Tentative Schedule: (Please expect changes to be made in the schedule from time to time during the semester--they will be announced well ahead of time both in clapoiss and by email).

Psychotic break / Paranoia Alert

Why close reading matters: "The fog is not coincidental: if the report’s vague assertions were clarified and its circular logic straightened out, nothing would be left."

Why the neoliberal-con establishment press is not worth reading:

"None of the claims made in the dossier has yet been verified, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take it seriously." Notice the use of the word "yet." Replace it with "ever" and see what happens. And notice the double negative "doesn't" and "shouldn't."


January 10: Q: What is Psychoanalysis? A: Resistance

Required Readings:

1. Sigmund Freud, Psychopathology of Everyday Life or with page numbers here. Read one chapter of your choice. Take a chance. Sortes Vergilianae.

2. (1914a): Über fausse reconnaissance ("déjà raconté") während der psychoanalytischen Arbeit.

Online "Fausse Reconnaissance" ("déjà raconté") in Psychoanalytic Treatment" GW X, 116-123 Trans. James Strachey, Complete Works Vol 13

3. Sigmund Freud, "A Disturbance of Memory at the Acropolis"

Recommended Listening and Reading:

Sigmund Freud, Psychopathology of Everyday Life, Chapter12

Freud versus Music

Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality Vol. 1 An Introduction

Michel Foucault, "Eleven 17 March 1976," in Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the College de France 1975-76, pp. 239-64.

Philadelphia to Reopen Long-Shuttered Prison With Horrifying History to House DNC Protesters
The former horror movie set will serve as a holding space for mass arrests.
By Kali Holloway / AlterNet
June 22, 2016

January 12:

Required Viewing:

Spellbound (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1945)

Recommended Viewing and Reading:

The Century of the Self is a 2002 British television documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis." Adam Curtis confuses psychoanalysis in the United States with ego psychologists such A.A. Brill ("E. L. Bernays consulted with Brill on the subject of women's smoking"), "self-actualizers" Carl Rogers, and hucksters such as Tony Robbins.

Let There Be Light (dir. John Huston, 1946)

"Collier's Encyclopedia: A Self-Revising Reference Work with Loose Leaf"

Sigmund Freud, "Psychoanalysis and the War Neuroses" (1919)

January 17

Required Reading:

Make sure you have this edition (it is the complete one):

Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization, Ed. Jean Khalfa and Jonathan Murphy, 2006

"Chapter Two,The Great Confinement," pp. 44-55; 72-77

Recommended Reading:

Colin Gordon on Foucault's History of Madness

January 19:

In Class Quiz on Film Analysis

Required Viewing:

The Snake Pit (dir. Anatole Litvak, 1948)


Recommended Viewing:

Repulsion (dir. Roman Polanski, 1965)

Mental Health Becomes Public Concern in Late 1940s - Part 1 and Part 2

Recommended Reading:

Sylvia Plath in New York: 'pain, parties and work' (Shock Therapy)

DUE Saturday JANUARY 21 by 11:59:59 p.m. Film Clip Analysis Exercise

Email your paper (as an attachment) to me at richardaburt22@gmail.com. Put your name in the subject title or header of your title. Put your name in your paper.

General Advice on Leading Class

January 24: Co-leaders Lauren Hoffman lhoffman@ufl.edu and Samantha Hoaglin snhoaglin@ufl.edu

Required Reading:

Nellie Bly, "Into the Madhouse, [read this pdf]" in Around the World in Seventy-Two Days and Other Writings (Penguin Classics), pp. 15-84

Recommended Reading and Viewing:

Stunt feminism: Mary Russo


Shutter Island (trailer)

Blackwell's Island Asylum

Video / An Asylum’s Final Secrets | The New York Times

My paternal grandmother was a reporter for a Hearst newspaper in New York. (My maternal grandmother was an M.D., the first woman to graduate from Stanford University medical school.)

January 26: Co-leaders Yaritsa yhernandez22@ufl.edu and Kevin Pedro kevinpadro231@ufl.edu    


Required Viewing:

Shock Corridor (dir. Sam Fuller, 1962)

The film is online here.

