienced the first suicide in my professional career.”

“These are all games. Nothing changes the reality. Mildred is dead. The games I now play to keep other men from judging me, from punishing me for my unconsciousness, for my carelessness, for whatever part is my fault, these games do not seem to me to have much to do with Mildred and me.”

“Tonight Mildred’s parents are busy making the plans and carrying out the procedure of burying their daughter. When they are through, they will come to bury me.”

“She told me that she was responsible for all of the evil in the world. I told her she did not frighten me; I told her, as I have told lots of crazy people, that I would expose myself to her and then we would see whether she was indeed the overseer of all evil. Now she is laughing. I just wish she wasn’t angry. Of all the helpers, all the professionals who have been involved with this young woman over 6 years of suicidal behavior, she saved her act of murder for me. I can stand the laughter, but the contempt, the anger, the hurt to my therapist’s arrogance, that really digs in hard.

Strange that this poor woman and I came together. We were brought together by the impersonal forces of the State. She was covered for her psychiatric care by welfare. I was and am obliged to make much of my living by treating these people. Like many such patients, she did not even pick me. I was picked for her by the good-hearted woman who runs the boarding house where Mildred was sent after her release from the state hospital. This totally untrained person gets the horribly sick, broken souls after they are hastily patched up and discharged from the state hospital. She is understandably anxious to find some professional to take care of her boarders. Many of them are as severely disturbed as any patient I have ever seen in the backward of a state hospital.

From the first time she came to my office, Mildred did not want to see me. In fact, for her first appointment, she refused to come in. I was glad. I didn’t need any more patients. I didn’t need to convince this unattractive young woman that I could help her. So I let her go. But the lady with the burden of taking care of her day in and day out was insistent, and a reappointment was made. Second try: I got her into the office. It was at this time she told me that she was the carrier of all evil. I found something to like in her. Her arrogance regarding evil stimulated my own in a competitive sort of way. I’ve known since I was a kid that no one is <badder> than I am. After that beginning, it was a succession of broken appointments, my happily giving up on her because she was stuck in a hospital in another part of the state, getting her back, working within totally unrealistic limitations of time and money imposed by welfare regulations, step by step to the final miserable result.”

“I was aware, as dawn broke this morning during my run on the beach, of Mildred’s blind eyes that do not see this sunrise. My dream last night was that I was working with some other  people, trying to finish a job. Although I was working hard and felt the importance of finishing the job, I was not frantic. Then I was relaxing with some people, perhaps having cocktails, and a young woman asked me whether I would be giving a language course. I replied, Who, me? Parlez-vous ze Deutsch? Everyone laughed, for I had demonstrated that language was my very weakest subject.

I did not understand this seemingly light-hearted and trivial dream in response to Mildred’s death. Then I went to consult my friend, my guide, Max Zeller (our relationship was called Jungian analysis, or psychotherapy, and I was the patient). Max suggested that we consult the I Ching. This was a beautiful idea. It was the very sort of objective statement that I would be willing to accept. I certainly did not want any more comforting.

I asked the I Ching about the nature of my involvement with Mildred, the meaning of this experience. The answer was hexagram 28, <The Preponderance of the Great>. In this ancient Chinese symbolism was revealed a union of solidness, steadfastness, and joy. My light-hearted dream of last night now makes sense to me. As a student, much less a teacher of the language of the unconscious, I am a rank beginner. My life is the task that must be completed. As the dream says, I no longer work frantically at the task, imagining that I will thus impress the gods or get the job done, i.e., reach perfection. The hexagram also comforts me in my experience of inner peace, my lack of grief. I had feared that this was merely denial on my part, the refusal to feel the expected emotions. But the ancient book of Chinese wisdom suggests that grief and breast-beating are simply not part of this experience.”

“Now it is years later. I never heard another word from Mildred’s parents. The boyfriend who had encouraged her to sign herself out of the hospital against my advice called a couple of times. He mainly wanted to share his feeling that all of us had been bound together by a cosmic experience. I could agree—since he made no further demand on me. I was satisfied that he had forgiven himself as I had myself.

My failure, as I now see it, was in not being aware of the purpose of my treatment of Mildred. This young woman had been in agony for years, convinced that she was personally responsible for all of the evil in the world. She had tried repeatedly to solve both her own excruciating pain and the world’s unnecessary suffering by killing herself. However, she had always been too disorganized, too fragmented to succeed. I had treated her with medication and with psychotherapy so that she finally had the necessary ego resources to carry through a definite act of self-annihilation. My job was to cure her so she could kill herself! My failure was in remaining unconscious, in not being willing to be fully responsible for my part of the therapeutic contract.

I had known for years before this incident that the danger of suicide is greatest during the recovery phase. I knew that I could have legally detained her for a while longer. It would have been a lot of trouble, but it could have been done. The fact is, I just didn’t care enough about Mildred. That’s what was lethal.

I don’t want to slip into moralizing. That has no place in a world that is moving slowly but surely away from judgment, away from manipulation through guilt. I am convinced that my own refusal of guilt in Mildred’s death was the key to my not being punished by society. If we permit guilt to take over, we communicate to others their right to take vengeance on us. Meu satânico erro em quase todos os períodos turbulentos da minha vida: ser cristão demais! Jussara, Maria das Graças, veteranos bobiólogos, até mesmo indivíduos estranhos, conhecidos na véspera… sempre se aproveitaram dessa faceta, tantos rostos descarnados disponíveis para umas pancadinhas, impunemente… Felizmente minha língua e meus dedos, embora em efeito retardado, isso lá é verdade, não seguem ordens ou ditames do “corpo típico” (o que me lembra TÍSICO), se é que se me entende. Aloprados e mais sinceros do que idiotas e bons, eles procedem à vendeta; “fora de contexto” não existe na perspectiva dessas duas instâncias, verdadeiras guias desta carne que transpira. Uma vez, em que não importa quanto veneno a serpente inoculasse eu jamais reconheceria qualquer porcentagem de culpa: Isabel the Unimportant Nóia, leprosa que se filia com os tipos mais tortos e mendicantes, desajustados, dessa Brasília imunda (e por isso me conhece!), não tinha nenhuma razão, mas, ainda pior, nenhuma chance de, com razão ou não, me convencer de minha responsabilidade no incidente que precipitou meu divórcio. Isto não é dizer que esse tipo de pessoa sem conhecimento causal algum tem qualquer ciência socrática de que nada sabe: pelo contrário, uma Unimportant Bell é sempre e perigosamente a “personalidade forte” que carrega uma fé cega, uma autoconfiança ilimitada nos próprios métodos, a pura contingência e falta de método, a vida informe e tosca, não-lixada, torpe como madeira matéria-prima. Estas pessoas são tão fanáticas em seu niilismo inócuo quanto qualquer dogmático tentando reinjetar, atavicamente, tabus e ritos milenares já superados na nossa sociedade protestantemente laica (faz parte do jogo de cena a impressão de que os evangélicos nunca foram tão poderosos, mas é uma força de castelo de açúcar, com dilúvios à vista…). Não temos rigidez e teimosia para levar adiante nenhum propósito que não tenha nascido ontem mesmo, enquanto civilização brasileira pós-moderna. Os mais doidos e inconseqüentes que já conheço há anos, mesmo que sem qualquer padrão real, são os únicos que posso descrever com precisão em seu martelar psicológico entediante.

ATENÇÃO, FIÉIS! NOSSOS PLANOS FORAM ANTECIPADOS PARA ONTEM: “All of my life I have failed. All of my life, I have suffered depression as a consequence. But I would far rather take my punishment as depression than project the responsibility for punishing me out onto the world. Others are not likely to be as merciful to me as my own educated inner Judge. I had a revelation once: There is no judgment on Judgment Day.

Vin Rosenthal

 

“Unlike Joseph K. in Kafka’s The Trial, I know what I am guilty of”

“I am so nervous! I take some Thorazine. (Why Thorazine! Especially when I’ve never taken any psychotropic drug—not even marijuana.)”

“(And now I know what my patients are talking about when they tell of their anxiety.)” Weird. Sempre achei que a descoberta antecedia a profissão!

Were you aware that a contract with a ‘schizophrenic’ often has little binding power?”

 

“The Tribunal gets really hot when it suspects sexual misconduct on my part. The judges are terribly suspicious of anything that looks the slightest bit sexual. (This sometimes is a hard one because they don’t always agree among themselves about what is sexual and about the rules of common practice and the behavior of the hypothetical <reasonable therapist.>) The Tribunal casts its confronting eyes over my writings and challenges me about such statements as follows:

She says: If it hadn’t been for your response to me, your holding me, I don’t think I would ever have come to believe anyone could find me sexually desirable; no matter how long we had just talked about it.

 

I’m amazed and overjoyed. I had picked up her message that she genuinely desired to have me-as-a-person act warmly, lovingly, intimately, with her-as-a-person, but I was uncertain whether I should risk it. Now I can see that by limiting my risk I would have seriously limited her possibilities.

 

My judges are especially wary whenever I Hold a patient.” “they often are skeptical and insist on reading between the lines and beyond what I have written.”

If I sense the person is feeling sexual as a child, I let him know he is safe. If I sense the person is sexualizing to avoid, I try to encourage his getting to his child; if he does not, we sit up and work on it. This is also true if I sense that I am sexualizing the situation. I do not continue TO HOLD a patient if I stay with my sexual feelings”

 

“The Age of Aquarius enables me to avoid detection; no one looks that closely, and whoever does is ridiculed for being <uptight>.”

“What would you have me do? What kind of job would you permit me to hold that would enable me to retain my humanity, use my skills and talents and develop my potential? Remember, my peers are no better than me. The few unflawed noble souls are, wisely, going about their business in an unpublic way; they couldn’t care less. I have to live somewhere, someone has to share my company—otherwise that would be too inhuman a punishment to fit my misdemeanors. Reforming seems like such a difficult, even impossible task. Disappearing feels easier, yet, I’d have to take myself along. I suppose I’ll just go along as I have and hope that nothing happens.”

Lora Price

 

why not just a few?

 

“In the social work profession, close, intensive working together with clients toward personality shifts and problem-solving is called <counseling>. This is a term that suggests <telling> someone what to do as a way to be helpful.” “It is the social worker—the woman—whom the public mind most often identifies as the offerer of the <concrete> service. The intangibles, the profundities, are within the male preserve.” “Sigmund Freud and Otto Rank supplied the educational approaches that dominate the field. When I was in graduate school the faculty was overwhelmingly female. The course in psychological theory was the only one not taught by a social worker. Instead, the instructor was a male psychiatrist with a faculty appointment as <consultant>.”

“Even those social work agencies most heavily invested in offering counseling rather than concrete services rely upon regularly scheduled psychiatric consultations to determine and consolidate diagnosis and the direction of treatment. When I was a caseworker in a family service agency, it was a male psychiatrist who was hired to offer his expert opinion on a weekly, one-hour consultant schedule. There were only one or two caseworkers who could <present> within this frame.”

“Mistakes or therapeutic errors (although they were not so designated) were to be kept <in house>. This was a familiar and oft-taught lesson.” “The case supervisor, my supervisor, and I would all sit there chatting amiably, awaiting the arrival of the psychiatrist. He always came late because his schedule was so busy. All four of us would then engage in seeming accord as if there was only one way to work with my clients, one direction for me to follow. Because my submitted materials reflected only that I knew exactly what to do, we could then all bask in the aura of certain knowledge and perfection.”

“Making one’s way is equated with manipulation and control. Although the kernel of this truth first became evident in my work in a social work unit (a family service agency), it was even more glaringly so when I began working in mental health facilities. Ironically, these are considered the apex of clinical social work placements because of the opportunity they offer to do counseling—or therapy—without the impediment of the concrete service traditionally found in social work agencies. I had decided to go this route because of my wish to work with clients more intensively and knowledgeably.”

“When I applied for the job I wanted, I was turned down by the woman who was the Chief Social Worker. She said I was too inexperienced and would make too many mistakes. Besides that, I had been trained as a Rankian and obviously would not fit in with the Freudian approach of that particular clinic. She knew that my being there would <embarrass> the social workers who needed to keep up with (if not be better than) the medical staff. The chief of the service was a male psychiatrist. I saw him next. He was pleased to maintain his position in the ongoing struggle by overruling her and hiring me. In any case, he could not conceive that anything I would do could be that important. He knew that it was the doctors who ran that clinic.”

“the <family> was considered to be my area of expertise. The people I saw were labeled <clients> in deference to their secondary standing in the treatment matrix.”

“In my mind, women were less likely to be accepted into medical school than men, and girls were not as skilled as boys in dealing with prerequisite subjects such as science and mathematics. Also, becoming a social worker consumes less time and less money. Clearly, expending less energy befits a profession which is only of secondary importance.”

“Away from my clients I wept copiously. With them, I insisted on appearing intact and untroubled. I feel embarrassed now by my complicity in perpetuating their assurances that I could be perfect”

Arthur L. Kovacs

 

Presented at the symposium Critical Failure Experiences in Psychotherapy, Division 29 Midwinter Meeting, 1972.”

 

“I now know that this formulation is nonsense. What we do with our patients— whether we do so deviously and cunningly or overtly and brashly—is to affirm our own identities in the struggle with their struggles. We use them, for better or worse, to secure precious nourishments, to preserve our sanity, to make our lives possible, and to reassure ourselves in the face of that ineffable dread that lurks always beyond the margins of our awareness and can be heard as a very quiet electric hum emanating from the depths of our souls when everything is silent.”

“In this way, we can use our training to utter comfortable lies to ourselves and to avoid looking at the processes by which the persons we are either catalyze or defeat those who move in communion with us.”

“…what? Disaster? Chaos? Stalemate? I do not even know the right word to describe the outcome.”

