Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dream Story

I find it very interesting how often sublimation is displayed in Dream Story. The basic principle of sublimation being the diversion of the energy of a sexual impulse (as it seems more prominent in this story) from its immediate target to one of a more acceptable social or moral target. Fridolin shows this a few times through out the story. The most striking instance of this begins on the bottom of page 235.

"And he vowed not to rest until he had again found the beautiful woman, whose dazzling nakedness had so intoxicated him. Only now did he think of Albertine, --and even so he felt as though he was obliged to conquer her as well, as though she could not, should not be his again until he had betrayed her with all the others he had met that night, with the naked woman, with Pierrette, with Marianne, and with the little trollop from the narrow backstreet."

Here it seems as though his crazed fascination with the naked lady from the weird secret masked ball, is re-directed to his wife. In fact it seems this same re-direction is repeated in the middle of page 271 where, in his head, he pictures the suicidal lady as his wife. It seems that through all his adventures he always comes back to thinking about his wife. His desires are eventually re-directed and his love of his wife (however imperfect) is rekindled.

I really like how this story shows the mental battle between the married couple it seems they both go through this circular pattern where one is upset at the other (because of some sexual feelings) and in some sort of revenge, they go out and almost get involved with others or at least think about it and later report it at which point the other one gets upset. This cyclical pattern seems to repeat which I find very poetically beautiful.

1 comment:

Ouroboros said...

I think it is interesting that you find the quote from page 235 to be an example of Sublimation. It seems to me that he is experiencing an increase in his destructive drive because he wants to "conquer" her and betray her. So where his energy is technically being transfered to his wife (the socially acceptable target) is it healthy? Is his Thanatos transformed into Eros?

I do wonder what you think of the mask Fridolin finds on his pillow? Because I thought that up until that point Fridolin was still undecided about whether he should "report" his actions to his wife, as you put it, perhaps perpetuating the cycle.