Monday, January 03, 2011

Significant Moments: Origins and First Draft

This writing is the initial draft of my book Significant Moments.  The original manuscript contains emendations that are inserted by means of brackets "[" and "]".  Notes that I have added at this writing are denoted by yellow background.  All the quotations are from books that I owned and had read.  At this initial stage I did not do any research of any kind.  The manuscript was meant to present quotations that I had previously read and that resonated in my mind.  Thus, this manuscript has especial psychological importance as it pertains to my identifications and associations.  Note also that as of the writing of the original manuscript in 1993, the Internet did not yet exist.  Computer searches were not possible at that time.


I have written a 548-page book titled Significant Moments.  The book is comprised entirely of quotations from the published literature and presents a collection of my identifications, associations and fantasies.

When I started working on it, I had no idea that it would turn into a book.  In the spring of 1993, while I was in out-patient psychotherapy at the George Washington University Medical Center, I had the idea of taking passages from books with which I had a strong personal identification, arranging them by theme, typing them up, and giving them to my psychiatrist.  The project was intended to help my psychiatrist understand my personality.

A possible motivation for the writing might be found in the following chronology.  I was terminated (wrongfully, I believed) from my job on October 29, 1991.  On February 4, 1992, I filed a complaint against my former employer with a government agency alleging that my termination was unlawful.  In September 1992 I started psychotherapy at GW.  On about December 23, 1992 I received in the mail my former employer's responsive pleadings which I believed were defamatory.  As of May 3, 1993 I was awaiting the agency's determination about the lawfulness of my job termination.

Under cover letter dated May 3, 1993 I submitted to my psychiatrist a writing that was 27 pages in length.  In the weeks and months that followed I added quotations to the writing.  It was only as the months passed and the writing grew substantially in length that I made a conscious effort to turn the writing into a book-length project of possible publishable quality.

Note that I had filed for disability benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration in April 1993, about a month before.  SSA granted my claim in mid-August 1993.  Thus, I provided the writing to my psychiatrist knowing that GW might submit the writing to SSA.  I don't believe the writing evidences any attempt on my part to deceive SSA about the nature and severity of my illness.  As I like to say, the writing is just an instance of "Freedman being Freedman."

Here is the letter I wrote to my psychiatrist, Suzanne M. Pitts, M.D.:

May 3, 1993
3801 Connecticut Ave., NW
#136
Washington, DC  20008

Suzanne M. Pitts, MD
Dept. of Psychiatry
GW Univ. Medical Center
2150 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20037

Dear Dr. Pitts:

The attached writing is a collection of literary and other identifications that I have randomly collected over the years.

To the extent that I have been able to confer some order and cohesiveness on the various issues and themes suggests that the corresponding issues in my personality cannot be analyzed independently from one another but only as part of a system. Thus, the notion that I am being surveilled by my former employer (an issue in the writing) cannot be interpreted in isolation from other issues (also discussed in the writing) including my job termination, need for mentoring, isolation of affect, intellectualization, my response to people who are similar to me, difficulties in a group setting, feelings of loneliness, etc.

Also, I suspect that there is a relationship between the peculiar structure of the writing and the content of the ideas expressed (apparently relating to identity).

Sincerely,

Gary Freedman
_____________________________

Those with an intimate acquaintance of Hebrew texts will recognize immediately that this one is written entirely in melitzah, a mosaic of fragments and phrases from the Hebrew Bible as well as from rabbinic literature or the liturgy, fitted together to form a new statement of what the author intends to express at the moment.  Melitzah, in effect, recalls Walter Benjamin's desire to someday write a work composed entirely of quotations.  At any rate, it was a literary device employed widely in medieval Hebrew poetry and prose, then through the Haskalah, and even among nineteenth century writers both modern and traditional.
Yerushalmi, Y.H. Freud's Moses[: Judaism Terminable and Interminable], at 71 (Yale: 1991).

[I had purchased the above book in 1991, while I was still employed at Akin Gump.  Oddly enough, the book's title relates to something I told Dennis Race and Malcolm Lassman at the time I lodged a harassment complaint on October 24, 1991.  The New York Times, in its Sunday book review, had published a review of the book in about September 1991.  At the meeting with Lassman and Race, when I mentioned that "coworkers make interminable references to my friend Craig Dye" Malcolm Lassman seemed to reflex at the word "interminable."]

I have resolved on an enterprise which has no precedent, and which, once complete, will have no imitator.  My purpose is to display to my kind a portrait in every way true to nature, and the man I shall portray will be myself.  Simply myself.  I know my own heart and understand my fellow man.  But I am made unlike any one I have ever met; I will even venture to say that I am like no one in the whole world.  I may be no better, but at least I am different.  Whether Nature did well or ill in breaking the mould in which she formed me, is a question which can only be resolved after reading my book.
Rousseau, J.J. The Confessions (1781), at 17 (Penguin, 1953).


[I had purchased the above book in about 1985.]

Yet the face struck me at that moment as neither masculine nor childlike, neither old nor young, but somehow a thousand years old, somehow timeless, bearing the scars of an entirely different history than we knew; animals could look like that, or trees, or planets--none of this did I know consciously, I did not feel precisely what I say about it now as an adult, only something of the kind. Perhaps he was handsome, perhaps I liked him, perhaps I also found him repulsive, I could not be sure of that either. All I saw was that he was different from us, he was like an animal or like a spirit or like a picture, he was different, unimaginably different from the rest of us.
Hesse, H. Demian (1919), at 43 (Bantam: 1985) (The young Emil Sinclair's description of his classmate, Max Demian).


[I had purchased the above book during the summer of 1988, a few months after I started working at Akin Gump.  On Friday May 13, 1988 I had lunch with two Hogan & Hartson friends, Craig Dye and Daniel Cutler.  Daniel Cutler mentioned that he was reading Demian.  Craig Dye at that moment mentioned that his mother's maiden name was Hess.  I can remember that date because it was the anniversary of Sigmund Freud's circumcision (May 13, 1856).  I had started working at Akin Gump in early March 1988, and my lunch with Daniel and Craig was the first time I had seen them since I stopped working at Hogan two months earlier.  It was Daniel Cutler's comment that got me interested in Demian and all the Hermann Hesse novels; I had never read them before.  Oddly enough, I was at Craig Dye's apartment on one occasion, and I noticed that he had a collection of all the major Hermann Hesse novels.]
______________________

Temin, Howard Martin (b. Dec. 10, 1934, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.), American virologist who in 1975 shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with his former professor Renato Dulbecco and another of  Dulbecco's students, David Baltimore, for his research in cancer.

While working toward his Ph.D. under Dulbecco at the California Institute of Technology, Temin began investigating how the Rous sarcoma virus causes animal cancers.  One puzzling observation was that the virus, the essential component of which is ribonucleic acid (RNA), could not infect the cell if the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was stopped.  Temin proposed in 1964 that the virus somehow translated its RNA into DNA [autoplasty], which then redirected the reproductive activity of the cell, transforming it into a cancer cell [alloplasty].  The cell would reproduce this DNA along with its own DNA, producing more cancer cells.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Article re Howard Temin.


[Howard Temin had graduated first in his class at my high school, The Central High School of Philadelphia.  Central distributes a handbook about the school to all ninth-graders; the edition I received in 1967 referred to Temin.  Thus, I had known about Temin for years.  In the early 1990s, I looked him up in the Encyclopedia and learned about his work and his being awarded the Nobel Prize.  Temin's brother, Michael Lerman Temin, Esq., also a first-honor man at Central, is a bankruptcy lawyer in Philadelphia.  He used to practice at Wolf, Block, Schorr, and Solis-Cohen -- the same law firm where former American Bar Association President, Jerome Shestack, was a partner.  Incidentally, like Bob Strauss, Jerome Shestack is a former U.S. Ambassador; his avocation is poetry.  I had written several letters to Jerome Shestack in the 1990s.


Alloplastic adaptation (from the Greek word allos) is a form of adaptation where the subject attempts to change the environment when faced with a difficult situation.  The concept of alloplastic adaptation was developed by Sigmund Freud, Sándor Ferenczi, and Franz Alexander. They proposed that when an individual was presented with a stressful situation, he could react in one of two ways:

Autoplastic adaptation: The subject tries to change himself, i.e. the internal environment.


Alloplastic adaptation: The subject tries to change the situation, i.e. the external environment.

