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Weatherill, R. (1995). Violence and privacy: what if the container fails?. Free Associations, 5(2):150-170.

(1995). Free Associations, 5(2):150-170

Articles

Violence and privacy: what if the container fails?

Rob Weatherill

Fragility and Telling All

Suddenly frightened by her hatred she said to herself: the world is at some sort of border; if it is crossed everything will turn to madness: people will walk the streets holding forget-me-nots or kill one another on sight. And it will take very little for the glass to overflow, perhaps just one drop: perhaps just one car too many, or one person, or one decibel. There is a certain quantitative border that must not be crossed, yet no one stands guard over it and perhaps no one even realises that it exists. (Milan Kundera, 1991, p. 23)

Such a perceptiveness is expressed through the character of Agnes in Kundera's book Immortality. Yet such a potentiality for madness: Is this just the phantasy of a borderline patient, or some registration of the effects, or some representation of postmodernism? If a patient speaks like this in a psychoanalytic or psychiatric interview, we would think in terms of borderline pathology. We would think in a restricted way like this, which is appropriate for the consulting room. But we might also note her permeability and sensitivity to cultural impingements, her lack of protection, her closeness to, and acute sense of danger.

Recently,

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