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Essman, E. (2013). Discomfort Food: A Note on Anality in Melancholia. Fort Da, 19(1):128-130.

(2013). Fort Da, 19(1):128-130

Discomfort Food: A Note on Anality in Melancholia Related Papers

Review by:
Eric Essman, M.A.

Writing of narcissistic structure, Rosine Perelberg (2004) refers to contrasting theories of depression. One (Freud, 1917) involves the fantasy of oral incorporation of the lost object and “reveals the ambivalence of the depressed person to the object of mourning … [in] a dialectic of idealisation and denigration of self and other….” The other (Kristeva, 1987) involves “a primitive self who is incomplete and empty … [relative] to an archaic object that has not reached representation” (Perelberg, p. 1076). Taken together, these theories posit a primitive mode of identification yielding a dialectical movement between emotional poles and an absence at the core of the melancholic subject. Where the one theory proposes a conflicted representation, the other proposes a lack. The general opposition between presence and absence, whose phenomenological-experiential extremes are fullness and emptiness (Perelberg, 2002), might be further differentiated as an intolerable pressure to void an object or as (so to speak) an object void.

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