Criminality, mental illness and activism can all be classified as categories of alloplastic adaptation.



Autoplasty and alloplasty are polar opposite concepts.  Albert Rothenberg, M.D. has proposed that a creative person may have the ability to fuse polar opposite ideas, an ability or ego process he has termed Janusian Thinking.  The resulting Janusian idea (the fusion of opposites) can serve as the germ cell, as it were, of a creative production, such as a novel.  It may be that a Janusian idea that lies at the core of Significant Moments is the fusion of the polar opposite ideas of autoplasty and alloplasty.  The retrovirus both changes itself (autoplasty) and changes the host it infects (alloplasty).  To cite another example, President Franklin Roosevelt changed himself from a superficial, upper-class dandy (as he was described in his youth) into a social reformer who went on to transform the American political landscape.]
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This indirect personality assessment is based primarily on background material and current impressions derived from press reports, including newspaper and magazine articles and television interviews.  In addition, selected State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation memoranda have been reviewed.  As the data base is fragmentary and there has been no direct clinical evaluation of the subject, this indirect assessment should be considered highly speculative and in no way definitive.

There is nothing to suggest in the material reviewed that subject suffers from a serious mental disorder in the sense of being psychotic and out of touch with reality.  There are suggestions, however, that some of his long-standing personality needs were intensified by psychological pressures of the mid-life period and that this may have contributed significantly to his recent action.
        
An extremely intelligent and talented individual, subject apparently early made his brilliance evident. [These observations can be interpreted as a metaphor for internal object relations; see Dr. Storr's comments regarding "precocious ego development," below.]  It seems likely that there were substantial pressures to succeed and that subject early had instilled in him expectations of success, that he absorbed the impression that he was special and destined for greatness.  And indeed he did attain considerable academic success and seemed slated for a brilliant career.

There has been a notable zealous intensity about the subject throughout his career.  Apparently finding it difficult to tolerate ambiguity and ambivalence, he was either strongly for something or strongly against it.  There were suggestions of problems in achieving full success, for although his ideas glittered, he had trouble committing himself in writing.
        
He had a knack for drawing attention to himself and at early ages had obtained positions of considerable distinction, usually attaching himself as a "bright young man" to an older and experienced man of considerable stature who was attracted by his brilliance and flair.
  
But one can only sustain the role of "bright young man" so long.  Most men between the ages of 35 and 45 go through a period of re-evaluation.  Realizing that youth is at an end, that many of their golden dreams cannot be achieved, many men transiently drift into despair at this time.  In an attempt to escape from these feelings of despair and to regain a sense of competence and mastery, there is an increased thrust towards new activity at this time.  Thus this is a time of career changes, of extramarital affairs and divorce.

It is a time when many men come to doubt their early commitments and are impelled to strike out in new directions.        

For the individual who is particularly driven towards the heights of success and prominence, this mid-life period may be a particularly difficult time.  The evidence reviewed suggests that this was so for Ellsberg, a man whose career had taken off like a rocket, but who found himself at mid-life not nearly having achieved the prominence and success he expected and desired.

Thus it may well have been an intensified need to achieve significance that impelled him to release the Pentagon Papers.

There is no suggestion that subject thought anything treasonous in his act.  Rather, he seemed to be responding to what he deemed a higher order of patriotism.  His exclusion of the three volumes of the papers concerned with the secret negotiations would support this.

Many of subject's own words would confirm the impression that he saw himself as having a special mission, and indeed as bearing a special responsibility . . . .

He also on several occasions had suggested quite strongly that his action will not only alter the shape of the Vietnam War, but will materially influence the conduct of our foreign policy [cf. external object relations] and the relationship between the people and the Government [cf. internal object relations, specifically the relationship of the ego to the superego].
C.I.A. Psychological Study of [Daniel] Ellsberg, August 1971.  In: The Watergate Hearings, at 779-781 (Bantam: 1973).


[I had purchased the above book The Watergate Hearings in about October 1973, while President Nixon was still in office.  I was a 19-year-old college junior at that time.  The above profile of Daniel Ellsberg had an inexplicable, uncanny resonance for me when I read it at age 19.  At that age I had not yet ever seen a psychiatrist in consultation.  It may be that the breach by my treating psychiatrists of the D.C. Mental Health Information Act, and their providing of confidential mental health information about me to my former employer, is an aspect of my own repetition compulsion.  I believe that the Ellsberg personality profile was written by a Washington, D.C. psychiatrist named Bernard Malloy, M.D., who worked for the C.I.A. in 1971.]

SENATOR TALMADGE:  Now, if the President could authorize a covert break-in [of Dr. Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office] and you do not know exactly what that power would be limited, you do not think it could include murder or other crimes beyond covert break-ins, do you?

JOHN EHRLICHMAN: I do not know where the line is, Senator.
The Watergate Hearings, at 521 (Bantam: 1973 (Ehrlichman testimony on July 25, 1973).  [Note that self-analysis is also a kind of "covert break-in."]

I began writing "Individual and Mass Behavior in Extreme Situations" in 1940, about a year after I had been set free and moved to the United States. From the moment I arrived in this country, within weeks after liberation, I spoke of the camps to everybody willing to listen, and many more unwilling to do so. Painful
as this was because of what it brought back to mind, I did it because I was so full of the experience that it would not be contained. I did it also because I was anxious to force on the awareness of as many people as possible what was going on in Nazi Germany, and out of a feeling of obligation to those who still suffered
in the camps. But I met with little success.

At that time, nothing was known in the U.S. about the camps, and my story was met with utter disbelief. Before the U.S. was drawn into the war, people did not wish to believe that Germany could do such horrendous things. I was accused of being carried away by my hatred of the Nazis, of engaging in paranoid distortions. I was warned not to spread such lies. I was taken to task for opposite reasons at the same time: that I painted the SS much too black; and that I gave them much too much credit for being intelligent enough to devise and systematically execute such a diabolic system, when everybody knew that they were but stupid madmen.

Such reactions only convinced me more of the need to make people aware of the reality of the camps, of what went on in them and the nefarious purposes they served. My hope was that publishing a paper, written as objectively as possible to forestall the accusation that I distorted facts out of personal hatred, might make
people listen to what I had to tell. That was my conscious reason for writing "Individual and Mass Behavior in Extreme Situations," which I finished in 1942.

Unfortunately, for well over a year, this paper was rejected by one after another of the psychiatric and psychoanalytic journals to which I sent it, thinking that these were most likely to be willing to print it. The reasons for rejection varied. Some editors objected because I had not kept written records while in the
camps, implicitly revealing that they had not believed a word of what I had written about conditions in the camps. Others refused it because the data were not verifiable, or because the findings could not be replicated. A few came right out and said that both what I claimed were facts and my conclusions were most
improbable exaggerations. Some added—probably correctly, as judged by my experience when I tried talking about these matters to professional people—that the article would be too unacceptable to their audiences. But given my reasons for wanting to see the essay printed, I could not give up, and eventually it was published.

Writing the essay was difficult intellectually, because at the time psychological thought had not yet developed the conceptual framework necessary for dealing adequately with these problems, so I was forced to struggle with it myself. But even harder was trying to deal with the anxiety-provoking and otherwise deeply upsetting memories which constantly intruded, making it arduous to think objectively about the camps. Trying to be objective became my intellectual defense against becoming overwhelmed by these perturbing feelings. Consciously I felt a great urge to write about the concentration camps, and in a manner which would make others think about them, make it possible for them to grasp what went on in them. It was a need which, many years later in the literature on survivors, was called their compulsion to "bear witness." My desire to make
people understand received much impetus from my need to comprehend better what had happened to me while in the camps, so I could gain intellectual mastery over the experience.
Bettelheim, B. Surviving and Other Essays, at 14-16 (Vintage: 1980).


[I had purchased the above book in about 1985, three years before I started working at Akin Gump.  Bruno Bettelheim's son, Eric Bettelheim, practices law in England.  Coincidentally, Malcolm Lassman's brother, Lionel Lassman, also practices law in London.]
  
In an outstanding document ["Individual and Mass Behavior in Extreme Situations"], Bruno Bettelheim (1943) has described his experiences in a German concentration camp of the early days.  He reports the various steps and external manifestations (such as affectations in posture and dress) by which the inmates abandoned their identity as anti-Fascists in favor of that of their tormentors.   He himself preserved his life and sanity by deliberately and persistently clinging to the historical Jewish identity of invincible spiritual and intellectual superiority over a physically superior outer world; he made his tormentors the subject of a silent research project which he safely delivered to the world of free letters.
Erikson E.H. Identity and the Life Cycle (1959), note 6 at 180-181 (Norton: 1980).