Time stamp 5:31

Recommended Viewings and Readings:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (dir. Milos Forman, 1975) Trailer

Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

The Century of the Self ( Adam Curtis, 2002) Part Two, 1:00:16 footage is from

Let There Be Light (dir. John Huston, 1946); time stamp 1:40:31 (on shock therapy)

Get Out (dir. Jordan Steele, 2017)

January 31: Co-leaders Shanjoy Hussain shanjoyhussain@ufl.edu and Amila Tica amila-tica@ufl.edu

Required Reading:

Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization, Jean Khalfa and Jonathan Murphy, Chapter Three, "The Correctional World," 78-107

February 2: Co-leaders Kyle Hayes khayles@ufl.edu, brittany brittsgal@ufl.edu, and Dani Salgueiro dsalgueiro@ufl.edu

Required Viewing:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (dir. Robert Wiene, 1920).

The film is online here.

Required Reading:

Laurence A. Rickels, here (pp. 325-26) and here (p.155) on The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (dir. Robert Wiene, 1920).


February 7: Co-leaders Yaritsa yhernandez@ufl.edu and Dan Wolk DanielWolk@ufl.edu

Required Readings:Required Readings:

Sigmund Freud on the Repetition Compulsion. Both readings were written in 1919:

1. "The 'Uncanny'", pp. 234-37; 241; 243; 248, footnote 1.

2. Beyond the Pleasure Principle, pp. 7-24

Recommended Reading Again:

Sigmund Freud, "Psychoanalysis and the War Neuroses" (1919)

20,000 Letters, Manuscripts & Artifacts From Sigmund Freud Get Digitized and Made Available Online

Sigmund Freud Papers

February 9: Sarah Chrisien schrisien@ufl.edu and Kevin Pedro kevinpadro231@ufl.edu    

Required Viewing:

Vertigo (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

The Male Gaze Gets an Education

February 14: Daniel dsantasier@ufl.edu and Erin Cinney eCinney@ufl.edu

Required Readings:

1. Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization, Jean Khalfa and Jonathan Murphy, 2006,

Chapter Four, "Doctors and Patients," 297-339

2. Henri Ellenberger, "The Mental Hospital and the Zoological Garden," in Animals and Man in Historical Perspective, Joseph Klaits, ed.

Recommended Reading:

Henri Ellenberger, "Zoological Garden and Mental Hospital," in Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal 5 (1960): 136-149. Cited in the article above, p.80n34.

Lynne Huffer. Madness, Mad for Foucault: Rethinking the Foundations of Queer Theory (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010). 

Gary Gutting, “Foucault and the History of Madness,” in The Cambridge Companion to Foucault, ed. Gary Gutting, 2nd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 49-73.

Colin Gordon, “History of Madness,” in A Companion to Foucault, ed. Christopher Falzon et al. (Malden: Blackwell, 2013), 84-103.

February 16: Co-leaders Kate Gaines katedg@ufl.edu and Quynh Duong ntotheduong@ufl.edu

Required Viewings:

1. La Jetée (dir. Chris Marker, 1962)

2. Twelve Monkeys (dir. Terry Gilliam, 1995)

February 21: Dylan Tyson dylandtyson@ufl.eduand Joshwa walton joshwawalton@ufl.edu

The Madness of Michel?

Required Readings:

1. Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization, Jean Khalfa and Jonathan Murphy, 2006, pp. i-xxxxix

Recommended Reading:

Shirley Jackson, The Lottery (1948)

Shiley Jackson, "Paranoia"

Interview with Jackson's son

Jackson, Shirley The Haunting of Hill House (Penguin Classics)

2017 review in LRB of Shirley Jackson

Betty Friedan (on the importance of 1963)

February 23: Co-leaders Shanjoy Hussain shanjoyhussain@ufl.edu, Lauren Hoffman lbhoffman@ufl.edu, and Amila Tica amila-tica@ufl.edu

Required Viewing:

The Haunting (dir. Robert Wise, 1963)

Recommended Viewing:
Trailer for The Haunting

February 28: Co-leaders DJ Giles donald.giles@ufl.edu and Zachary Read zacharyread1@ufl.edu

Required Reading: "Where there is an ouevre, there is no madness."

1. Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization, Jean Khalfa and Jonathan Murphy, 2006, pp. 535-38 and "Madness, the Absence of an Ouevre," 541-49.

You may write on DQ on the Derrida reading and one DQ on the Foucault reading.

2. Jacques Derrida, "To Do Justice to Freud" (Derrida's title is a quotation from the first sentence of the last paragraph at the end of part two of Foucault's Madness and Civilization, p. 339.)

This is a long reading. It is brilliant. Please make sure to give yourself time to read it closely.

Recommended Readings:

Jacques Derrida, "Cogito and the History of Madness"

Michel Foucault, "My Body, this Paper, this Fire," Oxford Literary Review, Volume 4 Issue 1, pp. 9-28 and an appendix in the Jean Kafka translation of Madness and Civilization.

March 2: Co-leaders Chris Casas chriscasas6@ufl.edu and Yousef yousefa2014@ufl.edu  

Required Viewings:

1. Freud: The Secret Passion (dir. John Houston, 1962)


A Dangerous Method (dir. David Cronenberg, 2011)

Élisabeth Roudinesco on the Jean-Paul Sartre screenplay for Freud: the Secret Passion

March 7: Spring (PSYCHOTIC) Break


March 9: Spring Broken

March 14: Co-leaders Eric ericcolsen@ufl.edu and Erin ecinney@ufl.edu

REBOOTING: Let's take a Schauer scene this time

Required Reading:

Laurence Rickels, The Psycho Records, "Psycho-Historical Introduction" and "Record Two: Schauer Scenes," 1-8; 22-44.

This reading is very rewarding, but only if you read it slowly. Please do not skim or rush. Rickels is well worth your time.

Recommended reading:

"Professor Stevens was forced to undergo a psychological examination to determine if she were a threat to others."

AAUP Intervention in Northwestern Jacqueline Stevens’s Case
Peter N. Kirstein / November 6, 2016

Theodor Adorno, "How to Look at Television"

Theodor Adorno, "Television as Ideology"

March 16: Co-leaders Sam samanthark@ufl.edu and PJ Schuab pj12356@ufl.edu and Samantha Hoaglin snhoaglin@ufl.edu

Required Viewing:

Psycho (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

Second Paper (500 words) DUE Saturday March 18 by 11:59 p.m.

Email your paper (as an attachment) to me at richardaburt22@gmail.com.

Recommended: Bates Motel, Seasons One to Five.

March 21: Co-leaders Brian Lee brianlee95@ufl.edu and Sorrel Thomson sorrelbthomson@ufl.edu

Required Reading:

Laurence Rickels,The Psycho Records, Record Three, Alternate History, 1960, pp. 48--61 (trigger reports, pp. 60)

March 23: Co-leaders DJ Giles donald.giles@ufl.edu, brittany brittsgal@ufl.edu, and Dani Salgueiro dsalgueiro@ufl.edu

Required Viewing:

Peeping Tom (dir. Michael Powell and Emric Pressburger, 1960)

March 28: Co-leaders Xuan Ooi xuanooi96@ufl.edu and Trevor storchtrevor@ufl.edu

Required Readings:

1. Laurence Rickels,The Psycho Records, 153-56.

2. Avital Ronell,The Telephone Book, pp 307-26.

Recommended Reading:

March 30: Co-leaders Sam samanthark@ufl.edu and Madeleine Hill mhill57@ufl.edu

Split Screams

Required Viewing:

1.Sisters (dir. Brian De Palma, 1973), flashback scenes in mental hospital for "freaks."

2. Freaks (dir. Tod Browning,1932)

Write two DQs on each film and three shot anlyses on each film.