“Part of me needed a persecutor, and Gwen supplied the potential to play the part.” “When I no longer needed to be persecuted, we somehow parted.”

“subjective time is always more important than objective time”

“Gwen came to see me because she had begun to experience severe anxiety attacks in school. Most of these were evoked by encounters with her psychology instructor, a married, middle-aged man. She was convinced, in her own paranoid fashion (to which I was unutterably blind in the beginning), that he was making seductive, obscene, and shaming gestures toward her continually. When he discussed masturbation in his lectures, she believed he was shaming her before the whole class, accusing her and revealing that she was a masturbator. She would blush, feel terrified, and have to leave class. Gwen was frequently aware of his genitals bulging in his trousers. She often believed he dressed in a fashion to accentuate them and positioned himself in such a way as to exhibit his endowments to her. When he talked about sexual matters, she <knew> he was lusting after her. I need to make it clear that, as I do so often, I partly trusted Gwen’s craziness and indeed believed there was something in the instructor that longed for her. She was, I must repeat, deadly cute.”

“When she returned to her next appointment, she was furious with me. She screamed at me that I was a rotten fucker, that I had sent her to her humiliation, that I took sadistic pleasure in teasing her. The force of her violence was incredible; her features contorted into a malevolent hatred that I have seldom seen. For the first time, I sensed the presence of some awesome murderousness in her, and I felt frightened. The pitch of her screaming was louder than I had ever heard. I believe, and still do, that the instructor had manipulated her and given her a dose of clever poison to choke on as he protected himself from her paranoid wisdom. I tried to get her to hear that. Her ears were closed by the noise of her own anguished, vicious screaming. She broke out of my office, fleeing from me and from her rage, almost wrenching the door off its hinges—although she probably does not weigh more than 95 pounds [43kg].”

“My beliefs, inflicted on Gwen and most others who opened themselves to me, were my armor, my sword, and my shield at that time of my life.”

“The next many months Gwen found exquisite ways to torment me, even though I could not get her to come to my office. She began, for example, to call me, usually around 3A.M.. I would stagger out of bed to answer the phone. There would be an ominous silence, then a loud screaming, You goddam piece of shit! I want you to die! or something equally vicious and abusive. Suddenly the phone would be hung up and it would be over until the next time. I believed then that my life was in the grip of some malevolent, overwhelmingly crushing principle, for Gwen’s timing was exquisite. Most of her calls occurred at times when I felt too weary, too battered to stand one more moment of anguish in my life. My struggle to build a new existence was beginning to consume me. Most of those nights I had fallen into fitful sleep after lengthy episodes of bitter acrimony with my former wife or of crying desperate tears at having to cross such a limitless desert alone. Gwen’s calls would cause me to start up from steamy, sweat-rumpled sheets in terror; I did not feel the strength to deal with her.”

“At last, after an absence of 4 months, I finally received a daytime call from Gwen. She asked to make an appointment! When she came in, she told me that she had been thinking about her therapy a lot and that she felt she wanted to enter group therapy. Having others around would, she believed, keep the 2 of us from getting into terrible trouble together. (I often notice patients possess incredible wisdom, if we would only listen!) I also, as did she, wanted and needed to dilute the horrible intensity of what had been transpiring between us. I readily assented, and Gwen started group.”

“In her middle adolescence, Gwen’s stepfather had a psychotic episode, preceded by a period of great violence during which he brandished a pistol repeatedly, screamed at his family members often in desperate viciousness, and engaged in great, raging, hallucinatory battles with his wife—during which he sometimes bloodied her or broke her bones—before he himself finally went to a psychiatric hospital. Gwen trembled violently as she remembered and related these things. During this period of treatment, also, Gwen got herself a job as a secretary, decided to attend college at night, and moved into her own apartment, separating from her family for the first time in her life. And I felt smug, pompous, and marvelously effective as her therapist. What an ass I was!”

“Once I was working with another patient. The other patient was pouting, sullen, withholding. She had come up to the edge of something and now sat stolidly, defiantly, unyieldingly. I became exasperated and started shaking her. The next thing I knew, Gwen threw herself on me, fists flailing, screaming You fucker, you fucker! It took 10 people to pry her off of me. I was very shaken.

Another marathon. Days, months, years—I do not know how much later. I had taken 20 patients into the Sierra Nevada. We were camped out in a snow-surrounded, glacial-scoured, lake-filled paradise. I had asked a woman along to share my sleeping bag at night. As I look back, I now feel ashamed of my choice. My companion was young and very pretty but had nothing more for me than sexual compliance. For this she wished to present me with a large number of emotional demands. At that period of my life I was desperate for any crumb of nourishment, did not appreciate my worth, and would hunger after anyone I believed would have me. We fought a great deal that weekend. Gwen kept watching the two of us balefully. During the 2nd day, she asked the largest man in the group to restrain her physically while she talked to me. He did so, and once again she shifted gears into her screaming viciousness, calling me a piece of shit, a motherfucker—any obscenity she could muster. He held her so she wouldn’t hit me. She struggled hard to get free while she vilified me. The gist of her tirade was, of course, that I was a moral leper, a vile sensualist, and a user of people.

As my first marriage continued to die and as I searched for the goodness I so longed for, Gwen became somehow in my mind the world’s representation of the established moral order. She had been selected to make me suffer for my sinful attempts to make a new life. The night calls and screaming at me over the telephone continued, usually when I could least bear them. Incredible vituperation also spilled out of her in group each week.”

“Weekends are always terrible when marriages are dying.”

I want her dead! I suddenly knew it and began to fantasize the myriad ways I could kill her. I danced exultantly over her broken corpse. Her life must end so that mine could go on! (…) That shitty, stinking little cunt-bitch! I arrived at work trembling in fearful awe over the intensity of my own murderousness. That night in group my patience was exhausted. The 2 of us got into a screaming battle with each other. I told her how I longed for her to die. We traded insults and murderous fantasies. I felt momentarily better.

Another night—weeks later. I am talking to someone else about masturbation. Gwen’s paranoia flares up again. She accuses me of sitting with my legs apart to compel her to stare at my crotch. She insists that I am talking about masturbation to shame her. She yells that I should get it straight once and for all that she does not masturbate. I get furious. I tell her that she is a stupid little bitch. I tell her she is 20 years old and that it is time she started masturbating. I describe to her how to do it and order her to go home and carry out my instructions after group. I add that I never want to hear anything about masturbation from her again. She becomes silent. Finally, I start searching my heart about her accusations. I tell her that they are partly justified, that when I first met her I had indeed tried her on in fantasy as a possible lover. I assented that I had probably teased her provocatively and flirted with her in subtle ways. I admitted to her the crazy desperation that seized most of my life then, the hunger to be at rest in a good woman’s arms. I added that my fantasies about her had died, though, soon after my getting to know her—that she was not my other half, nor what I needed for me. I said that I regretted that fact. I believed that my inability even to imagine her any longer as a partner to me was a sad tragedy. I felt forlorn as I talked to her. I closed the group by expressing my wish that a day might come before either of us were dead when once again she could stir me in such a way as to invoke in me imagery of her being my woman. I knew that that would be a sign that something profound had happened to each of us.

Early the next morning, Gwen called. She asked if she could have an individual appointment with me. I had a cancellation that afternoon and readily assented. At the appointed hour, I opened the waiting room door. Her face was contracted with rage. As she walked by me, she slapped my face. When we entered my office, I asked her what the hell that had been for. She screamed that I had exposed, shamed, and humiliated her in front of her friends in group. Then she went berserk and threw herself on me, trying to claw my face and spitting at me as we tussled. We crashed to the floor, spilling furniture and books everywhere. I finally subdued her, and as she began to feel the assertion of my strength and control she murmured between clenched teeth: Go ahead, you bastard. Fuck me. I told her I wasn’t interested. She began to sob convulsively. I had never seen her like that. She was suddenly very little and helpless, a 3-year-old who had been running around in murderous fury, trying to pretend that she had adult competencies lest the world penetrate her disguise and annihilate her. An image is indelibly burned into my awareness: the two of us sitting there on the floor in the midst of the rubble of my office, Gwen sobbing helplessly in my arms, my rocking her and feeling rubber-kneed and weak from the awe and fearfulness of what we had just experienced.”

“She began describing her stepfather coming into her room one night. Gwen stopped, flushed, went incredibly tense, and would not go on.” “My instructions to her to enter into a dialogue with the half-fantasied, half-remembered shade of that man on that nameless occasion precipitated a kind of trance-like state. Gwen became 14 again. She relived and reproduced what I knew was in store for all of us—her stepfather’s feared, longed-for, luscious, tormenting, lacerating, hungering attempted rape of her that awful night of her memory. Who knows whether the events were real or not? I still do not. But their reality was powerful that evening she described them to us.”

“Her tear-drowned eyes remained closed. I picked her up and rocked her as I would my own daughter. At first she drank me in. Then I felt her stiffen. I knew intuitively what was happening, and I said to Gwen, No, I don’t have an erection. She realized it too, at the same time, and turned to rubber once again in my lap. Yet, at that moment, I sensed our relationship was doomed and hopeless. If I held her at some emotional distance to placate her longing, terrified struggle over being penetrated, she would rail at me for being no help, disinterested or worthless to her. If she captured my attention, and I started to move closer to her, I would become the bearded satyr—too exciting, too forbidden, and too dangerous to deal with. Either way the end result was an outburst of fearful hatred. I talked to her often about this frustrated, impotent dilemma into which she thrust me. It never did any good.

Instead, Gwen began to separate from me. She started to come to group less and less. At first I felt comfortable with this, for the events of her life demonstrated a thrust toward increasing competency and mastery. She received a significant promotion at work. She separated from her boyhood lover and began to explore the possibilities of loving a much more capable man a few years older than she was. (…) One day she called me to ask me for a referral. A friend who did not have much money wanted to enter therapy and asked her, so she said, for the name of a good clinic. I provided this to her, and I added that the friend should ask for Dr. X, if possible, at that agency for I knew he had a good reputation. Three months later I found out, when Gwen began to talk matter-of-factly about it in group, that it was Gwen herself who had gone to see Dr. X and that Dr. X had begun seeing her, not at the clinic, but in his private practice!”

“She finally mustered the courage to tell her new lover that she was falling in love with him and to ask him for more of himself than he had been willing to give her thus far. He smiled, told her that she was a sweet thing, but that all he wanted her for was an occasional night in the sack. He laughed delightedly at her precious gift of her avowing that she wanted him, and he went to the refrigerator to break out a bottle of champagne. Gwen went berserk, tore up the man’s apartment, and forced him to throw her out bodily. She then came to group the next week, started up her screaming machine again, complained that I was an evil monster who ruined people’s lives, and stormed out of the office. I did not see Gwen again for three months. I was relieved. I thought she was gone forever, and I was happy. I had at last left my previous life, was living alone, and felt joyously in love with the woman who is now my wife. Gwen’s seeming departure was a mystical sign to me that my perilous journey was at last over and that I would be able to rest in my wife’s arms, exhausted, ecstatic, and optimistic about what we were beginning to build.

Much to my surprise, Gwen signed up for a weekend marathon [!] I held the next January. My soon-to-be wife accompanied me on that occasion. As I relive those moments, I remember how Gwen stared at the two of us in hateful envy. She detested my happiness. She tried to interfere, with sarcasm and cruel mockery, in any work I attempted to do. I finally stopped everything to contend with her. I was quaking with tension. After Gwen played many screaming broken records over and over again, I asked her what the hell she wanted from me. To my astonishment, she softened and asked to be held. Haltingly, I agreed. She came and sat next to me. I put my arm around her and she leaned against me, but I felt some kind of stiffness and unyieldingness in her manner and bearing. I told her I missed the vulnerable child she had—on a precious very few occasions—allowed herself to be with me. My wife, in her usual marvelously intuitive fashion, saw the look in Gwen’s eyes and began to speak to her of her own struggles with pride and envy. They swapped tales of being children, of longing for good fathers, and of all the turmoil and fear such longings create. My wife urged that Gwen be resolute in searching for what she wanted and that she not allow her fears of other women’s retribution to turn her aside from her quest. Gwen softened and allowed herself at last to surrender to being held. Later in the night one of the women in the group asked Gwen for permission to, and indeed did, feed her from a baby’s bottle. [Ah, kleinianos!]

Gwen then disappeared from my life. Once in a while I would get a phone call from her complaining bitterly about the cold, cruel, and vicious treatment she was receiving at the hands of Dr. X. I urged her each time to discuss her grievances, real or imagined, with him and told her she was always welcome, if she wished, to return to group—that many people missed her and asked about her. Last June, I got a call from her again. She and Dr. X had gotten into a fight, and he had thrown her out of therapy, saying that he was sick of her vicious bitchiness, would not put up with it anymore, and was not going to see her again. Gwen sounded crazy and frightened on the phone. I began to get anxious.

Two weeks later I came into my office and found it at shambles. All my books had been thrown on the floor. The furniture was overturned. Papers had been ripped up. A cover from Time magazine, the one with Jesus Christ Superstar on it, had been ripped off. A knife, thrust through the face of Jesus, impaled it to my couch. I knew immediately who had done it, and I began to fear for my life. Then Gwen called and asked for an individual appointment. I refused, telling her that I was afraid of the violence in her. I urged her to come to group so that we could talk where we would both be safe. She screamed at me and hung up.”

“Three weeks later, a fireman came into my office. Gwen had been gathered in off the roof of my building after having threatened noisily for an hour to jump.” “The physician in charge called me. He said Gwen had confessed to him it was the 3rd attempt she had made on her life in 48 hours.”

“The mother reported that Gwen had assaulted her parents and her father’s psychiatrist during the past week. I begged the mother to have Gwen hospitalized. Instead the mother screamed at me for being <one of the fucking Jew-doctors> that had ruined her daughter’s life. Screaming in fury, she told me she was going to take Gwen home. For the next 3 weeks I walked in dread, not knowing whether Gwen was alive or dead, not knowing if she would come at me out of some other dark night, this time with a weapon.