[I had purchased this book in the fall of 1989, while I worked at Akin Gump.]

Joseph is a benign romancer, whose only revenge upon his brothers is to write all of the later scenes of the drama in which he is the hero and they are supporting figures, but not villains.  The romance of Joseph has no villains and ends as happily as a romance could end.
Bloom, H. The Book of J., at 233 (Vintage: 1990).


[I had purchased the above book in late 1991, a brief time after my job termination by Akin Gump.  The book had originally been published in about mid-1990.  I had formed the paranoid impression in 1990 that a senior manager at Akin Gump had contacted Harold Bloom, a literature professor at Yale, after the New York Times published a book review of Bloom's book, The Book of J, in which Bloom proposed that the author of the Bible had been an ancient female writer.


My father's name was Jacob, like that of the Biblical Joseph, and I was the "child of my father's old age" -- my father was 47 years old when I was born.]
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I had been lonely at Harvard. My relationships with others didn't seem to go deep enough to give me the sense that I was making permanent friends and becoming part of a larger community. I was unable to fall in love. I could easily imagine disappearing without leaving any trace in the world. This thought had a curious effect on me: it depressed me and yet the depression itself was so interesting a state for me to be able to feel, that I was nearly elated at experiencing it. But perhaps I am romanticizing my loneliness in retrospect. I know at the time that I just wanted it to end.
Masson, J.M. Final Analysis, at 8 (Harper: 1991)

[I had purchased the above book in about December 1991, a few months after I was fired from Akin Gump.]

"Tegularius. Personal friend of the writer[, Joseph Knecht]. Recipient of several honors at school in Keuperheim. Good classical philologist, strong interest in philosophy, work on Leibniz, Bolzano, subsequently Plato. The most brilliant and gifted Glass Bead Game player I know. He would be predestined for Magister Ludi were it not that his character, together with his frail health, make him completely unsuited for that position. T. should never be appointed to an outstanding, representative, or organizational position; that would be a misfortune for him and the office. His deficiency takes physical form in states of low vitality, periods of insomnia and nervous aches, psychologically in spells of melancholy, a hunger for solitude, fear of duties and responsibilities, and probably also in thoughts of suicide. Dangerous though his situation is, by the aid of meditation and great self-discipline he keeps himself going so courageously that most of his acquaintances have no idea of how severely he suffers and are aware only of his great shyness and taciturnity.["]
Hesse, H. Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game (1943), at 130-131 (Bantam: 1986) (Hesse is said to have modeled the character Tegularius on Nietzsche).

[I had purchased the above book during the summer of 1988, a few months after I started working at Akin Gump.  Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize for this book in 1946.  I believe that we can already see at this stage in my manuscript that an unconscious theme is my Nobel Prize Complex.  Note that Howard Temin, who is referenced, above, was also awarded a Nobel Prize.  In one of his scholarly papers, Jeffrey Masson cites Helen Tartakoff's paper on the Nobel Prize Complex, which is how I learned about that entity.]

[The Hesse character,] Demian is not actually a physical being, since he is never separated from Sinclair, the character who narrates the book. In fact, Demian is Sinclair himself, his deepest self, a kind of archetypal hero who exists in the depths of all of us. In a word, Demian is the essential Self which remains unchanging and untouched, and through him the book attempts to give instruction concerning the magical essence of existence. Demian provides the young boy Sinclair with a redeeming awareness of the millennial being which exists within him so that he can overcome chaos and danger, especially during the years of adolescence.
Serrano, M. Jung & Hesse: A Record of Two Friendships, at 4 (Schocken: 1968).


[I purchased the above book some time after I became interested in the work of Hermann Hesse in mid-1988.  Note how the relationship between Demian and Sinclair echoes the Fantasy of Having a Twin Sibling.]

"Why is it that you have not done great things in this world? With the power that is yours you might have risen to any height. Unpossessed of conscience or moral instinct, you might have mastered the world, broken it to your hand. And yet here you are, at the top of your life, where diminishing and dying begin, living an obscure and sordid existence, hunting sea animals for the satisfaction of woman's vanity and love of decoration, revelling in a piggishness, to use your own words, which is anything and everything except splendid. Why, with all that wonderful strength, have you not done something? There was nothing to stop you, nothing that could stop you. What was wrong? Did you lack ambition? Did you fall under temptation? What was the matter? What was the matter?"

He had lifted his eyes to me at the commencement of my outburst, and followed me complacently until I had done and stood before him breathless and dismayed. He waited a moment, as though seeking where to begin, and then said:

"Hump, do you know the parable of the sower who went forth to sow? If you will remember, some of the seed fell upon stony places, where there was not much earth, and forthwith they sprung up because they had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up and choked them."

"Well?" I said.

"Well?" he queried, half petulantly. "It was not well. I was one of those seeds."
London, J. The Sea Wolf (1904), at 82 (Signet: 1981).


[I purchased the above book in the late summer of 1987, months before I started working at Akin Gump in early March 1988.  A friend from Hogan & Hartson, Daniel Cutler, in the summer of 1987,  told me I reminded him of the captain in this novel.  I was curious, so I bought a copy of the book.  On November 18, 2010 I was interviewed by a federal law enforcement officer at my residence; he seemed to reflex when I used the word "seeds;" my idea of reference at that moment was to the above passage from The Sea Wolf.]

"Victimology, that newly founded brand of criminology that analyzes the personality of potential victims of crimes" has proven that the personality of the victim is one of the causes of his becoming a victim, and this is also true of persons who are "persistently victims of bad luck or failure" (Ellenberger 1970, p. 646f.).  Such people--and Adler was one of them--suffer from the so-called Abel syndrome.  Having Adler in mind, Prof. Ellenberger continues (p. 647): "This is the case of the man whose superiority in a certain field is likely to attract envy, but who is not able or willing to defend himself."
Eissler, K.R. Talent and Genius, at 367-368 (Quadrangle: 1971) (Eissler proceeds to dispute Ellenberger;s contention that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a victim).

[I purchased the above book at Second Story Books on P Street in the summer of 1989, while I worked at Akin Gump.  I had read about K.R. Eissler in Janet Malcolm's magazine articles about Jeffrey Masson in the 1980s, before I started working at Akin Gump.  When I stumbled across this book by Dr. Eissler, I was deeply curious.  This was my first exposure to K.R. Eissler, and the book enthralled me.  


Paranoid idea of reference as it applies to Akin Gump:  At my termination meeting at Akin Gump on October 29, 1991, Dennis Race told me -- oddly, I thought -- that I was a "talented guy."  I thought: "Elayne Wranik must have told them about the book Talent and Genius I have at home."  I took Dennis Race's good-natured comment as a sneering reference to my grandiosity.]

And Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.  And Jacob dwelt in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan.  These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren, being still a lad even with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives; and Joseph brought evil report of them unto their father.  Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a coat of many colours.  And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren; and they hated him yet the more.  And he said unto them: 'Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:  for, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves came round about, and bowed down to my sheaf.'  And his brethren said to him: 'Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?' And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.  And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said: 'Behold, I have dreamed yet a dream: and, behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me.'  And he told it to his father, and to his brethren; and his father rebuked him, and said unto him: 'What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down to thee to the earth?'  And his brethren envied him; but his father kept the saying in mind.  '

And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.  And Israel said unto Joseph: 'Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them.' And he said to him: 'Here am I.'  And he said to him: 'Go now, see whether it is well with thy brethren, and well with the flock; and bring me back word.' So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.  And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying: 'What seekest thou?'  And he said: 'I seek my brethren. Tell me, I pray thee, where they are feeding the flock.'  And the man said: 'They are departed hence; for I heard them say: Let us go to Dothan.' And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.  And they saw him afar off, and before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.  And they said one to another: 'Behold, this dreamer cometh.  Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into one of the pits, and we will say: An evil beast hath devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams.' 
Genesis, 37:1-37:20.