Recommended Viewing and reading:

Alternate endings

End of Brian De Palma's Dressed to Kill (1980) in Bellevue's psych ward / here (remember Nellie Bly)

De Palma (2015)

Nightmare Alley (dir. Edmund Goulding, 1947)

“Rare Study of Siamese Twins in Soviet” Life magazine April 8, 1966

Mary Russo on freaks in The Female Grotesque.

April 4: Co-leaders Morgan lewism@ufl.edu and Zac zackaryerickson@ufl.edu and Quynh Duong ntotheduong@ufl.edu

Required Readings:

1. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, "HOW THE 'TRUE WORLD' FINALLY BECAME A FABLE,"
The History of an Error in
The Twilight of the Idols, or How to Philosophize with a Hammer (1888) (You can find the entire book here.)

2. Jacques Derrida, "The History of the Lie: Prolegomena," pp. 28-42

3. Richard Hofstader, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics"

Recommended Reading:

Michel de Montaigne, "On Lies"

Immanuel Kant, On the Supposed Right to Lie

Hannah Arendt, "Lying in Politics: Reflections on The Pentagon Papers"
NOVEMBER 18, 1971
Or reprinted here.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Fourth of the Reveries of a Solitary Walker

Erik H. Erikson The Strange Case of Freud, Bullitt, and Woodrow Wilson:

Richard Hofstadter The Strange Case: II FEBRUARY 9, 1967 ISSUE A DISSERVICE TO HISTORY

J. F. Campbell, "To Bury Freud on Wilson": Uncovering "Thomas Woodrow Wilson, A Psychological Study", by Sigmund Freud and William C. Bullitt." Modern Austrian Literature
Vol. 41, No. 2 (2008), pp. 41-56

Introduction to Freud, Sigmund, and William C. Bullitt. Thomas Woodrow Wilson, Twenty-Eighth President of the United States: A Psychological Study. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1966.


Freud's censored chapter, in French Abrégé de théorie analytique (1931) Texte inédit

Guide to the William C. Bullitt Papers
MS 112

Paul Roazen,

"Oedipus at Versailles.” Times Literary Supplement 22 Apr. 2005: 12–13.

"Sommes-nous gouvernés par des fous?"

Possibly Recommended:

Faux Feminism: Do You Know Them?

Recall the "You lied to me!" scene in The Snake Pit when Virginia is lured out of the closet and finds nurses there ready to put her in a straitjacket.

FBI Director James Clapper lies about spying on U.S. citizens before Congress (perjury), a felony. Never prosecuted. W. Bush. "The United States does not torture."2007 Obama: "We tortured some folks." No one ever prosecuted.

Pardon Torturers: NY Times 2014

"The theory of a robot-like Manchurian Candidate was posited by the C.I.A. in 1953, six years before Richard Condon published the novel of that name, nine years before the book became a movie."

TIM WEINER "Remembering Brainwashing" JULY 6, 2008

Russia hacks the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election (according to the CIA--a totally credible source, of course!)

Republican Presidential Candidate George Romney: Brainwashing 1968 Election

New Yorker Cartoon January 2016

April 6: Co-leaders Brian brianlee95@ufl.edu, Trevor storchtrevor@ufl.edu, and Zachary zacharyread1@ufl.edu

Required Viewing:

The Manchurian Candidate (dir. Jonathan Demme, 2004)

April 11: Co-leaders Zac zackaryerickson@ufl.edu and Kyle khayes@ufl.edu

Required Readings:

1. Jacques Derrida, "The History of the Lie: Prolegomena," in Without Alibi, pp. 42-58

2. Hannah Arendt, "Truth and Politics," Originally published in The New Yorker, February 25, 1967, reprinted with minor changes in Between Past and Future (1968)

Recommended Reading:

Hannah Arendt Explains How Propaganda Uses Lies to Erode All Truth & Morality: Insights fromThe Origins of Totalitarianism

Democrats’ Tactic of Accusing Critics of Kremlin Allegiance Has Long, Ugly History in U.S.

