Thursday, 30 January 2014

Filling the gap

In his text “Remembering, Repeating and working-through” (1914) Freud claims that the job of the psychoanalyst is to fill the gaps of the patients memory (see p. 147/148). As I am my own patient and analyst at the same time (and in a way this holds true for Freud as well – his dream analysis was indeed based on his own dreams…) I have to deal with the gap of my memory work on this blog myself.

Since the last and first entry there has been a gap of almost two months. In the meantime I had already written a second entry but I felt some kind of blockade to actually post it. Why could I not post a follow up text? 


The only way of overcoming this blockade seems to me to address my problem publicly – here. As this blog is an experiment I decided finally to give in to my doubts and to engage with the issues that I am struggling with. Mainly – who am I to engage with a topic such as refugee memory? This question grew so big in my head that it let to some kind of helplessness and eventually to me not posting anything anymore.

I have grown up in this bourgeois and safe middle class environment and am fully aware of it. And even the divorce of my parents (though indeed it means the loss of a feeling of being “home”) could never compete with the experience of being forced to leave ones home country due to civil wars or other kinds of unbearable situations. Nevertheless I tried to unavailingly relate myself to the subject that I am addressing, which is most obvious in the first entry. 


As the question of ‘why me’ let to the incapacity of writing about refugee memory I decided to keep my issues in mind but to skip the question to the end of the experiment. In fact it does not really matter who engages with the question, as I think that it is important to engage with it in the first place which is more relevant. Maybe the reach of these entries will stay quite private. Maybe it is my personal engagement with refugees and floating memory and maybe that is ok. 

But even if the stakes are not that high this does not mean that this experiment is not worth a try. And as Hans-Jörg Rheinberger has pitched with the notion of the “epistemic thing”, you never know the outcome of something right from the start (of course he would have put this in much more elaborate words). Work in progress.


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