[This passage is from a translation of Tanakh published by The Jewish Publication Society that I purchased in center city Philadelphia in the spring of 1973, when I was 19 years old.  I purchased the book at a shop that sold Jewish gift items where I also purchased a mezuzah for my sister's new house in Delran, New Jersey.  Oddly enough, when I worked at Akin Gump I associated a coworker named Jesse Raben to Joseph's older brother, Reuben.  Jesse Raben later founded an on-line company "All Things Jewish" that sells Jewish gift items.  Some things are just coincidence -- or are they?]
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He is a born politician, immensely adroit at getting his way through every means available. His father, Jacob, is always too hard-pressed to be thought a politician; agonists get their way only through struggle, overt or covert, whether by force or by trickery.  Joseph is not a contestant and will not wrestle anyone.  He is a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams, which means, however paradoxically, that he is a pragmatist and a compromiser with reality.  Jacob strives to achieve and keep the Blessing; he is precisely not a charismatic personality, though he makes himself into a very formidable personality indeed. Everything comes easily to Joseph, who will emerge from every catastrophe more suave and unflustered than ever. Jacob, despite his success, is an unlucky man; Joseph's luck is constant, reliable, and charmingly outrageous.
Bloom, H. The Book of J, at 225-226 (Vintage: 1990).

[I had purchased the above book in late 1991, a brief time after my job termination by Akin Gump.]


Joseph was one of Odets' Biblical favorites, along with Noah, Saul, and David.  He thought Elia Kazan as a "Joseph"--"a dreamer and an opportunist."
Brenman-Gibson, M. Clifford Odets: American Playwright--The Years from 1906 to 1940, footnote 14.21 at 650-651 (Atheneum: 1982).


[I purchased the above book, second hand, in March 1988, a few weeks after I started working at Akin Gump.  I had borrowed the book from the D.C. Library in the summer of 1984.  I was first acquainted with the author, Margaret Brenman-Gibson, a nationally-prominent psychoanalyst, from an interview she gave on the Dick Cavett show in the late 1970s.  My father was a friend of Clifford Odets' cousin, Benny Rossman in Philadelphia.  I refer to Dr. Brenman-Gibson in my dream interpretation titled: The Dream of Milton's Successor.]
____________________________

Most authorities who have studied creative people agree that one of their most notable characteristics is independence. This shows itself particularly in the fact that they are much more influenced by their own, inner standards than by those of the society or profession to which they happen to belong. In a study of architects in which the subjects were divided into three groups according to their creativity, the most creative group were primarily concerned with meeting an inner artistic standard of excellence which they discovered within themselves; the least creative group with conforming to the standards of the architectural profession. It is not unlikely that this trait of independence may be related to the precocity of ego development noted by Freud in obsessionals. To be primarily 'inner-directed' argues the early development both of the ego and also of a sensitive superego; a conscience providing an inner standard to which reference is made, and which is likely to demand a higher performance than any collective, professional group could ask.
Storr, A. The Dynamics of Creation, at 189 (Atheneum: 1972).

[I do not own a copy of the above book.  I first read the book in 1985, years before I started working at Akin Gump.  I had borrowed the book from the Cleveland Park Branch of the D.C. Library.  In one of his books, the late Dr. Storr quotes from the book Dreaming and Memory by Stanley R. Palombo, M.D.  When Albert Rothenberg recommended I see Dr. Palombo, in November 1989, I immediately recognized the name from Dr. Storr's writings.]

Obsessional characters, in addition to the traits we have discussed, posses a particularly well-developed ability to ritualize and create symbols.  This is partly dependent upon their distaste for the physical, and partly upon what Freud referred to as 'precocity of ego-development.'  In his paper on 'The Disposition to Obsessional Neurosis', Freud postulates that emotional development and intellectual development may not proceed hand-in-hand.  In cases where the latter outstrips the former, an emotional immaturity may persist and co-exist with a striking ability to intellectualize, symbolize and ritualize, all of which latter functions require a developed ego as opposed to a chaotic id.  The tendency of obsessionals to discount emotion and to exalt intellect at its expense is one consequence of this type of development, as is the use of 'intellectual' defence mechanisms against the emergence of emotion in psychoanalytical treatment.
Storr, A. The Dynamics of Creation, at 107 (Atheneum: 1972) (from "Chapter 8.")


[id.  This passage was deleted at an early stage of my writing of Significant Moments.]

As long as the utility reigning in moral value judgments is solely the utility of the herd, as long as one considers only the preservation of the community, and immorality is sought exactly and exclusively in what seems dangerous to the survival of the community — there can be no morality of "neighbor love." Supposing that even then there was a constant little exercise of consideration, pity, fairness, mildness, reciprocity of assistance; supposing that even in that state of society all those drives are active that later receive the honorary designation "virtues" and eventually almost coincide with the concept of "morality" — in that period they do not yet at all belong in the realm of moral valuations; they are still extra-moral. An act of pity, for example, was not considered either good or bad, moral or immoral, in the best period of the Romans; and even when it was praised, such praise was perfectly compatible with a kind of disgruntled disdain as soon as it was juxtaposed with an action that served the welfare of the whole, of the res publica.

In the last analysis, "love of the neighbor" is always something secondary, partly conventional and arbitrary-illusory in relation to fear of the neighbor. After the structure of society is fixed on the whole and seems secure against external dangers, it is this fear of the neighbor that again creates new perspectives of moral valuations. Certain strong and dangerous drives, like an enterprising spirit, foolhardiness, vengefulness, craftiness, rapacity, and the lust to rule, which had so far not merely been honored insofar as they were socially useful — under different names, to be sure, from those chosen here — but had to be trained and cultivated to make them great (because one constantly needed them in view of the dangers to the whole community, against the enemies of the community), are now experienced as doubly dangerous, since the channels to divert them are lacking, and, step upon step, they are branded as immoral and abandoned to slander.

Now the opposite drives and inclinations receive moral honors; step upon step, the herd instinct draws its conclusions. How much or how little is dangerous to the community, dangerous to equality, in an opinion, in a state or affect, in a will, in a talent — that now constitutes the moral perspective: here, too, fear is again the mother of morals.

The highest and strongest drives, when they break out passionately and drive the individual far above the average and the flats of her conscience, wreck the self- confidence of the community, its faith in itself, and it is as if its spine snapped. Hence just these drives are branded and slandered most. High and independent spirituality, the will to stand alone, even a powerful reason are experienced as dangers; everything that elevates an individual above the herd and intimidates the neighbor is henceforth called evil; and the fair, modest, submissive, conforming mentality, the mediocrity of desires attains moral designations and honors. Eventually, under very peaceful conditions, the opportunity and necessity for educating one's feelings to severity and hardness is lacking more and more; and every severity, even in justice, begins to disturb the conscience; any high and hard nobility and self-reliance is almost felt to be an insult and arouses mistrust; the "lamb," even more the "sheep," gains in respect.
Nietzsche, F. Beyond Good and Evil (1886), at 112-114 (Vintage: 1989).


[I had purchased the above book in 1985, years before I started working at Akin Gump.  Interestingly, a major theme of later versions of Significant Moments is the relationship between the composer Richard Wagner and his protege Friedrich Nietzsche and the parallel relationship between the psychoanalyst K.R. Eissler and his protege Jeffrey Masson.  This first draft includes quotes from the writings of Wagner, Nietzsche, Eissler and Masson -- but, oddly, I had not yet perceived the psychological similarities of the parties and the parallel nature of their relationships.]

I called various friends like Al Hibbs and Dick Davies, but they explained to me that investigating the Challenger accident was very important for the nation, and that I should do it.

My last chance was to convince my wife. "Look," I said. "Anybody could do it. They can get somebody else."

"No," said Gweneth. "If you don't do it, there will be twelve people, all in a group, going around from place to place together. But if you join the commission, there will be eleven people--all in a group, going around from place to place together--while the twelfth one runs around all over the place, checking all kinds of unusual things. There probably won't be anything, but if there is you'll find it."

She said, "There isn't anyone else who can do that like you."
Feynman, R.P. "What Do You Care What Other People Think?," at 117 (Bantam: 1989) (discussing Feynman's appointment to the presidential commission investigating the space shuttle Challenger's explosion; the cause of the disaster was later revealed simply and elegantly as Feynman dropped a ring of rubber into a glass of ice water and pulled it out, misshapen).


[I purchased the above book in 1991, while I was working at Akin Gump.  Note that Richard Feynman had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.  This quote did not make its way to later versions of my manuscript.]