Late in July, Gwen called again. She asked for an appointment. For some reason known only to my sense of the uncanny¹, I granted her request. I was terrified, but I needed to confront some primitive dread in me. I was sick to death of being a person who always ducked bullies and fled from the possibility of violence. She would be the occasion for me to confront me.”

¹ Referência freudiana

“She related to me that she had made appointments with 8 different therapists in the past 4 weeks and had physically assaulted all 8 of them and fled.”

I guess I’ll live. But I don’t think I’m going to go on with therapy.”

 

“As she disappeared down the hall she smiled bravely and called out over her shoulder, You’re the only one who always lets me come back. I have not seen or heard from her this past 3 years.”

“Gwen served me well as my vicious companion at a time I needed one. The impress of her being will always be with me.”

Hobart F. Thomas

 

“On several occasions I have experienced deep feelings of love and/or sexual attraction for clients. At other times I have felt and expressed feelings of irritation and anger. None of these emotionally charged situations, however, seems to provide the devastating frustration of those in which no truly personal contact occurred. I am recalling the long and seemingly fruitless hours spent with depressed patients in mental institutions, which seem to put one’s faith in a therapeutic process to the ultimate test.”

“Perhaps the toughest experiences of my career were the days of attempting to practice before I myself had undergone personal therapy. I had mastered the knowledge, techniques, and procedures well enough to obtain a clinical Ph.D., but the heart and guts of the process were missing. Bizarre as it may sound, I even recall on more than one occasion actually envying the experiences of some of my clients in therapy.”

“Approximately 4 years after completing a doctorate, I entered personal therapy. Reasons for the long delay are not easy to determine. In spite of episodes such as the above, I seemed to be endowed with sufficient ego strength to keep the show going. Besides, I was not convinced that the Freudian model and many of its practitioners, who represented the bulk of my exposure to clinical practice at the time, were the answer either to my own or to the world’s problems. It was then, and is now, my conviction that one best chooses a therapist out of some deep intuitive place, and one can do no better than to follow one’s feelings when making such a choice.”

Bouts with the perfection monster”

“Being <analyzed>, at least in the circles in which I traveled at the time, also qualified one for membership in a rather exclusive club. A part of me wanted to belong, to be accepted, to be part of the action. Another part, for whatever reasons, refused to join up and pay the membership dues.”

“Ironically, my impression is that, currently, the Jungian school is considered more <in> [fashion] than the Freudian. At the time, such was definitely not the case.”

“What if all of a sudden I can’t function?”

 

“The outer drama in which therapist and client each play their respective roles continues, apparently without interruption, until the end of the hour.”

“The experience of panic occasionally recurs, sometimes in the consulting room, sometimes while teaching a class, or sometimes during seemingly ordinary conversation—usually, in each case, when I feel pretty much in charge and everything appears to be running smoothly. (Another clue here, perhaps?)”

really plays well for his age”

 

“We need not always stand alone.”

Look, Mom, I finally made it!”

 

“My hunch is that the state of panic is a corrective, devised by my wiser Self to help put things back in the proper perspective—a real therapeutic kick in the ass to remind me that I’m not God.” My hunch is that my panic is for me to saying Farewell, father!

“it is essential to know how to let be.”

that’s all: [be] midwife. You can relax.”

“My perfection bogey-man stays with me a good deal of the time, however. Having experienced that paradisaical state of Being, I do keep searching for ways to get there and stay there. Even when I appear to be laying back, I’m trying—trying to do, trying not to do. And, too often, in rushing to reach home I forget to smell the flowers along the way.”

NO, NOT FREUD: “When my own therapists revealed themselves to me as persons, not gods, I soon realized that human imperfection has about it its own particular beauty.”

Joen Fagan (mulher – informação relevante para um dos casos que ela irá contar!)

 

“One of my oracles is the dictionary. Built into the derivation of words and the range of their meanings is a cohesion of human experience. So I asked Webster the meaning of naked, and found my eye pausing over and returning to <defenseless, unarmed, lacking confirmation or support.> As I sat, feeling my way into these meanings, I remembered William.”

“He sat in the front row, nodding at the right times and laughing at my jokes, behaviors much appreciated by a teacher.” “You know so much about this; don’t you think…?” or “Why wouldn’t it be true that…?”

“I was lonely, but people had to press against me to become friends; even though I needed and wanted them, my reserve and hesitancy took some broaching. It was the same with students who had asked me to counsel with them. They had to persist past my uncertainty and self-doubts. So I accepted some intrusiveness and tolerated my discomfort with him without firm limits or comments.”

Did I think he needed to go back into therapy? Did I think he was crazy? His father had said that to him this week. His wife had told him that too. But he thought he was doing well. Would I see him for therapy?

No, William.

Why not?

You’re not finished with Carl. Besides, I won’t see students who are taking courses from me for therapy. (Avoiding saying, of course, that I doubted my ability to handle him or that he was too manipulative.)

Well, will you have lunch with me? Why not?

He was becoming a nuisance. Once, as he got up to go, he suddenly leaned over and tried to kiss me. I was angry then and told him so.”

“Did I think he was crazy? He had been hospitalized before. What did I think? <I think you’re bothered about a number of things and should go back and see Carl.>

“Anyway, in another week summer vacation would start, and 3 months away from the college would solve the whole thing.”

“The next morning an envelope was in the mailbox at my house; it was a somewhat confused but humorous letter from William saying he had decided to spend the summer in a nearby public park and inviting me to join him.”

“The next day there was another letter, more angry and threatening, with some sexual allusions that were immediately denied. You know, of course, that I’m just kidding. I love you and wouldn’t hurt you or do you harm. I began feeling frightened and did not sleep well. The letter the next day was even more threatening. If you won’t see me, you won’t see anybody. I want you and I’ll get you.

“The father called me later that afternoon to say that he had found William and had had him admitted to a psychiatric ward. My relief, though, was short-lived. Letters now started coming through the mail, openly delusional, abusive, threatening, and sexually blatant. Again I waited and did nothing, not knowing anything to do. Should I contact his unit? Or him? Or his father? To do what? Say I was scared? Then his father called again. He thought I might want to know that William had escaped from the ward.

There was a paranoid somewhere in the city and I was the center of his delusions. Several days of extreme anxiety. I put chain locks on my doors and jumped at noises. I remembered a patient at the hospital where I had interned, who, ten years after his last contact with a former female therapist, still maintained a similar life-focusing preoccupation with her. The hospital viewed him as sufficiently dangerous to call and warn her when he escaped”

“I remembered other threats to therapists and attacks by patients, and I frantically found work to do and friends to be with.”

“Shortly after that an FBI agent called to say they had investigated the forgery at the request of the bank but did not recommend pressing charges since William was now in the psychiatric ward at Bellevue. Again, relief.

Once every few months a postcard came, and one time, a box of candy on Valentine’s Day. He might no longer have been paranoid, but I was; thinking there was a chance it was poisoned, I threw it away. The sight of the neat, familiar writing could still evoke anxiety, but the cards came less and less frequently until finally a year or more had passed with nothing to remind me of him.”

Do you know that you saved my life?

No, William, I didn’t know that.

 

He stood up, went to the door, paused, said goodbye, and left. I realized that I had no idea what he had meant.”

“Do you know, William, how much you taught me about the impossibility of running?”

Barbara Jo Brothers (e sim, é só uma pessoa)

“I am caught. There is no way my vanity will let me avoid rising to the challenge, no way I would decline contributing to this book…but knowing this as my personal dilemma: the risk of exposure of a place inside myself—a place I have found virtually unbearable… a place I have virtually given my life to protect.”

“When I met Jerry, I was in the first month of my first clinical job, armed with my degree and with all of the accompanying mixtures of zeal and anxiety. There was Jerry. Transferred to the local state hospital’s adolescent unit because his family’s funds had run out (after 9 months of psychoanalysis and private hospitalization), Jerry was as crazy at that point as he had been 9 months before. I had known his analyst, so I knew a bit of his history.”

“In my youthful mind, if one of the best analysts in town was giving up, I was already expiated from whatever penalties of failure might ensue and from the awesome demands of Knowing-What-I-Am-Doing.

Jerry and I did well. Then one day the hospital decided to discharge him, prematurely in my judgment. I sent him to what I considered to be the best mental health center in town and tried to tell myself something to make the  uneasiness a little easier in my hither-to-relied-on gut.”

“My own therapist comes in, tries to look like a doctor, takes my pulse. <Are you depressed?> he says. I reply, <I’m too sick to be depressed. Come back in a few days and I might have a depression for you.>

“We had lost our connection after my discharge. I had referred him to the best therapist I knew in community out patient mental health clinics. He was re-hospitalized. I vehemently protested when hospital policy dictated that he not be admitted to my unit simply because of having had one more birthday since his discharge [ultrapassou o limite de idade de sua clínica]. I might have conquered death, but I was not going to have an effect on the monolithic mental ill-health system. He went to the adult unit and killed himself while out on pass.”

“Exposure, expression, mistake, all are cyclical. My exposure is beginning to sound like my salvation. That which I fear most seems to serve my best interests most powerfully.”

I dodge and twist and evade.”

Carl Whitaker

 

“Before antibiotics, treatment of gonorrhea in the female usually consisted of months of hospital bed-rest. The Green Girls were locked in a big ward on top of the hospital in the middle of the East River. It was my job to try to keep them from becoming overly excited in order to prevent flaring up of the infection that had gotten them arrested and imprisoned.

It was a strange flip for a religious country boy to end up dealing with Broadway chorus girls. They wanted to have their operation by our own gyn department because we used a special incision below the hairline. That way they could go back on the stage and not be laughed at for exposing their surgical scar.”

I saw this big white polar bear sitting on the bed, and I knew he wasn’t real, but I had to call the nurse because he looked so real.”

 

“As I learned more about the vivid experiences of psychosis, I rapidly lost my interest in the mechanical carpentry work we call surgery.”

“A patient who was mumbling to himself explained that voices were calling him horrible things and saying that he had intercourse with his mother. I said, ‘That must be very upsetting,’ and he waved me off with, ‘Oh, no, they’ve been doing that for years, and I don’t pay attention anymore’.”

“Later I talked with an 85 year-old man who came in for molesting an 8 year-old girl. When I met the girl, who looked like a professional actress fresh out of Hollywood, it made huge gashes in my fantasy of what life and people were all about.”

“This call of the wild, the agony and ecstasy of schizophrenia, of the whole psychotic world, ballooned inside of me.” “The magic of schizophrenia, that Alice-in-Wonderland quality of spending hour after hour, sometimes all night long, with a patient whose preoccupation with delusions and hallucinations made him as fascinating as yourself, was matched by the mystery world of play therapy.”

“My discovery of Melanie Klein and her beliefs about infant sexuality was like a repetition in depth of my earlier discovery of the psychotic world.” Oh no, not this bitch again, defenestrate her, from the fifth flour, please!

“my first introduction to psychotherapy was by way of the Philadelphia social work school’s form of Rank’s process thinking. I became more and more intrigued by what brings about change. There was an 8 year-old boy who hadn’t said anything since he had whooping cough [coqueluche] at age 2. I spent 6 months seeing that boy once a week while the social worker talked to his mother upstairs. He never said anything to me either, but we threw the football out in the yard. He did listen to me talk about him. I finally gave up and admitted I couldn’t help. He and his mother went away disappointed. I thought I’d had it with psychotherapy until we got a call back 3 weeks later saying he’d started talking.”

“It became more and more clear that medical students were divided into those who didn’t know how to be tender and those who didn’t know how to be tough. How difficult it was to teach either one to have access to the other. I didn’t really know I was merely talking about myself for some years, but I did discover the joys of working with delinquents. That power! I always thought of them as Cadillacs with steering gear problems, whereas the neurotics we saw in the medical school clinic were like old Fords that were only hitting on two cylinders. Looking back, I often wonder how many of the delinquents stole cars just so they could come back and tell me about it.”

“As a matter of fact, for the next 3 or 4 years I bottle fed almost every patient I saw—man, woman, or child; neurotic, psychotic, psychopathic, or alcoholic—and with a high degree of usefulness, if not success. It was only some time later that it dawned on me that it wasn’t the patient who required the technique, but the therapist. I was learning to mother, and once that was developed I couldn’t use the technique anymore.”

“I didn’t even know then that co-therapy was a secret system for learning how to talk about emotional experiences. It allowed you to be able to objectify a subjective experience shared with someone else.”

I eventually left to work in Atlanta, where we discovered in those early days that the baby bottle was a valuable way to induce regression in the service of growth but that fighting was equally valuable. Just as the baby bottles spread from one to another in our staff group of 7, so the fighting moved until we were apt to be involved physically with almost every patient in one way or another. The intimacy of physical contact—of slapping games, of wrestling, and of arm-wrestling—became a part of our discovery of our own toughness.”

“By 1946 we had 3 daughters and 1 son. The problem of trying to be an administrator and a clinician had exteriorized a lot of my immaturity. When the stress in the hospital and medical school got high, I began to precipitate myself into psychosomatic attacks with cold sweats, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and a half day in bed. Cuddling with my wife resolved this, but I went back into psychotherapy to help develop confidence in preventing it. Living with our own children also convinced Muriel and me that the only <unconditional positive regard> in this world comes from little children.”

“It was clear to us that the reason people work with schizophrenics is that they want to find their own psychotic inner-person, which is known more and more as the right brain—that nonanalytic total-gestalt-organized part of our cortex. We struggled over the schizophrenogenic mother and over whether the father himself can create schizophrenia. All this anteceded systems theory, which made it clear that it takes a family system (and more) to originate such a holocaust.” Quanta inocência, diria Deleuze…

“The craziness that had overlain her arteriosclerosis of the brain had long since faded into the background. She just ate and slept and smiled and went to the bathroom. But the family still loved her and still enjoyed being with her. They had not turned away from her because of her failing health.”

