Thursday, January 10, 2008

Unlabelable Male Relationships

Opposites attract—partly by complementing each other.
Fritz Stern, Gold and Iron.
It is in just this way that truly meaningful friendships can arise among human beings: for antithetical qualities make possible a closer and more intimate union.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities.
In many ways it was an unexpected friendship. Eissler was much older, and seemed to be everything I was not: conservative in dress, brusque and apparently unfriendly in manner, spare in speech. But what Eissler and I experienced together was, while completely nonsexual, nonetheless romantic in some important sense of the word. For one, it was shot through with fantasy. For another, we both behaved as if we were somehow infatuated, both intellectually and emotionally.
J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis.
Let us say that . . .
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.
. . . we were slowly to form such a true friendship that it seemed a thing of destiny.
Miguel Serrano, Jung & Hesse: A Record of Two Friendships.
In this he was deceived: but who, in his place, wouldn't have deceived himself about that?
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil.
I liked visiting Eissler in his home in New York. His office was a delight to me; completely buried in papers, articles, and books. What mattered most for me and seemingly for Eissler during my visits was that we got to sit in his office and talk psychoanalytic history.
J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis.
I felt as if I had . . .
Janet Malcolm, Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession.
. . . . intruded upon the holy of holies.
Jack London, Martin Eden.
It is hard for me now, from this distance, and with all that has happened in between to recapture the mood it put me in, but there is no doubt that I was completely absorbed.
J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis.
From the moment they were . . .
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.
. . . alone together side by side . . .
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities.
—from that moment there sprang up a conversation that was contrary to all the laws of logic, contrary because entirely different subjects were talked of at the same time. This simultaneous discussion of many topics, far from hindering a clear understanding, was the surest indication that they fully understood each other. Just as in a dream when everything is unreal, meaningless, and contradictory except the feeling that governs the dream, so in this communion of thoughts, contrary to all laws of reason, the words themselves were not clear and consecutive, but only the feeling that prompted them.
Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace.
I felt, rightly, that I had a great deal to learn from Eissler, and I was a good and willing pupil.
J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis.
For the moment the great gulf that separated them was bridged.
Jack London, Martin Eden.
It was no longer a relationship of dependence, but one of equality and reciprocity. He could be the guest of this superior mind without humiliation, since the other man had given recognition to the creative power in him.
Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund.
It is dozens of years since . . .
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.
. . . I became interested in the origins of psychoanalysis and in Sigmund Freud's relationship with Wilhelm Fliess, the nose and throat physician who was his closest friend during the years Freud was formulating his new theories.
J. Moussaieff Masson, Freud and the Seduction Theory.
The friendship between the two was an unusual one.
Hermann Hesse, Beneath the Wheel.
Two years younger than Freud, Fliess became his confidant in the mid-1890s. Freud’s letters to him, . . .
E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will.
. . . which constitute . . .
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species.
. . . the basic document as it were, the wellspring of psychoanalysis. . .
J. Moussaieff Masson, Final Analysis.
. . . combine passion with intellectual virtuosity.
E. James Lieberman, Acts of Will.
The last term in my last year of college . . .
Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh: A Novel.
. . . I wrote an eager . . .
Mark Twain, Christian Science.
. . . paper on Freud’s letters to Wilhelm Fliess . . .
Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh: A Novel.
. . . though I was interested in . . .
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure.
. . . all the permutations of male relationships that are a little skewed: father-son relationships between two men who aren’t really father and son, this loving relationship between two men who aren’t lovers, unlabelable male relationships.
Dave Weich, Michael Chabon’s Amazing Adventures.
It may be stretching the term beyond its legitimate province, but in important ways, Freud imposed on Fliess a role akin to that of psychoanalyst. Freud's prolonged failure, his virtual refusal, to appraise his intimate friend realistically hints that he was caught in a severe transference relationship: Freud idealized Fliess beyond measure [and] even wanted to name a son after Fliess, only to be frustrated, in 1893 and 1895, by the birth of daughters, Sophie and Anna. He poured out his innermost secrets to his Other in Berlin on paper and, during their carefully prearranged, eagerly anticipated "congresses," in person.
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.

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