Skeptics pointed out that Temin's suggestion contradicted the contemporary tenet of molecular biology: that genetic information always passed from DNA to RNA, rather than the reverse.  But in 1970 both Temin and Baltimore proved Temin's hypothesis correct.  They identified an enzyme (reverse transcriptase) in the virus that synthesises DNA that contains the information in the viral RNA.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Article re Howard Temin.

[I read this encyclopedia article in the early 1990s.]

"Well, I think," he went on, "one can give this story about Cain quite a different interpretation. Most of the things we're taught I'm sure are quite right and true, but one can view all of them from quite a different angle than the teachers do--and most of the time they then make better sense. For instance, one can't be quite satisfied with this Cain and the mark on his forehead, with the way it's explained to us. Don't you agree? It's perfectly possible for someone to kill his brother with a stone and to panic and repent. But that he's awarded a special decoration for his cowardice, a mark that protects him and puts the fear of God into all the others, that's quite odd, isn't it?"

"Of course," I said with interest: the idea began to fascinate me. "But what other way of interpreting the story is there?"

He slapped me on the shoulder.

"It's quite simple! The first element of the story, its actual beginning, was the mark. Here was a man with something in his face that frightened the others. They didn't dare lay hands on him; he impressed them, he and his children. We can guess--no, we can be quite certain--that it was not a mark on his forehead like a postmark--life is hardly ever as clear and straightforward as that. It is much more likely that he struck people as faintly sinister, perhaps a little more intellect and boldness in his look than people were used to. This man was powerful: you would approach him only with awe. He had a 'sign.' You could explain this any way you wished. And people always want what is agreeable to them and puts them in the right. They were afraid of Cain's children: they bore a 'sign.' So they did not interpret the sign for what it was--a mark of distinction--but as its opposite. They said: 'Those fellows with the sign, they're a strange lot'--and indeed they were. People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. It was a scandal that a breed of fearless and sinister people ran about freely, so they attached a nickname and myth to these people to get even with them, to make up for the many times they had felt afraid--do you get it?"

"Yes--that is--in that case Cain wouldn't have been evil at all? And the whole story in the Bible is actually not authentic?"

"Yes and no. Such age-old stories are always true but they aren't always properly recorded and aren't always given correct interpretations. In short, I mean Cain was a fine fellow and this story was pinned on him only because people were afraid. The story was simply a rumor, something that people gab about, and it was true in so far as Cain and his children really bore a kind of mark and were different from most people."

I was astounded.

"And do you believe that the business about killing his brother isn't true either?" I asked, entranced.

"Oh, that's certainly true. The strong man slew a weaker one. It's doubtful whether it was really his brother. But it isn't important. Ultimately all men are brothers. So, a strong man slew a weaker one: perhaps it was a truly valiant act, perhaps it wasn't. At any rate, all the other weaker ones were afraid of him from then on, they complained bitterly and if you asked them: 'Why don't you turn around and slay him, too?' they did not reply 'Because we're cowards,' but rather 'You can't, he has a sign. God has marked him.' The fraud must have originated some way like that."
Hesse, H. Demian (1919), at 24-26 (Bantam: 1985).

[I read Demian during the summer of 1988.  I had started working at Akin Gump in early March 1988.]

Sometimes I think Wolf Larsen mad, or half-mad at least, what of his strange moods and vagaries. At other times I take him for a great man, a genius who has never arrived. And, finally, I am convinced that he is the perfect type of the primitive man, born a thousand years or generations too late and an anachronism in this culminating century of civilization. He is certainly an individualist of the most pronounced type. Not only that, but he is very lonely. There is no congeniality between him and the rest of the men aboard ship. His tremendous virility and mental strength wall him apart. They are more like children to him, even the hunters, and as children he treats them, descending perforce to their level and playing with them as a man plays with puppies. Or else he probes them with the cruel hand of a vivisectionist, groping about in their mental processes and examining their souls as though to see of what soul-stuff is made.
London, J. The Sea Wolf (1904), at 63-64 (Signet: 1981). (A former co-worker, Daniel Cutler [with whom I worked at Hogan & Hartson], once compared me [during the summer of 1987] with the character, Wolf Larsen).

[This quote did not make it to later versions of my manuscript.]

As a child Newton is reported as spending more time making ingenious mechanical models than playing with his fellows.  A contemporary observed that "he was always a sober, silent thinking lad, and was never known scarce to play with the boys abroad, at their boyish games, it is not surprising that his schoolfellows are reported as being "not very affectionate toward him.  He was commonly too cunning for them in everything.  They were sensible he had more ingenuity than they, and 'tis an old observation, that in all Societys, even of men, he who has most understanding, is ;least regarded."  There is a story, which Newton himself resorted, that one one occasion when he did deign to compete, he beat the other boys at jumping by first noting the direction and then taking advantage of the gusts of a strong wind that was blowing that day.  Westfall, who has examined what is known of his aggressiveness and disobedience in boyhood, writes that he must have been insufferable.
Storr, A. Churchill's Black Dog, Kafka's Mice & Other Phenomena of the Human Mind, at85-86 (Grove Press: 1988 (chapter on Isaac Newton).

[I have a vague recollection that I purchased this book in about 1990, while I worked at Akin Gump.  This quote was deleted in later versions of my manuscript.]

It was like walking into an alien land.  The school at that times was a fairly accurate reflection of the isolationist attitude that gripped so large a part of our country.  The motto was: "Avoid entanglements.  Curtis was an island of musical enterprise, there seemed to be no one with whom I could share my Audenesque feelings, at least not among the students.  Those first few months were lonely and agonizing.

. . . I was not a smash hit with the student body.  As you can imagine, they regarded me as a Harvard smart aleck, an intellectual big shot, a snob, a show-off.  I know this to be true because they later told me so.  Well, maybe they had a point, but the fact remains that I was the only university type around, and we may all have overreacted.  After all, not one of them had gone to college, some were still in short pants, other had entered the school in short pants years before, and were still totally immersed in hammering out the Etude in thirds faster than the nearest competitor, or perhaps it was a Paganini Caprice, or a Puccini aria.  In any case, interdisciplinary it was not.  Philosophy, history, aesthetics--all irrelevant.  The school seemed to me like a virtuoso factory, turning out identical virtuosi like sausages.  I exaggerate, of course, but that's how it seemed to me in September 1939.

. . . My only real friends, these first few months, were faculty members--and some members of the staff. . . .  But among the students, no friends.  On the contrary I had enemies, official enemies.  There was actually a secret anti-Bernstein club . . . their name engraved on my brain,.  Not too many, perhaps a half dozen, who believed, beyond the gripe that I was a Harvard snob, that I was also a fake, especially in my ability to sightread orchestral score.  They were convinced that I had secretly prepared them and then passed them off as sight reading.  Alas.  The word spread, the tension mounted.

[Compare my Akin Gump supervisor's observations about me: "He demanded absolute quiet and this naturally caused extreme tension in the department.]

Then came the astonishing climax.  A colleague of mine in [Fritz] Reiner's class went out and bought a gun, plus bullets with my name on them.  This highly disturbed young man, who shall remain nameless, was having terrible trouble memorizing his scores for the merciless Reiner who, as you may know, could stop you at any point in the music and paralyze you with the question "What is the second clarinet playing in this bar?"  Well, all this became too much for my colleague, who decided that I was Reiner's favorite, that he was being discriminated against, and that he would therefore clear up the whole situation by shooting not only me, but Reiner and Randall Thompson as well. [Cf. "We're all afraid of you, we're all afraid you're going to buy a gun, bring it in and shoot everybody."]  But he made the fatal mistake of announcing his intentions to Randall, laying his gun on the table, literally.  Randall cleverly soothed him, called the police, and had the poor boy carted away, back to his hometown.
Peyser, J. Bernstein: A Biography, at 69-70 (William Morrow: 1987).

[I purchased this book in about 1989, while I worked at Akin Gump.  I remember that I later gave the book to my sister.  This quote was deleted in later versions of my manuscript.  Incidentally, Leonard Bernstein was the only conducting student who earned a grade of "A" in Fritz Reiner's entire teaching career.  Fritz Reiner, who conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was a demanding musician.  When he was a student Bernstein once called Reiner "Fritz" -- that was something you only did once!  I suppose that's the musical equivalent of a lawyer calling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "Ruthie."]

What I remember most about Jerome was the way he used to speak.  He always talked in a pretentious manner as if he were reciting something from Shakespeare.  And he had a sort of sardonic wit.