“It seems that the initial therapist is contaminated with all of the usual problems of being a mother: He’s all-forgiving, all-accepting, and minimally demanding. In contrast, when the consultant comes in for the second interview, he turns out to be very much like the father: He is reality-oriented, demanding, intellectual, much less tempted to accept the original complaints or the original presentation, and very much freer to think about what’s being presented in a conceptual, total gestalt manner.”

“The Atlanta clinic was our private world, and the sophisticated world of a psychoanalytic organized group left me with uncertainties, awkwardness, and the temptation to be isolated.”

“The initial phase of working with the family demands a coup d’état, in which the therapist proves his power and his control of the therapeutic process, thus enabling the family to have the courage to change their living pattern. Other concepts, such as the importance of the detumescence of the scapegoat [resolução, desinchação – conotação cancerígena] or surfacing other scapegoats in the family, spreading the anxiety around the family, and the necessity of using paradoxical intention to reverse the axis of responsibility so the family would carry the initiative for their own change, all were picked up from the residents when they were working with families as co-therapists.”

“One of the covert changes that I experienced was my increasing conviction that everybody is schizophrenic. Most of us don’t have the courage to be crazy except in the middle of the night when we’re sound asleep, and we try to forget it before we wake up. I became more and more courageous in my advancing years and tenured role, and I began to use the word with greater nonchalance. During the first 6 months to 1 year, it was quite a shock, but after that it became gradually more and more accepted, at least in my own head.”

“There is being driven crazy, which means that one’s malignant isolationism¹ is brought about by being forced out of one’s family. There is going crazy, which, in the case of falling in love, is a delightful experience, although very frightening. Going crazy also takes place in the therapeutic setting, where it’s sometimes called transference psychosis, much in the same way we talk of transference neurosis [still two words that can’t make sense]. And then there is acting crazy—the crazy responsiveness of the individual who has once been insane and who, when under stress, returns to that state of being even though he’s not out of control in the same way. He’s like the child who has just learned to walk. If he gets in a hurry, he’ll get down and crawl on his hands and knees, even though it’s slower.”

¹ O que será que quer dizer? Meu caso? Vivendo com 3 idiotas cada vez mais incapazes de me entender e na verdade cada vez mais decorativos (1988-2017), de repente meu corpo se rebela e diz: CHEGA, VOCÊ JÁ SUPORTOU DEMAIS! ACABOU SUA AUTOIMPOSTA EXPIAÇÃO! Mas quer dizer que quem fritava a batata, no fim, eram eles… Consolador!

“the quasicraziness that happens in social groups”

Alex Redmountain (“Despite his name, he is not an American Indian, but, rather improbably, a Jewish-Slavic refugee of World War II.” – Kopp)

 

The affliction is self-love, narcissism, a narrowness of vision that places everything outside oneself at the periphery. Though it appears open and seeking, it makes learning very difficult. Stop reinventing the wheel, I was told; I finally did, but since no one told me to stop reinventing the compass, and sextant, and steam engine, I kept on doing that for quite a while.”

“Out on the street, the therapist is like a hooker who’s been thrown out by her pimp. There’s no security, no status. You’re surrounded by a dozen other hustlers, each selling some exotic solution to life’s problems: astrology, card reading, Scientology, revolution, a quickie in the back of the Dodge van parked across the street. Psychotherapy looks like just another fast fix, a way to set the pain aside momentarily or to pretend to an inflated self-importance. And often it is.”

“I am a clinical psychologist, traditionally trained, and I was still doing the usual clinical psychologist things: testing, individual and group therapy, supervision, formal consultation. But I was getting restless, found it hard to stay within the confines of the clinic where I saw my patients. Little by little, mostly by self-invitation, I cultivated a street beat through familiar geography: free schools and open universities, gay people and street people, adolescents of infinite variety and the many species of chicken-hawk who prey on them, alternate enterprises of every ideology imaginable, and a total spectrum of lifestyles. It seemed like a great opportunity for checking out the barriers. It was also a great opportunity for, as we used to say in The Bronx, getting my ass handed to me—as in the sentence, When I hand you your ass, boy, your head is gonna fall so low you’ll be looking up at roach shit [cocô de barata].

“Basically, I’m a middle-class grown-up with slightly rebellious inclinations; the one time I was impulsive enough to drop out of school, I joined the U.S. Army and was promptly dispatched to die of boredom in Korea. The setting for my street-shrink activities was a deteriorating, exciting, but not especially dangerous or sinful neighborhood in a large Eastern city. It was exciting because of its variety: its residents encompassed all ages and classes, at least 3 races, and 12 ethnic groups; Maoist food <collectives> operated on the same block with 30 year-old Mom and Pop groceries; soul music blared from one record shop speaker while salsa and bomba rhythms leaped out from another around the corner; store-front churches rose from the ashes of revolutionary Trotskyite print shops—and vice versa.”

“Another source was the illusion of being a savior, a reconciliator loved by all. When I walked around the neighborhood, greeting militants and leftover flower children, precinct captains and self-actualization addicts, I imagined myself a combination of country doctor and masterful statesman, healing rifts both psychic and physical as I passed on through. And in the best Lone Ranger silver bullet tradition, I dreamed of encountering evil, overcoming it, and riding off toward the foothills and the setting sun—all within the 30 minutes normally reserved for the radio serials of my youth.

This kind of delusion wreaks havoc with the long-distance running qualities usually required of the psychotherapist. It also helped me suppress some doubts about my own endurance. With every new patient I took on in my public practice, I wondered: Can I really last the journey? As the complexity of every individual unfolded, I worried: It may be just too hard, too long, too draining. What if I want to run off and fast alongside Cesar Chavez [uma espécie de João Pedro Stédile] in the lettuce fields? What if I decide to go to Harvard Business School so I can destroy capitalism from within?

“I’m there in 20 minutes. Who said that house calls were a thing of the past? Upstairs I can hear crunching and smashing noises. Down in the <parlor> 8 resident runaways and 2 counselors mill about, looking worried, indifferent, scared, sullen—depending on whom you are looking at.” “a monstrous teenage version of an NFL defensive end, 6 foot 6, at least 240 pounds. He is methodically ripping apart the wooden bunks—the bunks that my friend Joe put together over a couple of weeks of unpaid labor, after his unemployment ran out! I am outraged.”

Sally greets me with a strange, playful look in her sensual eyes. (Whoops, it’s hard to keep lust and hubris clearly separate.) For many reasons, Sally is one of my favorite counselors.”

Shrink é uma gíria suburbana para psicólogo ou psiquiatra.

God works in mysterious ways, said Sally, having been raised a brimstone Baptist and never quite given it up. I had to agree. I often had the feeling, when I was doing therapy, that anything I said would work: insight, catharsis, epiphanies would follow some inaudible inanity from my mouth. At other times, when I thought I was being wondrous wise, my words fell as flat as a swatted bug. It all has to do with chemistry, or radiation, or smell. Or something. Before I knew that, I sometimes took the calling of therapy very seriously indeed.”

Because I think it’s just an ego trip. I don’t even call myself a therapist, you

know.”

What do you mean, even you! Who are you, Sigmund Freud?”

No, but at least I’m not trying to be something I’m not!”

Aw, fuck you!” she shouts.

Fuck you!” I yell back.

 

All that doctor done was yell at me, tell me I was a whore and would end up a junkie or dead or in prison, and I’d never have kids, or a man, or anything decent at all.”

 

“As far as I am concerned, the making of a therapist and the making of a centered person are parallel, though not congruent, journeys.”

First Tale of Lust. I had agreed to see Janet for short-term therapy at her home; she had a 1 year-old daughter, a night job as a waitress, and no one to babysit. I knew there were many caveats against this kind of thing, but I was sure I could handle it.”

“I kept trying to remember why therapists shouldn’t become sexually involved with patients. I found myself perusing, at length, articles that argued an opposing view. Even the reputable Association of Humanistic Psychology, I noted, was sponsoring a panel at its annual meeting: Sexual Relations Between Therapists and Clients.”

“She observed that the tension between us was palpable. I agreed. In fact, it was becoming intolerable. Yes, I said. Well, she wanted to know, what were we going to do about it?”

“I read Albert Ellis [logo acima!] and Martin Shepard, wrote an essay entitled Challenging Some Traditional Preconceptions in Psychotherapy—in which I never mentioned sex.”

“On the 13th day, I received a short note from Janet on the back of an old Valentine card: I’ve discovered that there are more fine lovers around than psychotherapists. Will you be my (one and only) therapist?

 

Human, all-too-human: After I daydreamed about choking her with a spiked bulldog collar, boiling her in oil, and throwing her out of a dirigible over the most polluted part of the Hudson River, I met with her—in my office. We dealt with it, as the New Yorker cartoon says, by talking about it. We actually went on to do some excellent work together, 50 minutes at a time, 2 days a week, face to face, and no hugging.”

Second Tale of Lust. Tamara was 16, dark as an Arab princess, radiating ripeness. She was a resident at one of the group foster homes at which I dispensed weekly advice. Whenever she greeted me, she would wrap herself around me like the original seductive serpent, and I would try desperately to keep my cool—without success.

I am seldom drawn to adolescents sexually, or so I like to believe. I like the way they look, I enjoy their narcissism from afar, but I’m not crazy enough to trade a tumble for a prison sentence, not even in fantasy.”

“Tamara, whose house parents I met regularly for case consultation and whose Oedipal problems I knew almost as well as my own”

“I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and I didn’t want to take the rest of me off, either.

Although I danced with many people that night, I found myself dancing with Tamara more than with anyone else: more sensually, more energetically, more proximately. After a few beers, I forgot the age gap between us. After a few more, stalwart drinker [robusto bebedor] that I am, I was carried upstairs by some friends and carefully placed upon an unoccupied mattress [colchonete]. I woke a couple of hours later to find Tamara bending over me, swaying, her hair against my face. I wasn’t very alert, but she seemed completely out of it—drunk and stoned and incoherent.

Without thinking, I pulled her down beside me, touched her, kissed her, felt her responding to me. As I caressed her, she spoke softly at first, and then more insistently. Her mumbling only gradually became comprehensible: Daddy, Daddy, Daddy…

Laying her head against the pillow, I drew away gently. The one short pang inside me yielded to tenderness. I massaged her eyes and brow until she fell asleep.”

Third Tale of Lust. It was spring, and 5 of my street clients, including one gay male, declared their love-lust for me. I knew all about transference, of course, but I was also feeling very sexual in my new, slimmed-down version.

At my therapy seminar that week, another fledgling therapist like myself spoke of how he enjoyed his patients’ sexual fantasies about him. Our teacher-supervisor looked at him wryly. <Just remember,> he said, <that there are a dozen paunchy, balding, 70 year-old therapists in this town whose patients are madly in love with them. Don’t take too much credit.>

I decided not to, either.”

Therapist hubris is based on the mutual illusion of patient and therapist that theirs is not a relationship among equals. Thus, it fires the therapist’s infantile yearnings for magical solutions, omnipotence, oceanic love.”

* * *

DE VOLTA AO KOPP (CONCLUSÃO)

 

Everything is folly in this world, except to play the fool.”

 

“The response of embarrassment is not a personal flaw. On the contrary, it is a socially oriented readjustment pattern that acts to reestablish more orderly, adequate behavior. In showing embarrassment, the flustered person (sometimes unwittingly) reveals his responsiveness to the discrepancy between expected and actual performance. This offers the blunderer a chance to get himself together while remaining in consensual accord with the rest of the group. At the same time, perceiving his reaction, his audience is in a position to help him to reestablish his earlier state of unselfconscious ease.”

“I feel less pained and alone in my embarrassment, standing among these other naked therapists.”

“But for those of us who have not been subjected to excessive shaming, failing at something may be experienced as no more than not yet attaining what we might. For others who have too often been made to feel worthless, each failed attempt may create the feeling of being a total failure.”

“It was Erasmus who gave the West the paradox of the Wise Fool. In the literature of the Middle Ages, the Fool had played a minor role. But beginning with Erasmus’ book, In Praise of Folly, the Renaissance Fool stepped forward as a major figure in the humanist vision of man. Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, the bastard son of an obscure father, emerged as a great humanist who would be courted by princes, popes, and scholars of his age, a man whose Wise Fool would foster men’s self-acceptance for centuries to come.”

“Like Socrates, her only claim to wisdom is that she knows that she knows not.”

“Like all those later Fools, Don Quixote, Huck Finn, Chaplin’s little tramp, and the Marx Brothers, she does not comprehend what is expected of her by society. Like all clowns she is free to walk irreverently through the walls of convention, simply because she does not see that they exist. Often enough, these hollow boundaries collapse before the force of her ignorance.”

“The good judgment of the Wise is sometimes no more than the closed mindedness of those who know better.” I’d say Final Judgement.

“By accepting the Fool in myself, I open my imagination to all the possibilities that I was once too wise to consider.”

“So it is that when I was a young man I hoped to make fewer and fewer mistakes, while in my later life my ambition is to make more. I would sin boldly. Not that I have come to like feeling embarrassed. Not at all! Rather most of the time now it all just seems worth it to me to experience feeling foolish if that is the price of trying new ways of being.”

O palhaço que habita em mim saúda o palhaço que um dia habitará em você.

O homem ocidental se tornou zen para não apertar o botão da bomba; isso pausará sua existência cadavérica nesse mundo além de qualquer previsão legal… Eis o problema. O Último Homem aprendeu com seus erros logo após o penúltimo erro – que infortúnio e que pepino para nós! Se apenas houvesse uma máquina de auto-sepultamento, um suicídio assistido por si mesmo, uma auto-eutanásia no mais redundantemente literal dos zentidos… Ainda estamos impessoais demais diante do nosso instinto vital, não operamos a nossa própria máquina para comandar ações grandiloqüentes deste nível e desse porte! Asia Rise!

