10.29.2004

Is My Abstract Too...Abstract?

Therapist with a Dream Inside encapsulates the development and socialization of the American neurotic. At once confused about his or her place in the world, concerned with issues of guilt and innocence, constantly revising his or her own history, this neurotic can’t stop talking—but nobody’s getting cured.

In the shadow of the writings of Sigmund Freud, the poems explore themes of self-division and duplicity, the desire for love or death (or both), and the gerrymandering of identity that occurs from childhood through adolescence into adulthood. The self and its shadow disagree over which of them is real, unable to reconcile their shared experiences. Narcissism replaces lost or unknown objects of desire; the dead speak or bear witness on the present. The self—confused, confronted with its behavior, desperate to feel whole—succumbs to the placating, nervous narrativization that characterizes a talking cure.

In the end, it seems, we are not our bodies, not our histories, but the stories and anecdotes we give to the world—those flawed, distorted visions of ourselves that, in the end, become our memories.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think it's too abstract... without having read the manuscript (can i? can I?), it identifies a complex speaker and predominant themes in the manuscript. That's what an abstract is supposed to do. Of course, I could change my mind completely after reading the manuscript (please??).

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