I must say I enjoyed his company immensely.  He was full of wit and humor and sizzling wisecracks.  He was a precocious and gifted individual, and I think he realized at that time that he was more gifted with the pen than the rest of us.

We were both skinny adolescents and must have looked terribly young and boyish.  I was immediately attracted to him because of his sophistication and humor.  His conversation was frequently laced with sarcasm about others and the silly routines we had to obey and follow at school. . . .  He loved conversation.  He was given to mimicry.  He liked people, but he couldn't always stand stuffed shirts.  Jerry was aware that he was miscast in the military role.  He was all legs and angles, very slender, with a shock of black hair combed backward.  His uniform was always rumpled in the wrong places.  He never fit in.  He always stuck out like a sore thumb in a long line of cadets. [cf. "Claimant was told that 'there did not appear to be a good fit' [with other firm personnel]."]
Hamilton, I. In Search of J.D. Salinger, at 23 (Random House: 1988).

[I do not own this book.  I borrowed it from the Cleveland Park Neighborhood library in 1992. J.D. Salinger, author of Catcher in the Rye, attended a military school when he was a teenager.  This quote was deleted from later versions of my manuscript.]

["]And you make people nervous, young man,” she said - most equably, for her. “You either take to somebody or you don’t. If you do, then you do all the talking and nobody can even get a word in edgewise. If you don’t like somebody - which is most of the time - then you just sit around like death itself and let the person talk themself into a hole. I’ve seen you do it.”

Zooey turned full around to look at his mother. He turned around and looked at her, in this instance, in precisely the same way that, at one time or another, all his brothers and sisters (and especially his brothers) had turned around and looked at her. Not just with objective wonder at the rising of a truth, fragmentary or not, up through what often seemed to be an impenetrable mass of prejudices, clichés, and bromides. But with admiration, affection, and, not least, gratitude. And, oddly or no, Mrs. Glass invariably took this “tribute,” when it came, in beautiful stride. She would look back with grace and modesty at the son or daughter who had given her the look. She now presented this gracious and modest countenance to Zooey. “You do,” she said, without accusation in her voice. “Neither you nor Buddy know how to talk to people you don’t like.” She thought it over. “Don’t love, really,” she amended. And Zooey continued to stand gazing at her, not shaving. “It’s not right,” she said gravely, sadly. “You’re getting so much like Buddy used to be when he was your age. Even your father’s noticed it. If you don’t like somebody in two minutes, you’re done with them forever.”
Salinger, J.D. Franny and Zooey (1955), at 98-99 (Little, Brown: 1991).

[I purchased this book in 1985, years before I started working at Akin Gump.  I later lost my copy and purchased another copy.  This quote was deleted from later versions of my manuscript.]

Thus [Weissman] believed that the future artist, as an infant, had the ability to hallucinate the mother’s breast independently of oral needs. According to him the unusual capacities of the artist "may be traced to the infancy and childhood of the artist wherein we find that he is drawn by the nature of his artistic endowment to preserve (or immortalize) his hallucinated response to the mother’s breast independent of his needs gratifications."
Arieti, S. Creativity: The Magic Synthesis, at 25 (Basic Books: 1976).

[I had purchased the above book in about 1984 or 1985, years before I started working at Akin Gump. This quote did not make its way to later versions of my manuscript.]

It was sorely-troubed Masters,
spirits oppressed by the cares of life:
in the desert of their troubles
they formed for themselves an image [Bildness]
so that to them might remain
of youthful love
a memory, clear and firm,
in which spring can be recognized.
Wagner, R. Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg, Act III, Scene 2.

[ My mother purchased for me a complete recording of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg in October 1968 when I was 14 years old.]

In some patients who had turned away from their mother, in dislike or hate, or used other mechanisms to get away from her, I have found that there existed in their minds nevertheless a beautiful picture of the mother, but one who was felt to be a picture of her only, not her real self. The real object was felt to be unattractive—really an injured, incurable and therefore dreaded person. The beautiful picture had been dislocated from the real object but had never been given up, and played a great part in the specific ways of their sublimation.
Klein, M. Love, Guilt and Reparation, at 267 in Grosskurth, P. Melanie Klein: Her World and Her Work, at 217 (Knopf: 1986)

[I had purchased the above biography of the psychoanalyst Melanie Klein in about November 1987, months before I started working at Akin Gump in March 1988.]

Where a separation is sudden, however,  . . .  an abrupt defensive internalization occurs prematurely, without the gradual process of bringing together and neutralization of the two sides of the ambivalent feelings.  The two sides of the introjects thus internalized (ego-ideal and superego precursor) [have] not been adequately moderated through gradual rapprochement cycles. The result [is] an ego ideal with excessive primitive idealization and a superego precursor with excessive sadistic harshness.  Freeman, D. M. A., Foulks, E.F., and Freeman, P.A. (1976) “Ghost Sickness and Superego Development in the Kiowa Apache Male” The Psychoanalytic Study of Society 7:123-171, at 135 (Yale University Press: 1976).

[I had purchased the above book in December 1988, while I worked at Akin Gump.  Uncannily, one of the contributing editors of the volume was Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., a nationally-prominent psychiatrist/psychoanalyst who, Akin Gump claimed in May 1992, had advised the firm that I was paranoid and potentially violent.  This quote did not make its way to later versions of my manuscript.]

But in dreams, when she had no power over her own thoughts, her situation appeared to her in all its monstrous nakedness.  Almost every night there was one dream that kept returning to her.  She dreamed that both of them together were her husbands, and that both lavished their caresses on her.  Alexis Karenin was weeping as he kissed her hands, and saying: How wonderful it is now!  And Alexis Vronsky was also there, and he was her husband too.  And she, astonished that this had used to seem impossible for her, was explaining to them with a laugh that this was far simpler and that now they were both pleased and happy.  But this dream weighed on her like a nightmare, and she would wake up terrified.
Tolstoy, L. Anna Karenina (1876), at 158 (Bantam: 1981).

[I purchased and read this book in the fall of 1982.  This quote did not make its way to later versions of my manuscript.]
___________________________________

At first the town gossips said of him, 'He's simply out to make money.' When it was found that he enriched the community before enriching himself they said, 'He has political ambitions.' This seemed the more likely since he was religious and attended church service, which was considered highly commendable at that time.
He went to early mass every Sunday. The local deputy, always on his guard against competition, viewed this religious tendency with some apprehension. He had himself been a member of the corps legislatif under Fouche, the Duke of Otranto, whose creature and friend he had been. In private he was amiably derisive of God. But when he learned that Madeleine, the wealthy manufacturer, went to seven o'clock mass, he scented a possible rival and resolved to outdo him. He engaged a Jesuit confessor and went to high mass and vespers. Political rivalry in those days was, almost literally, a race to the alter-steps. The poor, as well as God, benefited by the deputy's misgivings, for he also endowed two hospital beds—making twelve in all.

In 1819 it was rumored in the town that on the recommendation of the prefect, and in consideration of his public services, the king was to nominate M. Madeleine mayor of Montreuil-sur-mer. Those who had declared him to be a political careerist seized upon this with the delight men always feel in exclaiming, 'I told you so.' The town was in a state of high excitement. And the rumor turned out to be correct. A few days later the nomination appeared in Le Moniteur. The next day M. Madeleine refused it.

During the same year, 1819, the products of Madeleine's new manufacturing process were displayed at the Industrial Exhibition, and acting on the jury's report the king appointed the inventor to be a Chevalier of the Legion d'honneur. This led to a new theory in the town—'So that's what he was really after!' But M. Madeleine refused to accept the Grand Cross.

Decidedly the man was an enigma.  The know-alls saved their faces by saying, 'Well anyway he's up to something.' [cf. "I notice that you seem to work very hard"--Akin Gump partner, June 1988.] . . .

When he was seen to be making money they had said, 'He's a business man.' When he scattered his money in charity they said, 'He's a careerist.' When he refused to accept honors they said, 'He's an adventurer.' When he rejected polite society they said, 'He's a peasant.' [Note the double-binds.]
Hugo, V. Les Miserables, at 157-158 (Penguin).

[I purchased a copy of Les Miserables in 1984.  I remember that when I worked at Hogan & Hartson I gave an abridged version of the novel to Charles ("Chaz") Leon Green, Esq., in the fall of 1985.]

