By Dana Seitler
The post-Darwinian idea of atavism forecasted stumbling blocks to human growth within the reappearance of throwback actual or cultural features after numerous generations of absence. during this unique and stimulating paintings, Dana Seitler explores the ways that modernity itself is an atavism, shaping a old and theoretical account of its dramatic upward push and effect on Western tradition and mind's eye. reading overdue 19th- and early twentieth-century technological know-how, fiction, and images, Seitler discovers how sleek concept orientated itself round this paradigm of obsolescence and return—one that served to maintain ideologies of gender, sexuality, and race. She argues that atavism used to be not just a discourse of violence—mapping racial and sexual divisions onto the boundary among human and animal—but used to be additionally an indication of the way smooth technology understood individual as a temporal type. On one hand, atavism situated a few people as extra complex than others on an evolutionary scale. at the different, it undermined such progressivism through suggesting that simply because all people had developed from animals they have been accordingly now not only human. Atavism hence finds how clinical theories of a recurrent previous have been an important characteristic of modernity. in the beginning of the 20th century, atavistic idea had common social and monetary results at the taxonomies of medication, the common sense of the welfare kingdom, conceptions of the fashionable relatives, and photographs of the irregular. Investigating the cultural good judgment of technological know-how along with naturalist, feminist, and renowned narratives, Seitler exposes the impact of atavism: a primary shift in methods of knowing—and telling tales about—the glossy human.
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38 Freud’s Menagerie Freud reconstructs the contents of what he comes to call the Wolf Man’s “primal scene”: the young boy’s possibly real but potentially fantasized witnessing of parental sex. Observing the principle of distortion operating in the dreamwork, the way in which dreams are occasions for “screen memories” that both evoke and obscure repressed material from the individual’s psyche, Freud infers the “violent motion” of the primal scene from the represented immobility of the wolves. Their immobility, in other words, screens the image of the Wolf Man’s parents in the active motions of sexual intercourse.
19 The genre of the psychoanalytic case study establishes the individual as an object of knowledge by deploying tropological and formal strategies as modes of knowing. Indeed, Freud routes one of the most visual aspects of the Wolf Man’s dream, the wolves in the tree, through a series of speciWc narratives (biological, evolutionary, and literary) and formal structures (iconic and linguistic). It therefore becomes necessary to interrogate and specify these narratives and structures. To do so means recognizing Freud’s complicated system of techniques, conceptual Wgurations, and formal strategies as the hermeneutics by which he comes to establish a model of modern humanity.
13 Cognitive thinking, in this view, is that which links both the individual to the collective (in practices like voting) and ideas to the body (thus ameliorating the problem of the mind–body split). The case study is itself a mode of embodied abstraction to the extent that we understand its primary aim to be the concrete materialization of the individual in an abstracted form. In the therapeutic process, the cognizant self-reXection that Hadley describes is Wgured as psychological inner directedness, a process of introspection that acts as a modality through which the embedded latencies of self and being can be made present, the unconscious made conscious.