Monday, February 1, 2010

Aimless Reading: The F's, Part 25.1 (Sigmund Freud)


The Ego and the Id
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Freud, Sigmund
The Ego and the Id


Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books.

This is one of a long list of books I've read by Freud, all of which were read during the same summer mentioned in the previous post, all of which seem to blend together into my general understanding of his theories.

I am trying to remember more particulars about that summer, other than that I felt very lonely, did a lot of reading and walking and sitting on park benches staring at the lake I keep returning to the walk from my apartment to the park, and how, in the blocks between Niagara St. and the I-190, where I'd cross the highway on an elevated footbridge, the street was pocked with holes and covered in broken glass and there never seemed to be anyone around.

I don't know why, but I mostly remember broken glass. It was as if each night someone stood at the entrance to the pedestrian bridge breaking bottle after bottle just to hear the sound of bottles breaking or to see the shards of glass glint in the streetlight, so that when I crossed the bridge each day there seemed to a whole new layer of shards made of clear glass and green glass and brown.

I also remember walking up over the bridge, which was covered by a cage-like piece of fencing, to keep people from jumping off it, I guess. A ramp led from the street up to a flat landing where the bridge arched over to another flat landing on the other side, then down another ramp. When it had rained, there was always standing water on the landings that there was no getting around. I always got my feet wet stepping through the puddles.

from The Ego and the Id

The division of mental life into what is conscious and what is unconscious is the fundamental premise on which psychoanalysis is based; and this division alone makes it possible for it to understand pathological mental processes, which are as common as they are important, and to coordinate them scientifically. Stated once more in a different way: psycho-analysis cannot accept the view that consciousness is the essence of mental life, but is obliged to regard consciousness as one property of mental life, which may co-exist along with its other properties or may be absent.

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