I noticed that Demian exerted equal fascination over the other students. I hadn't told anyone about his version of the story of Cain, but the others seemed to be interested in him, too. At any rate, many rumors were in circulation about the "new boy." If I could remember them all now, each one would throw some light on him and could be interpreted. I remember first that Demian's mother was reported to be wealthy and also, supposedly, neither she nor her son ever attended church. One story had it that they were Jewish but they might well have been secret Mohammedans. Then there was Max Demian's legendary physical prowess. But this could be corroborated: when the strongest boy in Demian's class had taunted him, calling him a coward when he refused to fight back, Demian had humiliated him. Those who were present told that Demian had grasped the boy with one hand by the neck and squeezed until the boy went pale; afterwards, the boy had slunk away and had not been able to use his arm for a whole week.  One evening some boys even claimed that he was dead. For a time everything, even the most extravagant assertions were believed. Then everyone seemed to have their fill of Demian for a while, though not much later gossip again flourished: some boys reported that Demian was intimate with girls and that he "knew everything."
Hesse, H. Demian (1919), at 27-28 (Bantam: 1985).

[I purchased a copy of Demian during the summer of 1988, while I worked at Akin Gump.]
________________________________

Even though they now know that other Jews exist, they still fear the Inquisition. Their ceremonies must comprise one of the most durable underground religions in human history, since they blend open Christianity with the rituals that hark back to the Judaism that was denied to their ancestors. For example, many of them are married in two ceremonies: in church and, later that same day, in the cellars of their own homes, where on old woman binds the hands of the bride and groom and weds them “according to the laws of Moses.”

Most of them go to church. But, as they cross themselves and dip their hands into the holy water, they mutter an incantation of spiritual resistance—a rejection of idolatry.

The outside world knew nothing of the conversos until 1917, when Samuel Schwarz, a Polish mining engineer, came to Belmonte. People there warned him not to trade at one of the local stores. It was owned by Jews. Of course, that warning whetted his curiosity. But when he attempted to establish contact with the conversos, insisting that he shared their secret faith, they didn’t believe him. How could he have survived the Inquisition?

But they were curious about him. In Belmonte, their religion is a matrilineal one—possibly because the faith is centered in the home. When a girl reaches eleven she learns the secret [Jewish] prayers and ceremonies from her mother, and is warned not to share them with the outside world.

One summer evening, with much of the community present, Schwarz was moved to chant the ancient Hebrew prayer, Shema, Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu, Adonai Ehad. (Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.)  Though the people of Belmonte had never heard of a language called Hebrew, that prayer opened the door of trust. Adonai—God—was the only Hebrew word that had survived the Inquisition: the only trace of the holy tongue that remained in their Portuguese language liturgy. As soon as Schwarz uttered the word, the conversos covered their eyes. One of the oldest women among them recited a prayer. Then, weeping, she reached out her hands and touched Schwarz’s face. “He is indeed a Jew,” she said. “For he knows the name Adonai.”  

[Note that the conversos' (marranos') special affinity for, or response to, someone exactly like themselves arises in the context of massive identity loss at a cultural level.  Additionally, the conversos' cultural identity has an obvious survivor component; they believed that they were the last surviving remnant of their people.  The encounter with Schwarz communicated to the conversos the fact that other Jews existed in the world, which thereby relieved, in some measure, the conversos' burden of survivor guilt.  By means of identification with Schwarz the conversos experienced a sense of emotional well-being that was fundamentally grounded in a diminution of survivor guilt.]
Cowan, P. An Orphan in History, at 176-177 (Bantam: 1982).

[I had purchased the above book during the summer of 1984.]

Only a few Hebrew words have survived among them. Adonai, of course, is their secret name for God. Goyo, from the Hebrew goy, still refers to a non-Jew. Entrefada, from the Hebrew trefa, means impure, or not kosher. Some of their prayers contain words which are indecipherable in either Hebrew or Portuguese. And in one prayer an entire sentence of Hebrew is preserved, though completely garbled. The [conversos] pronounce it, “Adunai Sabaat Malcolares; Cobrado.” In the original Hebrew it is “Adonai Tzeva’ot m’lo kol ha’aretz k’vodo” (Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory). They recite these words mechanically, without any hint of their meaning. [Cultural equivalent of the ego defenses of splitting and isolation?]
Ross, D. Acts of Faith, at 47 (Schocken: 1982).

[I purchased and read the above book in the summer of 1984.]

The Marranos still attend church alongside their Catholic neighbors.  Belmonte's parish priest explained that he sees them for baptisms, weddings, and funerals--and occasionally to light a candle for a saint.  But they never take communion, he added.  An earlier priest tried to bar them from church, but the Marranos insisted on attending.  The current priest, who has mended relations with his wayward parishioners and is respected by them, explains that his predecessor wanted the Marranos to build a synagogue where they could be real Jews.  He refused to baptize them for the same reason.  But the Marranos reacted angrily.  The current priest shrugged his shoulders.  "They are strange Jews," he said.  "Going to church is part of their religion."  [Identification with the aggressor?  Note that the conversos' Judaism is really an intellectualized fossil.  Their identity is based on the Inquisition itself and on the adaptation that arose at the time of the Inquisition; one might  even say that the Inquisition is their religion, not Judaism.  The conversos' refusal to abandon their adaptation might be interpreted as a cultural equivalent of resistance.   It is important to recognize that affect, spontaneous and genuine at the time of the Inquisition, has been preserved and transmitted to successive generations but transformed into intellectualization.  An example is presumably the disdain that the 15th-century Jew would have experienced upon being compelled to cross himself and dip his hands in holy water upon entering a Church.  Whereas, affect that would not have been genuine and spontaneous at the time of the Inquisition, but purely imposture, is now quite genuine and intense.  An example is the anger evoked among the conversos of Belmonte when the local priest tried to bar their admittance to church.  Ironically, genuine affect was evoked by the attempt to prevent the expression of the "intellectualized affect" required by the adaptation.  Thus, among the conversos, formerly genuine affect has become intellectualization while imposture has become genuine affect.  Cf. generally, Shengold, L. Soul Murder (Yale: 1989).  However, because aspects of the adaptation are antithetical to the core identity (their original Jewish identity), portions of affect [appropriate to the adaptation, although genuine and spontaneous--that is, neither imposture nor intellectualization--will nonetheless be inappropriate in  relation to the core identity.  An example would be the conversos' anger upon being told they should attend services at a synagogue rather than at a church.]
Ross, D. Acts of Faith, ast 45 (Schocken: 1982).

[I purchased and read the above book in the summer of 1984.]
____________________________________

["]What happened to Jeff at the Archives was unfortunate. He very much needs the acceptance and corroboration of people he respects. He wants desperately to have ties to people like Eissler. These connections give him narcissistic nourishment, and when he doesn’t get it, it’s a terrible strain for him. He provoked what happened, of course, but it’s terribly unfortunate that he elicited all this reaction from Anna Freud and Eissler and the whole psychoanalytic establishment. It pushed him in an unhealthy direction. There’s a kind of crazy sincerity there, but he can turn against anyone, because he can feel betrayed by anyone."

I said, "He feels that Eissler betrayed him by firing him."

“Eissler betrayed him by suddenly looking at him and seeing what he was. That’s a fatal sin.” Shengold paused, then said, “Eissler may have been attracted to Jeff in somewhat the way Freud was attracted to Fliess. Fliess was a very charming and vivacious man, and Freud had a need and a terrible weakness for that kind of glamorous person. When Jung came along, he became that person again for Freud. Both Fliess and Jung were charlatans in some ways, but very bright, very beguiling ones. There must have been something of that sort going on between Eissler and Jeff. But there was something else. Eissler is such an isolated person. Everybody respects him, but nobody will approach him, because they’re a little afraid of him. He has a standoffish manner. But Jeff approached him in a very friendly and interested way, and Eissler responded immediately. Eissler doesn’t think he’s lovable. I have a feeling that he doesn’t have close friends. He seems desperate for a kind of friendliness that he cannot achieve naturally and spontaneously. And he found it in Jeff.”
Malcolm, J. In the Freud Archives, at 84-85 (Vintage: 1983).