“A single individual’s solitary failing is painful, but the shared frailties of all men are ultimately comic. So it is that one stutterer is tragic, but like it or not, three stutterers having an argument is a funny scene.”

Seriousness is an accident of time. It consists in putting too high a value on time. In eternity there is no time. Eternity is a mere moment, just long enough for a joke” Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf

 

“Out of the Middle East comes the tradition of the Sufi, that mystical/intuitive aspect of Islam that ranges from the whirling trance states of the Dervishes to the teaching stories of that Wise Fool, Nasrudin. The Sufi tales offer the sort of folk wisdom that discloses that out of each situation comes its own remedy. Each mishap is an opportunity to learn if only our imagination is open to reappraising the source of our discomfort.”

Enjoy yourself, or try to learn—you will annoy someone. If you do not—you will annoy someone.”

 

Who is it who’s rejecting whom?… if somebody rejects me…who they think they’re rejecting isn’t me anyway.… By them pushing me away I see them caught in their own paranoia…” Baba Ram

Ser um incompreendido do meu tempo implica que eu mesmo não posso me compreender!

You don’t decide to give something up. They fall away, that’s the secret of it.”

 

It’s ok to fail on an impossible mission, right, Tom Cruise?

“Even when I am doing well, or being special, being judged is oppressive, carrying with it as it does the impossible ideal of perfection. How much easier is the freedom to be what I am, ordinary and imperfect as that may be, no more than a natural Fool.”

To witness my Self without blaming myself is like being a child again, only this time in a safe, warm place under the watchful eyes of loving parents. It is during such moments that I can accept whatever I do as no more than what I must do at that time. It is then that I would no more question the adequacy of what I am doing than I would wonder whether or not my cat knows just how to go about being a cat.”

Guru, If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!, by the same author.

MALLEUS MALEFICARUM (O MARTELO DA BRUXA) (com aproximadamente 30% de prólogos e prefácios, de facínoras ou não)

Kramer & Sprenger, 1486 (Summers,1928, 1948, [Wicca Society, 2001].

GLOSSÁRIO ENDEMONIADO POLIGLOTA

euhemerism: “The philosophy attributed to and named for Euhemerus, a Greek mythographer, holds that many mythological tales can be attributed to historical persons and events, the accounts of which have become altered and exaggerated over time.”

pitonisa: vidente, cartomante

zigurate: templo piramidal com terraplanagem (vários terraços configurando andares)

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PREFÁCIOS & INTRODUÇÕES GERAIS

Estimates of the death toll during the Inquisition worldwide range from 600,000 to as high as 9,000,000 (over its 250 year long course) (…) Thus has it been said that The Malleus Maleficarum is one of the most blood-soaked works in human history, in that its very existence reinforced and validated Catholic beliefs which led to the prosecution, torture, and murder of tens of thousands of innocent people.”

At the height of its popularity, The Malleus Maleficarum was surpassed in public notoriety only by The Bible. Its effects were even felt in the New World, where the last gasp of the Inquisition was felt in the English settlements in America (most notably in Salem, Massachusetts during the Salem Witch Trials).”

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A CARTA DO DIABO

IN the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen. Know all men by these presents, whosoever shall read, see or hear the tenor of this official and public document, that in the year of our Lord, 1487, upon a Saturday, being the 19th day of the month of May, at the 5th hour after noon, or thereabouts, in the third year of the Pontificate of our most Holy Father and Lord, the lord Innocent, by divine providence Pope, the 8th of that name, in the very and actual presence of me Arnold Kolich, public notary, and in the presence of the witnesses whose names are hereunder written and who were convened and especially summoned for this purpose, the Venerable and Very Reverend Father Henry Kramer, Professor of Sacred Theology, of the Order of Preachers, Inquisitor of heretical depravity, directly delegated thereto by the Holy See together with the Venerable and Very Reverend Father James Sprenger, Professor of Sacred Theology and Prior of the Dominican Convent at Cologne, being especially appointed as colleague of the said Father Henry Kramer, hath on behalf both of himself and his said colleague made known unto us and declared that the Supreme Pontiff now happily reigning, lord Innocent, Pope, as hath been set out above [tá bom, que estilo grogue até para um nOTÁRIO!], hath committed and granted by a bull duly signed and sealed unto the aforesaid Inquisitors (…) granted (…) the power of making search and inquiry into all heresies, and most especially into the heresy of witches, an abomination that thrives and waxes strong in these our unhappy days, and he has bidden them diligently to perform this duty throughout the five Archdioceses of the five Metropolitan Churches, that is to say, Mainz, Cologne, Trèves, Salzburg and Bremen, granting them every faculty of judging and proceeding against such even with the power of putting malefactors to death (…) upon the tenor of the Apostolic bull, which they hold and possess and have exhibited unto us, a document which is whole, entire, untouched, and in no way lacerated or impaired, in fine whose integrity is above any suspicion. And the tenor of the said bull commences thus: <Innocent, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, for an eternal remembrance. Desiring with the most heartfelt anxiety, even as Our Apostleship requires, that the Catholic Faith should be especially in this Our day increase and flourish everywhere, . . .> and it concludes thus: <Given at Rome, at S. Peter’s, on the 9 December of the Year of the Incarnation of Our Lord one thousand, four hundred and eighty-four, in the first Year of Our Pontificate.>” Ou seja: dois cretinos psicopatas levaram menos de 3 anos e ½ para escreverem esse verdadeiro TRATADO DE LESA-HUMANIDADE!

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There is left no doubt in the reader’s mind that Rev. Summers not only believed in the existence of witches as the Medieval Church perceived them, but felt that the Inquisition, and the Malleus, were both justified and necessary. In both of his introductions (especially the original 1928 introduction), he seems more intent on using the occasion to convince us that the murder of thousands of innocent people, for the crime of witchcraft, during the Inquisition was somehow noble, and that the authors of the Malleus, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, were visionaries of their time. One often finds the text of the introductions reading as if it had been written 500 years previously when the Malleus was originally published and the Inquisition was in full swing.”

There were 14 editions between 1487 and 1520, and at least 16 editions between 1574 and 1669. There are modern translations as well: Der Hexenhammer, J.W.R. Schmidt, 1906, and this one.”

This famous document should interest the historian, the student of witchcraft and the occult, and the psychologist who is interested in the medieval mind as it was confronted with various forces which could only be explained as witchcraft.”

Those readers whose familiarity with The Bible comes from the King James Version may be surprised by the references to these <obscure> books of The Bible, such as Paralipomenon, Apocalypse, Judith, and Tobias. These books were originally a part of The Bible, but were cut from the King James version as it was developed. They exist today primarily as a part of the Douay Rheims Version of The Bible, which is widely used by Catholics.”

DATAÇÃO POR CARBONO-14! “Many participants in this project have questioned my determination to transcribe the text of the Malleus Maleficarum by hand, as opposed to scanning the pages and using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to generate the text. While it is certain that the latter would prove more expedient and see the online edition posted much sooner, transcribing the text, while more labor intensive, ensures a more accurate translation to HTML format.” “In an age in which the Malleus Maleficarum could again achieve a relevance in the hands of radical Christian leaders, the accuracy of this online translation is, I believe, all-important.” Lovelace, 1998

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SOBRE A BULA DO CULPÊNCIO OITAVO

It has indeed lately come to Our ears, not without afflicting Us with bitter sorrow, that in some parts of Northern Germany, as well as in the provinces, townships, territories, districts, and dioceses of Mainz, Cologne, Trèves, Salzburg, and Bremen, many persons of both sexes, unmindful of their own salvation and straying from the Catholic Faith, have abandoned themselves to devils, incubi and succubi, and by their incantations, spells, conjurations, and other accursed charms and crafts, enormities and horrid offences, have slain infants yet in the mother’s womb, as also the offspring of cattle, have blasted the produce of the earth, the grapes of the vine, the fruits of the trees, nay, men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, vineyards, orchards, meadows, pasture-land, corn, wheat, and all other cereals; these wretches furthermore afflict and torment men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, with terrible and piteous pains and sore diseases, both internal and external; they hinder men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving, whence husbands cannot know their wives nor wives receive their husbands; over and above this, they blasphemously renounce that Faith which is theirs by the Sacrament of Baptism, and at the instigation of the Enemy of Mankind they do not shrink from committing and perpetrating the foulest abominations and filthiest excesses to the deadly peril of their own souls, whereby they outrage the Divine Majesty and are a cause of scandal and danger to very many. And although (…) Henry Kramer and James Sprenger (…) have been by Letters Apostolic delegated as Inquisitors of these heretical pravities, and still are Inquisitors, the first in the aforesaid parts of Northern Germany, wherein are included those aforesaid townships, districts, dioceses, and other specified localities, and the second in certain territories which lie along the borders of the Rhine, nevertheless not a few clerics and lay-folk of those countries, seeking too curiously to know more than concerns them, since in the aforesaid delegatory letters there is no express and specific mention by name of these provinces, townships, dioceses, and districts, and further since the 2 delegates themselves and the abominations they are to encounter are not designated in detailed and particular fashion, these persons are not ashamed to contend with the most unblushing effrontery that these enormities are not practised in these provinces, and consequently the aforesaid Inquisitors have no legal right to exercise their powers of inquisition in the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, and territories, which have been rehearsed, and that the Inquisitors may not proceed to punish, imprison, and penalize criminals convicted of the heinous offences and many wickednesses which have been set forth. Accordingly in the aforesaid provinces, townships, dioceses, and districts, the abominations and enormities in question remain unpunished not without open danger to the souls of many and peril of eternal damnation.”

We decree and enjoin that the aforesaid Inquisitors be empowered to proceed to the just correction, imprisonment, and punishment of any persons, without let or hindrance, in every way as if the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, yea, even the persons and their crimes in this kind were named and particularly designated in Our letters.”

We grant permission to the aforesaid Inquisitors, to one separately or to both, as also to Our dear son John Gremper, priest of the diocese of Constance, Master of Arts, their notary, or to any other public notary, who shall be by them, or by one of them, temporarily delegated to those provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, and aforesaid territories, to proceed, according to the regulations of the Inquisition, against any persons of whatsoever rank and high estate, correcting, fining, imprisoning, punishing, as their crimes merit, those whom they have found guilty, the penalty being adapted to the offence.”

DISSIMULANDIBUS: “excommunication, suspension, interdict, and yet more terrible penalties, censures, and punishment, as may seem good to him, and that without any right of appeal, and if he will he may by Our authority aggravate and renew these penalties as often as he list, calling in, if so please him, the help of the secular arm.

Non obstantibus . . . Let no man therefore . . . But if any dare to do so, which God forbid, let him know that upon him will fall the wrath of Almighty God, and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

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Witchcraft was inextricably mixed with politics. Matthew Paris tells us how in 1232 the Chief Justice Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, (Shakespeare’s <gentle Hubert> in King John), was accused by Peter do (sic) Roches, Bishop of Winchester, of having won the favour of Henry III through <charms and incantations>. In 1324 there was a terrific scandal at Coventry when it was discovered that a number of the richest and most influential burghers of the town had long been consulting with Master John, a professional necromancer, and paying him large sums to bring about by his arts the death of Edward II and several nobles of the court. Alice Perrers, the mistress of Edward III, was not only reputed to have infatuated the old king by occult spells, but her physician (believed to be a mighty sorcerer) was arrested on a charge of confecting love philtres and talismans. Henry V, in the autumn of 1419, prosecuted his stepmother, Joan of Navarre, for attempting to kill him by witchcraft, <in the most horrible manner that one could devise.> The conqueror of Agincourt was exceedingly worried about the whole wretched business, as also was the Archbishop of Canterbury, who ordered public prayers for the king’s safety. In the reign of his son, Henry VI, in 1441, one of the highest and noblest ladies in the realm, Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, was arraigned for conspiring with <a clerk>, Roger Bolingbroke, <a most notorious evoker of demons>, and <the most famous scholar in the whole world in astrology and magic>, to procure the death of the young monarch by sorcery, so that the Duke of Gloucester, Henry’s uncle and guardian, might succeed to the crown.¹ In this plot were further involved Canon Thomas Southwell, and a <relapsed witch>, that is to say, one who had previously (11 years before) been incarcerated upon grave suspicion of black magic, Margery Jourdemayne. Bolingbroke, whose confession implicated the Duchess, was hanged; Canon Southwell died in prison; the witch in Smithfield was <burn’d to Ashes>, since her offence was high treason. The Duchess was sentenced to a most degrading public penance, and imprisoned for life in Peel Castle, Isle of Man. Richard III, upon seizing the throne in 1483, declared that the marriage of his brother, Edward IV, with the Lady Elizabeth Grey, had been brought about by <sorcery and witchcraft>, and further that <Edward’s wife, that monstrous witch, has plotted with Jane Shore to waste and wither his body.> Poor Jane Shore did most exemplary penance, walking the flinty streets of London barefoot in her kirtle. In the same year when Richard wanted to get rid of the Duke of Buckingham, his former ally, one of the chief accusations he launched was that the Duke consulted with a Cambridge <necromancer> to compass and devise his death.

