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Ofer, G. Shoshani, M. Shoshani, B. (2016). When 1+1=1: Truth and Blindness in the Oedipal Myth and the Film Incendies. IJP Open, 3:36.

(2016). IJP Open, 3:36

When 1+1=1: Truth and Blindness in the Oedipal Myth and the Film Incendies

Gila Ofer, Michael Shoshani and Batya Shoshani

This paper discusses the intricacies of the pursuit of knowledge and truth, mediated by love and hate, as it is epitomized in the myth of Oedipus and the film "Incendies" (Villeneuve, 2010). The myth of Oedipus is used to highlight the subjects of the pursuit of truth, denial of truth, blindness and the undercurrent of ‘enigmatic messages’ (Laplanche, 1995). The film resonates deeply with psychoanalytic experiences of patients who struggle with the existential plight of searching for the truth of their self and their past. The intriguing relationship between the myth and the film is drawn out through several theoretical perspectives: Bion’s notions of arrogance, curiosity and stupidity and their relation to K, L and H; Symington’s notion of psychic survival versus psychic freedom as the main endeavor of the human psyche in the face of psychological disaster and nameless dread; Sheldon Bach’s conceptualization of the different tasks leading to experiencing relationships and reality through the prisms of the language of love vs. the language of perversion; Kristeva’s assumption that ‘in the beginning there was love’, and that the capacity for symbolization and mentalization – i.e. knowing – rests on the restoration of the ability to love and be loved.

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