[I read the above as a magazine article in the New Yorker in about 1984.]
Joseph [Knecht] himself would scarcely have imagined that the appointment to  Mariafels represented a special distinction and a large first step on the ladder of the hierarchy, but he was after all a good deal wiser about such matters nowadays and could plainly read the significance of his summons in the attitude and conduct of his fellow students. Of course, he had belonged for some time to the innermost circle within the elite of the Glass Bead Game players, but now the unusual assignment marked him to all and sundry as a young man whom the superiors had their eyes on and whom they intended to employ.  His associates and ambitious fellow players did not exactly withdraw or become unfriendly—the members of this highly aristocratic group were far too well-mannered for that—but an aloofness nevertheless arose. Yesterday’s friend might well be tomorrow’s superior, and this circle registered and expressed such gradations and differentiations by the most delicate shades of behavior.
Hesse, H. Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game (1943), at 129 (Bantam: 1986).

[I purchased and read the above book in the summer of 1988.]

In the mid-seventies, a young man named Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson began to appear at psychoanalytic congresses and to draw a certain perplexed attention to himself. He was an analyst-in-training at the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis, but he wasn’t like the other analytical candidates one sees at congresses—quiet and serious and somewhat cowed-looking young psychiatrists who stand about together like shy, plain girls at dances, talking to one another with exaggerated animation. Masson (to continue the metaphor) not only assiduously steered clear of the wallflowers but was dancing with some of the most attractive and desirable partners at the ball: with well-known senior analysts, such as Samuel Lipton, of Chicago; Brian Bird, of Cleveland; Edward Weinshel and the late Victor Calef, of San Francisco; and—the greatest catch of all—K.R. Eissler, of New York.
Malcolm, J. In the Freud Archives, at 3 (Vintage: 1983).

[I read the above as a magazine article in the New Yorker in about 1984.]

Of late, the effects of his personality had begun to dawn upon the young man. He became aware of his attraction for those below him, and gradually, belatedly, of how he affected those above him. And when he looked back from his new standpoint of awareness to his boyhood he found both lines running through his life and shaping it. Classmates and younger boys had always courted him; superiors had taken benevolent note of him. There had been exceptions, such as Headmaster Zbinden; but on the other hand he had been recipient of such distinctions as the patronage of the Music Master, and latterly of Dubois and the Magister Ludi. It was all perfectly plain, in spite of which Knecht had never been willing to see it and accept it in its entirety. Obviously his fate was to enter the elite everywhere, to find admiring friends and highly placed patrons. It happened of its own accord without his trying. Obviously he would not be allowed to settle down in the shadows at the base of the hierarchy; he must move steadily toward its apex, approach the bright light at the top. He would not be a subordinate or an independent scholar; he would be a master. That he grasped this later than others in a similar position gave him that indescribable extra magic, that note of innocence.
Hesse, H. Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game (1943), at 137 (Bantam: 1986).

[I purchased and read the above book in the summer of 1988.]
It was at the Denver congress that Masson and Eissler had their first, fateful meeting. Eissler was then (and remains) one of the grand old men of contemporary psychoanalysis. He is tall, gaunt, and unmistakably European.  He speaks with an accent whose dominant tone of Viennese asperity is incongruously coupled with and (one realizes on closer acquaintance) rendered all but pointless by an underlying, almost pathological kindheartedness. There is a class of persons, however, to whom this kindheartedness does not extend. These are the enemies of Sigmund Freud (as Eissler sees them), for whom he has nothing but fierce enmity and a kind of bewildered derision. Eissler has thin gray hair, very thick glasses, and a full mouth, whose flat, downward-curving upper lip is startlingly familiar: one has seen this mouth in German Expressionistic art—on the faces of the writers and intellectuals in the drawings of Pascin, the paintings of Kokoschka, the photographs of Sander.  Recently, speaking of his first meeting with Masson (whose letters he no longer answers), Eissler said bitterly, “I realize now that there was something already wrong. He came up to me in the lobby of the hotel and said ‘Dr. Eissler?’ How did he know who I was?” But (as Masson points out) how could it have been anyone but Eissler? Who else would have looked like that? Eissler stands out from American analysts the way a lady’s slipper leaps out at you in the woods. When I met him for the first time, in his apartment on Central Park West, I, too, felt a shock of recognition.  [cf. "You are a phenomenon.  Craig is a phenomenon.  The two of you are phenomena!"]
Malcolm, J. In The Freud Archives, at 4-5 (Vintage: 1983).

[I read the above as a magazine article in the New Yorker in about 1984.]


The “pairing” of characters and plots throughout literature, especially dramatic literature, is common and expresses the dialectical polarities, the opposed forces, the ambivalences in all of human existence. Often the “mirrorings” are two sides of the same coin.

The prime source of such pairing is the Old Testament. Again and again there is the story of a pair of brothers locked in competition: Cain and Abel, followed by Ishmael and Isaac, (which inaugurates the special relationship between Jehovah and the Jews). There follow then Esau and Jacob, Reuben and Joseph and finally Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. From the New Testament, there stand Jesus and Judas. That this pairing occurs so regularly throughout history reflects the archetypal nature not only of the love and murder from brother to brother, but also of the relationship between these competitive brothers and God, the father.
Brenman-Gibson, M. Clifford Odets: American Playwright--the Years from 1906 to 1940, footnote 19.11 at 663-664 (Atheneum: 1982).

[I purchased the above book, second hand, in March 1988, a few weeks after I started working at Akin Gump.  I had borrowed the book from the D.C. Library in the summer of 1984.  I was first acquainted with the author, Margaret Brenman-Gibson, a nationally-prominent psychoanalyst, from an interview she gave on the Dick Cavett show in the late 1970s.  My father was a friend of Clifford Odets' cousin, Benny Rossman in Philadelphia.  I refer to Dr. Brenman-Gibson in my dream interpretation titled: The Dream of Milton's Successor.]
_________________________

It is not very surprising that at twenty I was looking for a strong father figure to help. But at the time I was surprised and sensed early on something of the power of “transference.” It is rarely possible, when a human being is in deep need, to look upon somebody who offers help as merely another flawed human being with whom one is hoping to engage in a protracted conversation. A kind of wild idealization sets in, and we imagine the person in whom we confide to possess ineffable and valuable traits beyond those attainable by ordinary mortals. We ascribe value, and we project qualities onto this person that almost never correspond with reality. It is a little like falling in love—powerful emotions are called forth.
Masson, J.M. Final Analysis, at 10 (Harper: 1991).

[I purchased and read the above book in late 1991.]

The weeks following our release, when there was little in my world beyond memories of Iraq, I felt I was beginning to understand the process of mythmaking.  I could see how, when the need is great enough, a series of random events becomes infused with meaning; how, in retrospect, days which were ruled by coincidence and chaos become coherent stages in a voyage of discovery.
Simon, B. Forty Days, at 53 (Putnam: 1992) (recounting capture by Iraqis of CBS newsman during Persian Gulf War in 1991).

[Bob Simon, a CBS news reporter, has a love of the Wagner operas.  I can recall that several years he interviewed the conductor Daniel Barenboim on 60 Minutes at the Wagner festival at Bayreuth, Germany.  Vernon Jordan has connections to CBS News. "CBS' Bob Simon and Sunday's '60 Minutes' will profile Daniel Barenboim after tracking the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's director to opening night here, his trip to Havana, his family's Berlin home and to the orchestra pit at the opera in Bayreuth, Germany."
 
I purchased the above book during the summer of 1992.]

[End of Text.]

5 comments:

Gary Freedman said...

"Freedman being Freedman."

I love that phrase. It is derived from something Conservatives used to say during the Administration of former President Ronald Reagan: "Let Reagan be Reagan."

Gary Freedman said...

Former President Ronald Reagan transformed himself from a left-leaning movie actor into a Conservative politician and President of the United States (autoplasty) -- and went on to change the world (alloplasty)!

Like FDR, Reagan was like a retrovirus. Maybe that's why President Clinton has a special interest in AIDS, which is caused by the HIV retrovirus.

Gary Freedman said...

When I wrote the initial draft of Significant Moments, former President Bill Clinton had just been in office four months. His presidency and his personality may have been a motivating factor in my action in writing this text.

Gary Freedman said...

Daniel Ellsberg went from a Vietnam pro-war hawk to an anti-War dove (autoplasty)-- and tried to change the course of the war (alloplasty).

Gary Freedman said...

The original manuscript had no title. There was no reason it should; at the time I wrote it I did not consider it to be the draft of anything -- it was simply a collection of quotes with which I identified.

It was in August 1993 that I attached the title "Significant Moments."