April 13: Co-leaders Xuan Ooi xuanooi96@ufl.edu and Joshwa joshwawalton@ufl.edu

Required Viewing:

The Manchurian Candidate (dir. John Frankenheimer,1962)

Recommended Reading

Louis Menand, "BRAINWASHED,Where the “Manchurian Candidate” came from." SEPTEMBER 15, 2003 ISSUE

Posted July 30, 2016

April 18: Co-leaders Sam samanthark@ufl.edu and Madeleine mhill57@ufl.edu

Required Readings:

Jacques Derrida, "The History of the Lie: Prolegomena," 58-71

Recommended Listening and Viewing:

Alexander Kojeve, "The Political Function of the Modern Lie," Contemporary Jewish Record

Deborah Lipstadt interviewed on BBC Free Thinking, January 25, 2017 Time Stamp 24:00

Denial (dir. Mick Johnson, 2016)

New Yorker OCTOBER 3, 2016

Final Paper (50 words, not including the title or quotation, that make up your first paragraph) due April 16 (please email it to me at richardburt33@gmail.com).

More Recommended Readings:

Freud, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego

Nietzsche, On Truth and Lying

Matt Taibbi, "Something About This Russia Story Stinks"

The idea that Trump is a Manchurian Candidate came up twice in the same show below, airing December 23, 2106.

Have you noticed that the verb "to lie" and the noun "lies" are taboo in MSM? Although the Times dpearted from journalistic taboo on the word "lies" in MSM in the headline above, they returned to "falsehoods" in the article. The WAPO title for the same story was "Without Evidence, Trump Claims . . . ."















TRUTH AND POLITICS by Hannah Arendt. Originally published in The New Yorker, February 25, 1967 (facsimile)

OR this version of the same article:



Sheldon Pollock, "Future Philology? The Fate of a Soft Science in a Hard World"

"How DNA Changed the World of Forensics" NY Times, May 18, 2014

Carlo Ginzburg, “Clues: Morelli, Freud, and Sherlock Holmes,” in History Workshop, No. 9 (Spring, 1980), pp. 5-36.

Paolo Cherchi Usai, David Alexander Horwath, Michael Loebenstein, ed. Film Curatorship: Museums, Curatorship and the Moving Image (chapter three, pp.107-29)

"How DNA Changed the World of Forensics" NY Times, May 18, 2014

Optional Reading: D.A. Greetham, "Textual Forensics"; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "A Case of Identity" (1899) and "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" (1893); Sigmund Freud, "The Moses of Michelangelo" (1914) Standard Edition, 13: 209-238. Digital "Exploded Manuscript" of Freud's essay.


Fisher King
Cronenberg, Spider
A Beautiful Mind biopic

Madness of King George


twin movies--Raising Cain / Dead Ringer

Baker Act

Sigmund Freud, "A Disturbance of Memory at the Acropolis" and "Screen Memories"

Fritz Lang Secret Beyond the Door (compare to Spellbound; Miklos Rozsa composed the soundtracks of both films)

Foucault, I pierre riveriere

Sigmund Freud, "Fausse reconaissance," The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud volume 13, Call Number: BF173 .F6253 v. 13

Publication Date: 1953

Jacques Derrida, "My Chances" (get both readings on course reserves; print out copies and bring them to class), Taking Chances: Derrida, Psychoanalysis, and Literature. by Joseph H. Smith, William Kerrigan

It was as though we were examining a dossier that had been kept in good order.  That analysis of my patient Emmy von N. contained similar files of memories though they were not so fully enumerated and described. These files form a quite general feature of every analysis and their contents always emerge in a chronological order which is as infallibly trustworthy as the succession of days of the week or names of the month in a mentally normal person. They make the work of analysis more difficult by the peculiarity that, in reproducing these memories, they reverse the order in which these originated.  The freshest and newest experience appears first in the file first, as an outer cover, and last of all comes the experience with which the series in fact began.” The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol 2, 288

But the causal relation between the determining psychical trauma and the hysterical phenomenon is not of kind implying that the trauma merely acts like an agent provocateur in releasing the symptom, which thereafter leads an independent existence. We must presume rather that the psychical trauma—or more precisely the memory of the trauma—acts like a foreign body which long after its entry must continue to be regarded as an agent that is still at work”

The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. 2, 6

We have said that [pathogenic] material behaves like a foreign body from the living tissue. We are now in a position to see where this comparison leads.  A foreign body does not enter into a any relation with the layers of tissue that surround it, although it modifies them and necessitates are reactive inflammation in them. . . .In fact the pathogenic organization does not behave like a foreign body, but far more like an infiltrate.  In this simile the resistance must be regarded as what is infiltrating.