One of the most serious and frightening events in the life of James VII of Scotland (afterwards James I of England) was the great conspiracy of 1590, organized by the Earl of Bothwell. James with good reason feared and hated Bothwell, who, events amply proved, was Grand Master of more than 100 witches, all adepts in poisoning, and all eager to do away with the King. In other words, Francis Stewart, Earl of Bothwell, was the centre and head of a vast political plot. A widespread popular panic was the result of the discovery of this murderous conspiracy. In France as early as 583, when the infant son and heir of King Chilperic, died of dysentery, as the doctors diagnosed it, it came to light that Mumolus, one of the leading officials of the court, had been secretly administering to the child medicines, which he obtained from <certain witches of Paris>. These potions were pronounced by the physicians to be strong poisons. In 1308, Guichard, Bishop of Troyes, was accused of having slain by sorcery the Queen of Philip IV of France (1285-1314), Jeanne of Navarre, who died three years before [1305]. The trial dragged on from 1308 to 1313, and many witnesses attested on oath that the prelate had continually visited certain notorious witches, who supplied him philtres and draughts. In 1315, during the brief reign (1314-1316) of Louis X, the eldest son of Philip IV, was hanged Enguerrand de Marigny, chamberlain, privy councillor, and chief favourite of Philip, whom, it was alleged, he had bewitched to gain the royal favour. The fact, however, which sealed his doom was his consultation with one Jacobus de Lor, a warlock [bruxo], who was to furnish a nostrum warranted to put a very short term to the life of King Louis. Jacobus strangled himself in prison.

In 1317 Hugues Géraud, Bishop of Cahors, was executed by Pope John XXII, who reigned 1316-1334, residing at Avignon. Langlois says that the Bishop had attempted the Pontiff’s life by poison procured from witches.

Perhaps the most resounding of all scandals of this kind in France was the La Voison case, 1679-1682, when it was discovered that Madame de Montespan had for years been trafficking with a gang of poisoners and sorcerers, who plotted the death of the Queen and the Dauphan, so that Louis XIV might be free to wed Athénais de Montespan, whose children should inherit the throne. The Duchesse de Fontanges, a beautiful young country girl, who had for a while attracted the wayward fancy of Louis, they poisoned out of hand. Money was poured out like water, and it has been said that <the entire floodtide of poison, witchcraft and diabolism was unloosed> to attain the ends of that <marvellous beauty> (so Mme. de Sévigné calls her), the haughty and reckless Marquise de Montespan. In her thwarted fury she well nigh resolved to sacrifice Louis himself to her overweening ambition and her boundless pride. The highest names in France – the Princesse de Tingry, the Duchesse de Vitry, the Duchesse de Lusignan, the Duchesse de Bouillon, the Comtesse de Soissons, the Duc de Luxembourg, the Marguis de Cessac – scores of the older aristocracy, were involved, whilst literally hundreds of venal apothecaries, druggists, pseudo-alchemists, astrologers, quacks, warlocks, magicians, charlatans, who revolved round the ominous and terrible figure of Catherine La Voisin, professional seeress, fortune-teller, herbalist, beauty-specialist, were caught in the meshes [teias] of law. No less than 11 volumes of François Ravaison’s huge work, Archives de la Bastille, are occupied with this evil crew and their doings, their sorceries and their poisonings. [Livro-pédia que não podemos deixar de perder!]

During the reign of Urban VIII, Maffeo Barberini, 1623-1644, there was a resounding scandal at Rome when it was discovered that <after many invocations of demons> Giacinto Contini, nephew of the Cardinal d’Ascoli, had been plotting with various accomplices to put an end to the Pope’s life, and thus make way for the succession of his uncle to the Chair of Peter. Tommaso Orsolini of Recanate, moreover, after consulting with certain scryers and planetarians, readers of the stars, was endeavouring to bribe the apothecary Carcurasio of Naples to furnish him with a quick poison, which might be mingled with the tonics and electuaries prescribed for the ailing Pontiff, (Ranke, History of the Popes, ed. 1901, Vol. III, pp. 375-6).”

¹ Se essas coisas fossem mesmo dotadas do mais remoto interesse, Shakespeare usaria muito de magia negra para apimentar suas peças, o que, vê-se, passa longe de ser o caso.

Jean Bodin, the famous jurisconsult (1530-90) whom Montaigne acclaims to be the highest literary genius of his time, and who, as a leading member of the Parlement de Paris, presided over important trials, gives it as his opinion that there existed, not only in France, a complete organization of witches, immensely wealthy, of almost infinite potentialities, most cleverly captained, with centres and cells in every district, utilizing an espionage in ever land, with high-placed adherents at court, with humble servitors in the cottage.”

Not the least dreaded and dreadful weapon in their armament was the ancient and secret knowledge of poisons (veneficia), of herbs healing and hurtful, a tradition and a lore which had been handed down from remotest antiquity.”

Little wonder, then, that later social historians, such as Charles MacKay and Lecky, both absolutely impartial and unprejudiced writers, sceptical even, devote many pages, the result of long and laborious research, to witchcraft. (…) The profoundest thinkers, the acutest and most liberal minds of their day, such men as Cardan; Trithemius; the encylcopædic Delrio; Bishop Binsfeld; the learned physician, Caspar Peucer; Sir Edward Coke, <father of the English law>; Francis Bacon; Malebranche; Bayle; Glanvil; Thomas Browne; Cotton Mather; all these, and scores besides, were convinced of the dark reality of witchcraft, of the witch organization.”

The latest reprint of the original text of the Malleus is to be found in the noble 4-volume collection of Treatises on Witchcraft, <sumptibus Claudii Bourgeat>, 4to., Lyons, 1669.”

It was implicitly accepted not only by Catholic but by Protestant legislature. In fine, it is not too much to say that the Malleus Maleficarum is among the most important, wisest, and weightiest books of the world.

It has been asked whether Kramer or Sprenger was principally responsible for the Malleus, but in the case of so close a collaboration any such inquiry seems singularly superfluous and nugatory. With regard to instances of jointed authorship, unless there be some definite declaration on the part of one of the authors as to his particular share in a work, or unless there be some unusual and special circumstances bearing on the point, such perquisitions and analysis almost inevitably resolve themselves into a cloud of guess-work and bootless hazardry and vague perhaps. It becomes a game of literary blind-man’s-bluff.

Heinrich Kramer was born at Schlettstadt, a town of Lower Alsace, situated some 26 miles south-west of Strasburg. At an early age he entered the Order of S. Dominic, and so remarkable was his genius that whilst still a young man he was appointed to the position of Prior of the Dominican House at his native town. He was a Preacher-General and a Master of Sacred Theology. P.G. and S.T.M., two distinctions in the Dominican Order. At some date before 1474 he was appointed an Inquisitor for the Tyrol, Salzburg, Bohemia, and Moravia. His eloquence in the pulpit and tireless activity received due recognition at Rome, and for many years he was Spiritual Director of the great Dominican church at Salzburg, and the right-hand of the Archbishop of Salzburg, a munificent prelate who praises him highly in a letter which is still extant.” “In 1495, the Master General of the Order, Fr. Joaquín de Torres, O.P., summoned Kramer to Venice in order that he might give public lectures, disputations which attracted crowded audiences, and which were honoured by the presence and patronage of the Patriarch of Venice. He also strenuously defended the Papal supremacy, confuting the De Monarchia of the Paduan jurisconsult, Antonio degli Roselli. At Venice he resided at the priory of Santi Giovanni e Paolo (S. Zanipolo). During the summer of 1497, he had returned to Germany, and was living at the convent of Rohr, near Regensburg. On 31 January, 1500, Alexander VI appointed him as Nuncio and Inquisitor of Bohemia and Moravia, in which provinces he was deputed and empowered to proceed against the Waldenses and Picards, as well as against the adherents of the witch-society.” “His chief works, in addition to the Malleus, are: Several Discourses and Various Sermons upon the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, Nuremberg, 1496; A Tract Confuting the Errors of Master Antonio degli Roselli, Venice, 1499; and The Shield of Defence of the Holy Roman Church Against the Picards and Waldenses, an incunabulum, without date, but almost certainly 1499-1500. Many learned authors quote and refer to these treatises in terms of highest praise.”

James Sprenger was born in Basel, 1436-8 [que parto longo]. He was admitted a novice in the Dominican house of this town in 1452. His extraordinary genius attracted immediate attention, and his rise to a responsible position was very rapid. According to Pierre Hélyot, the Franciscan (1680-1716), Histoire des Ordres Religieux, III (1715), ch. XXVI, in 1389 Conrad of Prussia abolished certain relaxations and abuses which had crept into the Teutonic Province of the Order of S. Dominic, and restored the Primitive and Strict Obedience. He was closely followed by Sprenger, whose zealous reform was so warmly approved that in 1468 the General Chapter ordered him to lecture on the sentences of Peter Lombard at the University of Cologne, to which he was thus officially attached. A few years later he proceeded Master of Theology, and was elected Prior and Regent of Studies of the Cologne Convent, one of the most famous and frequented Houses of the Order. On 30 June, 1480, he was elected Dean of the Faculty of Theology at the University. His lecture-room was thronged, and in the following year, at the Chapter held in Roma, the Master General of the Order, Fra Salvo Cusetta, appointed him Inquisitor Extraordinary for the Provinces of Mainz, Trèves, and Cologne. His activities were enormous, and demanded constant journeyings through the very extensive district to which he had been assigned. In 1488 he was elected Provincial of the whole German Province, an office of the first importance [ah, o século!]. It is said that his piety and his learning impressed all who came in contact with him. In 1495 he was residing at Cologne, and here he received a letter from Alexander VI praising his enthusiasm and his energy.” “Among Sprenger’s other writings, excepting the Malleus, are The Paradoxes of John of Westphalia Refuted, Mainz, 1479, a closely argued treatise; and The Institution and Approbation of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary, which was first erected at Cologne on 8 September in the year 1475. Sprenger may well be called the Apostle of the Rosary. None more fervent than he in spreading this Dominican elevation.”

Certain it is that the Malleus Maleficarum is the most solid, the most important work in the whole vast library of witchcraft. One turns to it again and again with edification and interest: From the point of psychology, from the point of jurisprudence, from the point of history, it is supreme. It has hardly too much to say that later writers, great as they are, have done little more than draw from the seemingly inexhaustible wells of wisdom which the two Dominicans, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, have given us” “What is most surprising is the modernity of the book. There is hardly a problem, a complex, a difficulty, which they have not foreseen, and discussed, and resolved.”

The Malleus Maleficarum is one of the world’s few books written sub specie aeternitatis.

Montague Summers.

7 October, 1946.”

6 6 6

Sometimes, no doubt, primitive communities were obliged to tolerate the witch and her works owing to fear; in other words, witchcraft was a kind of blackmail; but directly Cities were able to coordinate, and it became possible for Society to protect itself, precautions were taken and safeguards were instituted against this curse, this bane whose object seemed to blight all that was fair, all that was just and good, and that was well-appointed and honourable, in a word, whose aim proved to be set up on high the red standard of revolution; to overwhelm religion, existing order, and the comeliness of life in an abyss of anarchy, nihilism, and despair. In his great treatise De Civitate Dei S. Augustine set forth the theory, or rather the living fact, of the two Cities, the City of God, and the opposing stronghold of all that is not for God, that is to say, of all that is against Him. [humanity itself]”

and nations who had never heard the Divine command put into practice the obligation of the Mosaic maxim: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Vulgate: Maleficos non patieris vivere. Douay: Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live. Exodus, 22:18.)” // “A feiticeira não deixarás viver.” Êxodo 22:18

It is true that both in the Greek and in the earlier Roman cults, worships often directly derived from secret and sombre sources, ancient gods, or rather demons, had their awful superstitions and their horrid rites, powers whom men dreaded but out of very terror placated; fanes [templos] men loathed but within whose shadowed portals they bent and bowed the knee perforce in trembling fear. Such deities were the Thracian Bendis [a nova Ártemis; ver referências aos jogos e festivais incluindo corridas de cavalos noturnas n’A República], whose manifestation was heralded by the howling of her fierce black hounds, and Hecate the terrible <Queen of the realm of ghosts>, as Euripides calls her, and the vampire Mormo [espécie de bicho-papão da Antiguidade: mas pelo menos era uma mulher! Posteriormente, Lamia] and the dark Summanus who at midnight hurled loud thunderbolts and launched the deadly levin [relâmpago] through the starless sky [Curiosa espécie de anti-Zeus, o Deus do Trovão Diruno. Milton e Camões equiparam-no a Hades.]. Pliny tells us that the worship of this mysterious deity lasted long, and dogs with their puppies were sacrificed to him with atrocious cruelty, but S. Augustine says that in his day <one could scarce find one within a while, that had heard, nay more, that had read so much as the name of Summanus> (De Civitate Dei, 4:23). (…) Towards the end of the 5th century, the Carthaginian Martianus Capella boldly declares that Summanus is none other than the lord of Hell, and he was writing, it may be remembered, only a few years before the birth of S. Benedict(*); some think that he was still alive when the Father of All Monks was born.”

(*) “The Medal of S. Benedict has been found to be extremely potent against all evil spells.”

many strange legends attached to the island of Lemnos, which is situated in the Aegaean Sea, nearly midway between Mt. Athos and the Hellespoint. It is one of the largest of the group, having an area of some 147 square miles. Lemnos was sacred to Hephaestus, who is said to have fallen here when hurled by Zeus from Olympus.” “It should further be noted that the old Italian deity Volcanus, with whom he was to be identified, is the god of destructive fire – fire considered in its rage and terror, as contrasted with fire which is a comfort to the human race, the kindly blaze on the hearth, domestic fire, presided over by the gracious lady Vesta. It is impossible not to think of the fall of Lucifer when one considers the legend of Hephaestus. Our Lord replied, when the disciples reported: Domine, etiam daemonia subiiciuntur nobis in nomine tuo (Lord, the devils also are subject to us in Thy Name), Videbam Satanam sicut fulgur de coelo cadentem (I saw Satan like lightning falling from Heaven); and Isaias says: Quomodo cecidisti de coelo, Lucifer, qui mane oriebaris? Corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes? (How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? How art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations?). Milton also has the following poetic allusion:

Nor was his name unheard or unador’d

In Ancient Greece; and in Ausonian land

Men called him Mulciber; and how he fell

From Heav’n, they fabl’d, thrown by angry Jove

Sheer o’er the Chrystal Battlements: from Morn

To Noon he fell, from Noon to dewy Eve,

A Summers day; and with the setting Sun

Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star,

On Lemnos th’Ægæan Ile: thus they relate,

Erring; for he with his rebellious rout

Fell long before; nor aught avail’d him now

To have built in Heav’n high Towers; nor did he scape

By all his Engines, but was headlong sent

With his industrious crew to build in hell.”

