And also whether I can get the diagrams to come across. (I'll be surprised if this works.) [It didn't work so I'm trying to make it a link - will that work?]
Of course I don't believe for a minute that this is my 'true self revealed' and some of the advice they give me is somewhat hilarious: Remember that time alone can be just as fulfilling as time spent with others—take some time for yourself and you might find that there are many things in your inner world that are just as compelling as the world outside your window. I don't know which of my answers they're basing that on - I spend lots of time alone contemplating my inner world!
Today is the 67th anniversary of Sigmund Freud's death. He died soon after the start of the second world war, a war in which his four elderly sisters would die in concentration camps. This is the Guardian's obituary from the time. And here's a postcard I got from Freud's house in north London showing his famous couch, which I keep on a shelf near my desk.
I've been "on the couch" myself now for a good few years and feel that I owe most of my current happiness in life to that experience. Our culture makes a lot of fun of Freud but I think that, although he and his ideas are of course not immune to criticism, he was very brave and brilliant, intellectually.
I found this story about the last living patient of Freud very moving. I can see how it appears almost quaint in today's world - 50 years after Elvis, Rebel Without a Cause et al... In 1930s Austria, teenage Margarethe needed an 80 year old man to tell her to stand up for herself against her possessive father. (Actually, not to stand up, to remain seated.) And she did. It determined the course of her life. So much for Freud being anti-woman.
I've been busy writing a piece for a book of tales of psychotherapy - patients' tales, therapists's tales etc. I'm not a therapist so you can guess which type I'm writing.
However, I'm not sure now that I'm going to submit it.
When I was younger I wrote a lot of articles, book chapters etc which dealt with the daring subjects of lesbian and gay politics and aspects thereof. I thought nothing of revealing details of my personal life and thoughts. Yet, as you may have noticed, this blog is pseudonymous and some of that is for practical reasons of work and motherhood, while some of it is because as I've got older, I no longer feel as ready to publicly reveal all. [Publicly meaning under my real name.]
I'm not sure why that is. Part of me does think: publish and be damned. Words can never hurt me (but will words lead to sticks and stones? That's another question to consider.]
Another part of me hesitates. I ask why I want these experiences to be published. Even if I were to publish them under a pseudonym.
What was so valuable in the early days of the women's movement (and still is) is that so many women shared the intimate details of their lives and relationships with each other and that sharing was what made such radical changes possible. It made dramatic changes possible in my own life. I'd like to be able to go on writing like that. Still, something makes me pause...
The deadline is tomorrow. I'm right at the end of my piece and simply have to email it to the editor. I'm still not sure if I will.
Well, perhaps there are some blog-reading students or otherwise interested people who would be interested in submitting papers or just attending this Sydney conference on literature and psychoanalysis.
Coincidentally, after writing here about the lobotomy of Rosemary Kennedy, JFK's sister, I read a mention in a letter to the London Review of Books (a subscription to which we got as a Christmas present) to Egaz Moniz, the Portuguese man who 'invented' the lobotomy. Moniz was awarded a Nobel prize in 1949 for his work. The LRB letter says that there is now a campaign to have him stripped of that prize. I can't find any online evidence of such a campaign, but here is a site with more about Moniz.