The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 2, 290.

Breuer and Freud "Hypnosis," in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume I (1886-1899): Pre-Psycho-Analytic Publications and Unpublished Drafts, 103-114; "On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena: preliminary Communication (1893), in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume 2, 3-17.

Sigmund Freud, Chapter Ten of Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921), Standard Edition 18, 126 (hypnotism); Hitler as hypnotist: H. L. Binsee, "Adolf Hitler, German Hypnotist," The Reader's Digest, December 1930, pp. 711-713.

Lubitsch, "To Be or Not to Be;

February 4 Breuer, "The Case of Anna O," 21-47 and "The Case of Frau Emmy Von M. (Freud),48-105 and Chapter Four ("Psychotherapy of Hysteria," by Freud), of Studies on Hysteria, 259-305; Lecture One of Five Introductory Lectures, in The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, VolumeVol. 11, 1-51.

Cronenberg film about Freud?

Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization, Jean Khalfa and Jonathan Murphy,

Telepathy, telegraphy, telephoney, spiritualism Essays on Telepathy

Sigmund Freud, "Dreams and Occultism," in New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, vol. 22 ofthe Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, trans. and ed. James Strachey et al, 24vols. (London: The Hogarth Press, 1966-74), 60-87

Sigmund Freud, "Psychoanalysis and Telepathy," in Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, xviii. 173-93.

Sigmund Freud, "Dreams and Telepathy," in Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud,xviii.195-220.

Jacques Derrida,  “Resistances” in Resistances of Psychoanalysis Trans. Peggy Kamuf et al (Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1998, 1-38; Rading: Avital Ronell,The Telephone Book, pp 307-26;

Jacques Derrida, "Telepathic," Furor 2 (February 1981): 5-41; Jacques Derrida, "Telepathy," in Psyche ed. Peggy Kamuf, Elizabeth Rottenberg, pp. 226-61.

Punk rock performance in Chico, CA.

Betty Friedan, the Feminine Mystique

R.D. Laing, Thomas Szaz

Anti-Psychiatry Movement of 70

documentary about patients on Thorazine.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. iconic. Jack Nicholson

1980s--homeless formerly mad people released under President Ronald Reagan

Manic depression THE diagnosis in the 80s.

