ERIC Number: EJ1224049
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Abstractor: As Provided
Between Wild Thoughts and Schoolboy Essays: Psychoanalytic Reverie and the Dreamy, Digressive Subjects of Writing in Robert Walser's "Fritz Kocher's Essays"
Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, v16 n2 p141-160 2019
In this article, I engage the psychoanalytic writings of Donald Winnicott, Thomas Ogden and Wilfred Bion, who proffer maternal reverie -- an intimate intersubjective communication between the mother and infant -- as an early model for the psychosomatic drifts of form and thought experienced in the analytic encounter. As a way to frame these psychoanalytic dynamics, I turn to Robert Walser's fictional collection of schoolboy writings Fritz Kocher's essays, and read the titular character's various detours and digressions as useful examples of how reverie experience -- a space of indeterminate identification between the essay and writer -- may be articulated in relation to the needs of writing practice. Since the dream is other to the time of school, Fritz's contradictory meanings carry the trace of a disturbance that words can never clarify. I also adopt Bion's conceptualization of the caesura of birth as a way of viewing the breach of meaning in writing as only one possible entrance of many into the infinite figures of signification. Looking at how Fritz's writing encourages a productive decentering of that which is normally expected of writing students, I end this paper by celebrating the importance of the arbitrary nature of digression.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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