Time and time again, Eugenio Montale's poems speak to a loved and absent auditor; they address, intimately, a You, a second person or familiar other. You could call this work museic, which would be to say both that it is often musical (deploying a pleasing geometry of sound and sense bordering on the unsayable) and addressed to a muse, a cherished femme figure serving at once as a source, catalyst and inspiration for song.
Among the polymath, Julia Kristeva's gifts to practicing analysts are a series of concepts and coinages speaking directly to the question of this You, the "matrixial borderspace" or forgotten song central to language and to psychic life which is transmitted via polyphonic or polysemic modes of signifying rooted in the sounds and sensations of the body.
These registers skirt a delicate and doubled line between metaphor and the meat of matter; they work, on the one hand, as a living memory of real experiences -- those of infancy, anterior to the acquisition of language, or those of motherhood, surpassing words -- and, on the other, constitute a timeless presence within speech and thought, a weather or welter of past, present, and future immanent to sign and syntax.
Reading Kristeva with Montale brings into bold relief the urgent necessity of the talking cure in an age in which the age-old symbolic orders governing speaking beings -- the panoply of human compacts and regimes generated by song, sign and syntax -- have come to founder.
Berkeley City Club
2315 Durant Avenue
Saturday, November 23, 2019
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Benjamin Davidson is a faculty member and research psychoanalyst of the San Francisco Bay Area Lacanian School, and maintains a private practice in Palo Alto and San Francisco. Since 2010 he has taught seminars on Lacanian and Freudian analysis at Stanford University, where he works a a Dean. Revolt!, his extended essay in two acts, was published in summer of 2019 by the European Journal of Psychoanalysis
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