Paraíso Perdido, 1:738-51

Levar poeta a sério é pedir pra se queimar na fogueira de São João!

Hephaestus, especially in later days, is represented with one leg shortened to denote his lameness; and throughout the Middle Ages it was popularly believed that his cloven hoof was the one feature which the devil was unable to disguise. In this connexion with Loki, the Vulcan of Northern Europe, will be readily remembered.”

É Hefesto o Lúcifer pagão ou não seria apenas Lúcifer o Hefesto cristão, que não saberá nunca dar a volta por cima? Mas na verdade ele tinha amores, era excelente ferreiro, e foi afinal perdoado e regressou ao Olimpo, pleno de honras!

There were also dark histories of murder and blood connected with Lemnos. When the Argonauts landed here they found it inhabited only by Amazons, who, having murdered all their husbands, had chosen as their queen Hypsipyle, daughter of Thoas, whom she secretly preserved alive. When this was discovered the unfortunate woman was compelled to leave the island, and being subsequently captured by pirates she was sold to Lycurgus, king of the sacred groves that surrounded the temple of Zeus Nemeus in a remote Argive valley. Hypsipyle here became the nurse of the mysterious child Archemorus, the Forerunner of Death, who was bitten by a magic serpent and vanished, portending the doom of the Seven who went against Thebes.”

It is curious to remark that a certain red clay (terra Lemnia) found on the island was, as Pliny tells us, employed as a remedy for wounds, and especially the bite of a snake.”

In Rome black magic was punished as a capital offence by the Law of the Twelve Tables, which are to be assigned to the 5th century B.C., and, as Livy records, from time to time Draconian statutes were directed against those who attempted to blight crops and vineyards or to spread rinderpest amongst flocks and cattle. Nonetheless it is evident from many Latin authors and from the historians that Rome swarmed with occultists and diviners, many of whom in spite of the Lex Cornelia almost openly traded in poisons, and not infrequently in assassination to boot. Sometimes, as in the Middle Ages, a circumstance of which the Malleus Maleficarum most particularly complains, the sorcerers were protected by men of wealth and high estate. This was especially the case in the terrible days of Marius and of Catiline, and during the extreme decadence of the latest Caesars. Yet, paradoxical as it may appear, such emperors as Augustus, Tiberius, and Septimius Severus, whilst banishing from their realms all seers and necromancers, and putting them to death, in private entertained astrologers and wizards among their retinue, consulting their art upon each important occasion, and often even in the everyday and ordinary affairs of life.”

stern and constant official opposition to witchcraft, and the prohibition under severest penalties, the sentence of death itself, of any practice or pursuit of these dangerous and irreligious arts, was demonstrably not a product of Christianity, but had long and necessarily been employed in the heathen world and among pagan peoples and among polytheistic societies. Moreover, there are even yet savage communities who visit witchcraft with death.”

If the disease is universal, the medicine must be sharp.”

a song or a country dance mayhap, innocent enough on the surface, and even pleasing, so often were but the cloak and the mask for something devilish and obscene, that the Church deemed it necessary to forbid and proscribe the whole superstition even when it manifested itself in modest fashion and seemed guileless, innoxious, and of no account.”

I knok this rage upone this stane

To raise the wind in the divellis name,

It sall not lye till I please againe.”

Cântico de bruxas escocesas

A pagan diviner or haruspex could only follow his vocation under very definite restrictions. He was not allowed to be an intimate visitor at the house of any citizen, for friendship with men of this kind must be avoided. The haruspex who frequents the houses of others shall die at the stake, such is the tenor of the code. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that almost every year saw a more rigid application of the laws; although even as today, when fortune-telling and peering into the future are forbidden by the Statute Book, diviners and mediums abound, so then in spite of every prohibition astrologers, clairvoyants, and psalmists had an enormous clientèle of rich and poor alike.

The early legal codes of most European nations contain laws directed against witchcraft. Thus, for example, the oldest document of Frankish legislation, the Salic Law (Lex salica), which was reduced to a written form and promulgated under Clovis, who died 27 November, 511, mulcts (sic) those who practise magic with various fines, especially when it could be proven that the accused launched a deadly curse, or had tied the Witch’s Knot. This latter charm was usually a long cord tightly tied up in elaborate loops, among whose reticulations it was customary to insert the feathers of a black hen, a raven, or some other bird which had, or was presumed to have, no speck of white. This is one of the oldest instruments of witchcraft and is known in all countries and among all nations. It was put to various uses. The wizards of Finland sold wind in the three knots of a rope. If the first knot were undone a gentle breeze sprang up; if the second, it blew a mackerel gale; if the third, a hurricane. But the Witch’s Ladder, as it was often known, could be used with far more baleful effects. The knots were tied with certain horrid maledictions, and then the cord was hidden away in some secret place, and unless it were found and the strands released the person at whom the curse was directed would pine and die. This charm continually occurs during the trials. Thus in the celebrated Island-Magee case, March 1711, when a coven of witches was discovered, it was remarked that an apron belonging to Mary Dunbar, a visitor at the house of the afflicted persons, had been abstracted. Miss Dunbar was suddenly seized with fits and convulsions, and sickened almost to death. After most diligent search the missing garment was found carefully hidden away and covered over, and a curious string which had nine knots in it had been so tied up with the folds of the linen that it was beyond anything difficult to separate them and loosen the ligatures. In 1886 in the old belfry of a village church in England there were accidentally discovered, pushed away in a dark corner, several yards of incle braided with elaborate care and having a number of black feathers thrust through the strands. It is said that for a long while considerable wonder was caused as to what it might be, but when it was exhibited and became known, one of the local grandmothers recognized it was a Witch’s Ladder, and, what is extremely significant, when it was engraved in the Folk Lore Journal an old Italian woman to whom the picture was shown immediately identified it as la ghirlanda delle streghe.”

In 578, when a son of Queen Fredegonde died, a number of witches who were accused of having contrived the destruction of the Prince were executed. (…) what else was there left for the Church to do?” Yea, what else?

HISTERIA COLETIVA: “In 814, Louis le Pieux upon his accession to the throne began to take very active measures against all sorcerers and necromancers, and it was owing to his influence and authority that the Council of Paris in 829 appealed to the secular courts to carry out any such sentences as the Bishops might pronounce. The consequence was that from this time forward the penalty of witchcraft was death, and there is evidence that if the constituted authority, either ecclesiastical or civil, seemed to slacken in their efforts the populace took the law into their own hands with far more fearful results.”

MEDIDAS PROFILÁTICAS:It is quite plain that such a man as Frederick II, whose whole philosophy was entirely Oriental; who was always accompanied by a retinue of Arabian ministers, courtiers, and officers; who was perhaps not without reason suspected of being a complete agnostic, recked little whether heresy and witchcraft might be offences against the Church or not, but he was sufficiently shrewd to see that they gravely threatened the well-being of the State, imperilling the maintenance of civilization and the foundations of society.”

QUANTA BONDADE ECLESIÁSTICA, DEIXAR A PENA DE MORTE PARA O ESTADO! “It may be well here very briefly to consider the somewhat complicated history of the establishment of the Inquisition, which was, it must be remembered, the result of the tendencies and growth of many years, by no means a judicial curia with cut-and-dried laws and a complete procedure suddenly called into being by one stroke of a Papal pen. In the first place, S.[atan] Dominic was in no sense the founder of the Inquisition. Certainly during the crusade in Languedoc he was present, reviving religion and reconciling the lapsed, but he was doing no more than S. Paul or any of the Apostles would have done. The work of S. Dominic was preaching and the organization of his new Order, which received Papal confirmation from Honorius III, and was approved in the Bull Religiosam vitam, 22 December, 1216. S. Dominic died 6 August, 1221, and even if we take the word in a very broad sense, the first Dominican Inquisitor seems to have been Alberic, who in November, 1232, was travelling through Lombardy with the official title of Inquisitor hereticae pravitatis. The whole question of the episcopal Inquisitors, who were really the local bishop, his arch-deacons, and his diocesan court, and their exact relationship with the travelling Inquisitors, who were mainly drawn from the two Orders of friars, the Franciscan and the Dominican, is extremely nice and complicated; whilst the gradual effacement of the episcopal courts with regard to certain matters and the consequent prominence of the Holy Office were circumstances and conditions which realized themselves slowly enough in all countries, and almost imperceptibly in some districts, as necessity required, without any sudden break or sweeping changes. In fact we find that the Franciscan or Dominican Inquisitor simply sat as an assessor in the episcopal court so that he could be consulted upon certain technicalities and deliver sentence conjointly with the Bishop if these matters were involved. Thus at the trial of Gilles de Rais in October, 1440, at Nantes, the Bishop of Nantes presided over the court with the bishops of Le Mans, Saint-Brieuc, and Saint-Lo as his coadjutors, whilst Pierre de l’Hospital, Chencellor of Brittany, watched the case on behalf of the civil authorities, and Frère Jean Blouin was present as the delegate of the Holy Inquisition for the city and district of Nantes. Owing to the multiplicity of the crimes, which were proven and clearly confessed in accordance with legal requirements, it was necessary to pronounce two sentences. The first sentence was passed by the Bishop of Nantes conjointly with the Inquisitor. By them Gilles de Rais was declared guilty of Satanism, sorcery, and apostasy, and there and then handed over to the civil arm to receive the punishment due to such offences. The second sentence, pronounced by the Bishop alone, declared the prisoner convicted of sodomy, sacrilege, and violation of ecclesiastical rights. The ban of excommunication was lifted since the accused had made a clean breast of his crimes and desired to be reconciled, but he was handed over to the secular court, who sentenced him to death, on multiplied charges of murder as well as on account of the aforesaid offences.”

Today the word heresy seems to be as obsolete and as redolent of a Wardour-street vocabulary as if one were to talk of a game of cards at Crimp or Incertain, and to any save a dusty mediaevalist it would appear to be an antiquarian term.” MORTE AOS COMUNAS! “The heretics were just as resolute and just as practical, that is to say, just as determined to bring about the domination of their absolutism as is any revolutionary of today. The aim and objects of their leaders, Tanchelin, Everwacher, the Jew Manasses, Peter Waldo, Pierre Autier, Peter of Bruys, Arnold of Brescia, and the rest, were exactly those of Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, and their fellows.”

Their objects may be summed up as the abolition of monarchy, the abolition of private property and of inheritance, the abolition of marriage, the abolition of order, the total abolition of all religion. It was against this that the Inquisition had to fight, and who can be surprised if, when faced with so vast a conspiracy, the methods employed by the Holy Office may not seem – if the terrible conditions are conveniently forgotten – a little drastic, a little severe? There can be no doubt that had this most excellent tribunal continued to enjoy its full prerogative and the full exercise of its salutary powers, the world at large would be in a far happier and far more orderly position today. Historians may point out diversities and dissimilarities between the teaching of the Waldenses, the Albigenses, the Henricans, the Poor Men of Lyons, the Cathari, the Vaudois, the Bogomiles, and the Manichees, but they were in reality branches and variants of the same dark fraternity, just as the Third International, the Anarchists, the Nihilists, and the Bolsheviks are in every sense, save the mere label, entirely identical.”

There is an apparent absence of motive in this seemingly aimless campaign of destruction to extermination carried on by the Bolsheviks in Russia, which has led many people to inquire what the objective can possibly be. So unbridled are the passions, so general the demolition, so terrible the havoc, that hard-headed individuals argue that so complete a chaos and such revolting outrages could only be affected by persons who were enthusiasts in their own cause and who had some very definite aims thus positively to pursue. The energizing forces of this fanaticism, this fervent zeal, do not seem to be anymore apparent than the end, hence more than one person has hesitated to accept accounts so alarming of massacres and carnage, or wholesale imprisonments, tortures, and persecutions, and has begun to suspect that the situation may be grossly exaggerated in the overcharged reports of enemies and the highly-coloured gossip of scare-mongers.” EUREKA!

Nearly a century and a half ago Anacharsis Clootz(*), <the personal enemy of Jesus Christ> as he openly declared himself, was vociferating God is Evil, To me then Lucifer, Satan! whoever you may be, the demon that the faith of my fathers opposed to God and the Church. This is the credo of the witch.”

(*) Bases constitutionnelles de la République du genre humain, Paris, 1793

Revolucionário francês de tendências cosmopolitas (globais) à frente de seu tempo.

Naturally, although the Masters were often individuals of high rank and deep learning, that rank and file of the society, that is to say, those who for the most part fell into the hands of justice, were recruited from the least educated classes, the ignorant and the poor [já vi isso em algum lugar…]. As one might suppose, many of the branches or covens in remoter districts knew nothing and perhaps could have understood nothing of the enormous system. Nevertheless, as small cogs in a very small wheel, it might be, they were carrying on the work and actively helping to spread the infection. It is an extremely significant fact that the last regularly official trial and execution for witchcraft in Western Europe was that of Anna Göldi, who was hanged at Glaris in Switzerland, 17 June, 1782(*). Seven years before, in 1775, the villian Adam Weishaupt, who has been truly described by Louis Blanc as <the profoundest conspirator that has ever existed,> formed his <terrible and formidable sect>, the Illuminati. The code of this mysterious movement lays down: <it is also necessary to gain the common people (das gemeine Volk) to our Order. The great means to that end is influence in the schools.>“So in the prosecutions at Würzburg we find that there were condemned boys of 10 and 11, two choir boys aged 12, <a boy of 12-years-old in one of the lower forms of the school>, <the two young sons of the Prince’s cook, the eldest 14, the younger 12>, several pages and seminarists, as well as a number of young girls, amongst whom <a child of 9 or 10 and her little sister> were involved.”