Psychosis / paranoid schizophrenia



Thomas Bernhard, Extinction

Thomas Bernhard, Correction

Thomas Berhard, The Loser

Thomas Bernhard, Wittgenstein's Nephew


Item no. 8A Packing It Up: The Un/Open Desk
The last of A's papers is a narrative entitled "The Seducer's Diary." Here we meet with new difficulties, inasmuch as A does not declare himself the author but only the editor. This is an old literary device to which I would not have much to object if it did not further complicate my own position, since one author becomes enclosed within the other like the boxes in a Chinese puzzle.
—Victor Eremita, Preface to Either/Or, 8-9.
The archive today consists of Kierkegaard's literary remains, originally numbered by Henrik Lund; subsequently disfigured by a series of lacunae and a great many deletions, corrections, and additions . . . ; but packaged in a systematic order for which P.A. Heiberg is responsible. Nonetheless, the archive still contains traces of Kierkegaard's own packaging, and it is clear that he took great pains to present himself to posterity in an orderly fashion. —Written Images, 109.
The editors . . . placed the mass of booklets, books sheets, pages, strips of paper, and so on into semitransparent glassine envelopes. The envelopes were then placed in files, and the files were placed in . . . fiberboard boxes. —Written Images, 108.
Barfod took the liberty of cutting up most of the
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volumes... Barfod's interference was not limited to cutting and pasting. While he sat there with the papers he made diligent use of his pen—on the papers.
Written Images, 83; 97-98.
The Point of View on My Work as an Author
must not be published, no, no! . . . The book itself is true and in my opinion masterly. But a book like that can only be published after my death. . . . But I must be careful about the idea of dying, lest I go and do something with the idea of dying in half a year and then live to be eighty-two. No, one finishes a book like that, puts it away in a drawer, sealed and marked: To be opened after my death.
—Søren Kierkegaard, "N.B. N.B. N.B." in The Point of View on My Work as an Author (published posthumously under Kierkegaard's name by Peter C. Kierkegaard in 1859), 174; 176.
We may advance our understanding of the genre of posthumography by returning to Kierkegaard's writing desk in Either/Or. [xlix] Kierkegaard stages the publication of his work (he waited five yeas to publish it [l]) as a problem of publishing an unknown, living or dead author's works in ways that anticipate, on the one hand, the very problems editors of Kierkegaard's own works have faced after his death, and, on the other, how to read Kierkegaard's works in relation to his authorship and editing, pseudonymous and not, as well as to the extreme care he took in deciding when to publish certain works so as to ensure he would not be misunderstood by his readers. [li] After stating the thesis, that the outer is not the inner, that the outer conceals a secret, which was hidden, the pseudonymous editor of Either/Or, Victor Eremita, begins the preface by telling a story about a writing desk in order to explain the "most curious manner" which put him "in possession of the papers I have the honor of presenting to the reading public" (4):
For the sake of order, it is probably best to tell first how I happened to come into possession of these papers. It is now about seven years since I spotted in a secondhand shop here in the city a writing desk that immediately attracted my attention. It was not a modern piece of work, had been used considerably, and yet it captivated me.
Eremita feels compelled to justify the purchase of the desk since its acquisition leads to his discovery of anonymously authored papers:
It is impossible for me to explain the basis of this impression, but most people presumably have had a similar experience during their lives. . . . My heart pounded when I went into the shop. I bought it and paid for it. This is the last time you are going to be so prodigal, I thought. In fact, it is really lucky that you did buy it, for every time you look at it you will be reminded of how prodigal you were; with this desk commences a new period in your life. Ah, desire is very eloquent, and good intentions are always on hand.
The desk has nothing to do with writing, however. Eremita moves the desk into his home where he can keep doing what he did with it before he bought it, namely, not using it:
The writing desk was set up in my apartment, and just as in the first phase of my infatuation I had my pleasure in gazing at it from the street, so now I walked by it here at home. Gradually I learned how to know its numerous features, its many drawers and compartments, and in every respect I was happy with my desk. (4; 5)
The only thing Eremita stores in his desk is money, and he accidentally finds the papers only when a drawer with the money in it is stuck and he needs to open it to get some money because he is in a rush:
page35image34776 page35image34936 page35image35096
I opened the desk to pull out the money drawer and take what happened to be at hand. But the drawer
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would not budge. Every expedient was futile. It was a most calamitous situation. To run into such difficulties at the very moment when the coachman's enticing tones were still ringing in my ears! . . . I was furious. . . . A hatchet was fetched. I gave the desk a terrible blow with it. Whether in my rage I aimed wrong or the drawer was just as stubborn as I, the result was not what was intended. The drawer was shut. And the drawer stayed shut. (5)
Rather than telling an open and shut story, Eremita tells a shut and open story leading to the discovery of an author's papers:
But something else happened. . . . A secret door that I had never noticed before sprung open. This door closed off a compartment that I obviously had not discovered. Here, to my great amazement, I found a mass of papers, the papers that constitute the contents of the present publication. . . . (6)
Because he has no time to read them then and there, Eremita repackages them in a pistol box after he empties out the pistols:
In the greatest haste, a mahogany box that usually contained a pair of pistols was emptied and the papers deposited in it. . . . My servant accompanied me with the mahogany box. (6) [lii]
After boxing up the papers, Eremita explains how he has edited them. He discovers that they fall into two sets of papers: there are two kinds of handwriting, two kinds of paper, and they have different contents, one on the aesthetic and the other on the ethical. Despite his extraordinarily diligent efforts, Eremita is unable to obtain any information about the identity of either author, so he refers to one author as "A" and the other as "B." And since there are no titles, Eremita supplies them, and divides Either/Or up into two parts and two volumes, one for A's papers and the other for B's papers. Organizing B's papers is easy because they are made up letters that follow a sequence. A's papers are a different story:
I have let chance fix the order—that is, I have let them remain in the order in which I found them, without, of course, being able to decide whether this order had chronological value or ideal significance. The scraps of paper lay loose in the compartment, and I therefore had to assign them a place. (7-8)
A's papers are difficult to edit as well because A begins the last section, entitled The Seducer's Diary, by explaining that he has made "an accurate clean copy" of a "hurried transcript" he made of a bound volume he found in the unlocked desk of a friend: "One drawer stood open. In it was a mass of loose papers, and on top of them lay a large quarto volume, exquisitely bound" (303), that is the seducer's diary. "A" includes with the diary a "collection of letters" without dates from the woman who is the object of the seducer's attentions, but the letters are undated and possibly incomplete. "A" has "copied them and interleaved them in my fair copy" (310).
The "literary device" of the found papers employed by A and also by Kierkegaard through Eremita does not deliver what it promises, namely, some secret that might reveal the inner and shows how it is not the outer. The device, both literary and philosophical, unfolds through a turbulent dynamic that makes secrecy irreducible to inwardness and reading itself into a series of multiple (non)choices. Eremita ends the preface with a word to the reader in which he channels A and B and, becoming a ghostwriter or a dictation machine, reciting what they would say.
A presumably would have no objection to the publication of the papers, and he probab
ly would shout to the reader, "Read them or do not read, you will regret it either way." What B would say is more difficult to determine. He perhaps would reproach me for something or other, especially with regard to the publication of A's papers, and he would make me feel that he had no part in it, that he would wash his hands. Having done that, he perhaps would address the book with these words: "Go out into the world, then; avoid, if possible, the attention of the critics; visit an individual reader in a favorably disposed hour, and if you should encounter a reader of the fair sex, then I would say: My charming reader, in this book you will find something that you perhaps should not know, something else from which you will presumably benefit by coming to know it. Read, then, something in such a way that, having read it you may be as one who has not read it; read the something else in such a way that, having read it, you may be as one who has not forgotten what has been read."
Both A and B deconstruct the distinction between reading and not reading: for A, the choice between reading and not reading Either/Or is a non-choice since the outcome will be to regret either; B opposes male and female readers, but then turns the reading of the charming reader into non-reading: "be as one who has not read it." Eremita then reiterates
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B's advice: "As editor, I shall add only the wish that the book may meet the reader in a favorably disposed hour and that the charming reader may scrupulously succeed in following B's well-intentioned advice" (14-15).
Part Two of Either/Or ends with a similar address to the reader on the topic of reading:
It is not, however, to tell you this that I am writing, but to send you a sermon by him that was enclosed in the letter. Not wanting to instigate your criticism, I did not wish to show it to you personally, but send it to you by letter so that it may make its impression on you in quietness. . . . Take it, then; read it. I have nothing to add except that I have read and thought about myself, read it and thought of you. (338)
In this case, the pseudonymous author turned reader presents a text that matches The Seducer's Diary in its placement in relation to a double reading. But the difference between the two readings, assuming there is one, by the author's own account adds nothing.

At one point in his seventh seminar, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Jacques Lacan returns to Heidegger's example of the jug, which he misreads,

The Unknown Comic

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Jacques Derrida, "Restitutions of the Truth in Pointing [pointure]" in The Truth in Painting,

Martin Heidegger, "The Origin of the Work of Art"

Meyer Shapiro, "The Still Life as Personal Object--A Note on Heidegger and van Gogh," in Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist, and Society

Meyer Shapiro, "Further Notes on Heidegger and van Gogh," in Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist, and Society