(*) Nota corretiva (do próprio reverendo na segunda edição?): “The last trial and judicial execution in Europe itself was probably that of two aged beldames, Satanists, who were burned at the stake in Poland, 1793, the year of the Second Partition, during the reign of Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski.” Mas parece que a correção do reverendo estava errada, prevalecendo a primeira versão, conforme wiki e outras fontes…

In England in the year 1324 no less than 27 defendants were tried at the King’s Bench for plotting against and endeavouring to kill Edward II, together with many prominent courtiers and officials, by the practice of magical arts. A number of wealthy citizens of Coventry had hired a famous <nigromauncer>, John of Nottingham, to slay not only the king, but also the royal favourite, Hugh le Despenser, and his father; the Prior of Coventry; the monastic steward; the manciple; and a number of other important personages. A secluded old manor-house, some 2 or 3 miles out of Coventry, was put at the disposal of Master John, and there he and his servant, Robert Marshall, promptly commenced business. They went to work in the bad old-fashioned way of modelling wax dolls or mommets of those whom they wished to destroy. Long pins were thrust through the figures, and they were slowly melted before a fire.(*) The first unfortunate upon whom this experiment was tried, Richard de Sowe, a prominent courtier and close friend of the king, was suddenly taken with agonizing pains, and when Marshall visited the house, as if casually, in order that he might report the results of this sympathetic sorcery to the wizard, he found their hapless victim in a high delirium. When this state of things was promptly conveyed to him, Master John struck a pin through the heart of the image, and in the morning the news reached them that de Sowe had breathed his last. Marshall, who was by now in an extremity of terror, betook himself to a justice and laid bare all that was happening and had happened, with the immediate result that Master John and the gang of conspirators were arrested. It must be remembered that in 1324 the final rebellion against king Edward II had openly broken forth on all sides. A truce of 13 years had been arranged with Scotland, and though the English might refuse Bruce his royal title he was henceforward the warrior king of an independent country. It is true that in May, 1322, the York Parliament had not only reversed the exile of the Despensers, declaring the pardons which had been granted their opponents null and void, as well as voting for the repeal of the Ordinances of 1311, and the Despensers were working for, and fully alive to the necessity of, good and stable government, but nonetheless the situation was something more than perilous; the Exchequer was well-nigh drained; there was rioting and bloodshed in almost every large town; and worst of all, in 1323 the younger Roger Mortimer had escaped from the Tower and got away safely to the Continent. There were French troubles to boot; Charles IV, who in 1322 had succeeded to the throne, would accept no excuse from Edward for any postponement of homage, and in this very year, 1324, declaring the English possessions forfeited, he proceeded to occupy the territory with an army, when it soon became part of the French dominion. There can be not doubt that the citizens of Coventry were political intriguers, and since they were at the moment unable openly to rebel against their sovran lord, taking advantage of the fact that he was harassed and pressed at so critical a juncture, they proceeded against him by the dark and tortuous ways of black magic.

(*) “This is certainly one of the oldest and most universal of spells. To effect the death of a man, or to injure him by making an image in his likeness, and mutilating or destroying this image, is a practice found throughout the whole wide world from its earliest years. It is common both in Babylon and in the Egypt of the Pharoahs, when magicians kneaded puppets of clay or pitch moistened with honey. If it were possible to mingle therewith a drop of a man’s blood, the parings of his nails, a few hairs from his body, a thread or two from his garments, it gave the warlock the greater power over him. In ancient Greece and Rome precisely the same ideas prevailed, and allusions may be found in Theocritus (Idyll II), Virgil (Eclogue VIII, 75-82), Ovid (Heroides, VI, 91, sqq.; Amores, III, vii, 29, sqq.), and many more. (See R. Wunsch, Eine antike Rachepuppe, Philologus, lxi, 1902, pp. 26-31.) We find this charm among the Ojebway Indians, the Cora Indians of Mexico, the Malays, the Chinese and Japanese, the aborigines throughout Australia, the Hindoos, both in ancient India and at the present day, the Burmese, many Arab tribes of Northern Africa, in Turkey, in Italy and the remoter villages of France, in Ireland and Scotland, nor is it (in one shape and form or another) yet unknown in the country districts of England.”

An astrologer, attached to the Duke’s house-hold, when taken and charged with <werchyrye of sorcery against the King,> confessed that he had often cast the horoscope of the Duchess to find out if her husband would ever wear the English crown, the way to which they had attempted to smooth by making a wax image of Henry VI and melting it before a magic fire to bring about the king’s decease. A whole crowd of witches, male and female, were involved in the case, and among these was Margery Jourdemain, a known a notorious invoker of demons and an old trafficker in evil charms.”

In the days of Edward IV it was commonly gossiped that the Duchess of Bedford was a witch, who by her spells had fascinated the king with the beauty of her daughter Elizabeth, whom he made his bride, in spite of the fact that he had plighted his troth to Eleanor Butler, the heiress of the Earl of Shrewsbury. So open did the scandal become that the Duchess of Bedford lodged an official complaint with the Privy Council, and an inquiry was ordered, but, as might have been suspected, this completely cleared the lady.”

O Edward, Edward! fly and leave this place,

Wherein, poor silly King, thou are enchanted.

This is her dam of Bedford’s work, her mother,

That hath bewitch’d thee, Edward, my poor child.

Heywood

Her ascendancy over the king was attributed to the enchantments and experiments of a Dominican friar, learned in many a cantrip and cabala, whom she entertained in her house, and who had fashioned 2 pictures of Edward and Alice which, when suffumigated with the incense of mysterious herbs and gums, mandrakes, sweet calamus, caryophylleae, storax, benzoin, and other plants plucked beneath the full moon what time Venus was in ascendant, caused the old king to dote upon this lovely concubine. With great difficulty by a subtle ruse the friar was arrested, and he thought himself lucky to escape with relegation to a remote house under the strictest observance of his Order, whence, however, he was soon to be recalled with honour and reward, since the Good Parliament shortly came to an end, and Alice Perrers, who now stood higher in favour than ever, was not slow to heap lavish gifts upon her supporters, and to visit her enemies with condign punishment.”

There was nobody more thoroughly scared of witchcraft than Henry VIII’s daughter, Elizabeth, and as John Jewel was preaching his famous sermon before her in February, 1560, he described at length how <this kind of people (I mean witches and sorcerers) within these few last years are marvellously increased within this Your Grace’s realm;> he then related how owing to dark spells he had known many <pine away even to death.> <I pray God,> he unctuously cried, <they may never practise further than upon the subjects!> This was certainly enough to ensure that drastic laws should be passed particularly to protect the Queen, who was probably both thrilled and complimented to think that her life was in danger. It is exceedingly doubtful, whether there was any conspiracy at all which would have attempted Elizabeth’s personal safety.”

That it was a huge and far-reaching political conspiracy is patent form the fact that the lives of Louis XIV, the Queen, the Dauphin, Louise de la Vallière, and the Duchesse de Fontanges had been attempted secretly again and again, whilst as for Colbert, scores of his enemies were constantly entreating for some swift sure poison, constantly participating in unhallowed rites which might lay low the all-powerful Introduction of Minister.”

As early as 600 S. Gregory I had spoken in severest terms, enjoining the punishment of sorcerers and those who trafficked in black magic. It will be noted that he speaks of them as more often belonging to that class termed servi, that is to say, the very people from whom for the most part Nihilists and Bolsheviks have sprung in modern days.” Não consigo encontrar referências para os serui – segundo a grafia moderna poderiam ser os servi, os sérvios? Dostoievsky é o epítome da literatura niilista pré-Revolução Russa. Mas e daí? Ele queimou alguém na fogueira? Na verdade até onde eu sei era um beato (viciado em jogo, mas um beato). Nenhuma pista, só um palpite.

On 13, December, 1258, Pope Alexander IV (Rinaldo Conti) issued a Bull to the Franciscan Inquisitors bidding them refrain from judging any cases of witchcraft unless there was some very strong reason to suppose that heretical practice could also be amply proved. On 10 January, 1260, the same Pontiff addressed a similar Bull to the Dominicans.

DEFENDENDO O INDEFENSÁVEL: “Sixtus IV was an eminent theologian, he is the author of an admirable treatise on the Immaculate Conception, and it is significant that he took strong measures to curb [restrain] the judicial severities of Tomás de Torquemada [que bonzinho], whom he had appointed Grand Inquisitor of Castile, 11 February, 1482. During his reign he published three Bulls directly attacking sorcery, which he clearly identified with heresy, an opinion of the deepest weight when pronounced by one who had so penetrating a knowledge of the political currents of the day [ó!]. There can be no doubt that he saw the society of witches to be nothing else than a vast international of anti-social revolutionaries. (sic!!!)

It has been necessarily thus briefly to review this important series of Papal documents to show that the famous Bull Summis desiderantes affectibus, 9 December, 1484, which Innocent VIII addressed to the authors of the Malleus Maleficarum, is no isolated and extraordinary document, but merely one in the long and important record of Papal utterances, although at the same time it is of the greatest importance and supremely authoritative. It has, however, been very frequently asserted, not only by prejudiced and unscrupulous chroniclers, but also by scholars of standing and repute, that this Bull of Innocent VIII, if not, as many appear to suppose, is actually the prime cause and origin of the crusade against witches, at any rate gave the prosecution and energizing power and an authority which hitherto they had not, and which save for this Bull they could not ever have, commanded and possessed.” “a Bull is an instrument of especial weight and importance, and it differs both in form and detail from constitutions, encyclicals, briefs, decrees, privileges, and rescripts. It should be remarked, however, that the term Bull has conveniently been used to denote all these, especially if they are Papal letters of any early date. By the 15th century clearer distinctions were insisted upon and maintained.”

Alexander VI published two Bulls upon the same theme, and in a Bull of Julius II there is a solemn description of that abomination the Black Mass, which is perhaps the central feature of the worship of Satanists, and which is unhappily yet celebrated today in London, in Paris, in Berlin, and in many another great city.” Leo X, the great Pope of Humanism, issued a Bull on the subject; but even more important is the Bull Dudum uti nobis exponi fecisti, 20 July, 1523, which speaks of the horrible abuse of the Sacrament in sorceries and the charms confuted by witches.”

There is a Constitution of Gregory XV, Omnipotentis Dei, 20 March, 1623; and a Constitution of Urban VIII, Inscrutabilis iudiciorum Dei altitudo, 1st April [hehe], 1631, which – if we except the recent condemnation of Spiritism in the19th century – may be said to be the last Apostolic document directed against these foul and devilish practices.

The noble and momentous sentences are built-up word by word, beat by beat, ever growing more and more authoritative, more and more judicial, until they culminate in the minatory and imprecatory clauses which are so impressive, so definite, that no loophole is left for escape, no turn for evasion. <Nulli ergo omnino hominum liceat hanc paganim nostrae declarationis extentionis concessionis et mandati infringere vel ei ausu temeraris contrarie Si qui autem attentate praesumpserit indignationem omnipotentis Dei ac beatorum Petri et Pauli Apostolorum eius se noverit incursurum.> If any man shall presume to go against the tenor let him know that therein he will bring down upon himself the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

infallibility is claimed on the ground, not indeed of the terms of the Vatican definition, but of the constant practice of the Holy See, the consentient teaching of the theologians, as well as the clearest deductions of the principles of faith.” “Without exception non-Catholic historians have either in no measured language denounced or else with sorrow deplored the Bull of Innocent VIII as a most pernicious and unhappy document, a perpetual and irrevocable manifesto of the unchanged and unchangeable mind of the Papacy. From this point of view they are entirely justified, and their attitude is undeniably logical and right. The Summis desiderantes affectibus is either a dogmatic exposition by Christ’s Vicar upon earth or it is altogether abominable.” Choose for the second!

It is all the more amazing to find that the writer of the article upon Witchcraft in the Catholic Encyclopaedia quotes Hansen with complete approval and gleefully adds with regard to the Bull of Innocent VIII, <neither does the form suggest that the Pope wishes to bind anyone to believe more about the reality of witchcraft than is involved in the utterances of Holy Scripture,> a statement which is essentially Protestant in its nature, and, as is acknowledged by every historian of whatsoever colour or creed, entirely untrue. By its appearance in a standard work of reference, which is on the shelves of every library, this article upon Witchcraft acquires a certain title to consideration which upon its merits it might otherwise lack. It is signed Herbert Thurston, and turning to the list of <Contributors to the Fifteenth Volume> we duly see <Thurston, Herbert, S.J., London.> Since a Jesuit Father emphasizes in a well-known (and presumably authoritative) Catholic work an opinion so derogatory to the Holy See and so definitely opposed to all historians, one is entitled to express curiosity concerning other writings which may not have come from his pen. I find that for a considerable number of years Fr. Thurston has been contributing to The Month a series of articles upon mystical phenomena and upon various aspects of mysticism, such as the Incorruption of the bodies of Saints and Beati, the Stigmata, the Prophecies of holy persons, the miracles of Crucifixes that bleed or pictures of the Madonna which move, famous Sanctuaries, the inner life of and wonderful events connected with persons still living who have acquired a reputation for sanctity. This busy writer directly or incidentally has dealt with that famous ecstatica Anne Catherine Emmerich; the Crucifix of Limpias; Our Lady of Campocavallo; S. Januarus; the Ven. Maria d’Agreda; Gemma Galgani; Padre Pio Pietralcina; that gentle soul Teresa Higginson