Of Love and Shadows

Gernes, Sonia

The ordinary objects (scraps of newspa- pers, tobacco pipes, nails) glued to Futurist canvases or incorporated into sculptures proclaimed the artificiality and not the realism of art....

...There's nothing behind it...
...It begins slowly, introducing us first to the genteel, upper-class world of Irene, a fiery-haired journalist whose maverick social habits are a cause of distress to her aristocratic mother, Beatriz Beltr~n...
...The miracle begins precisely at noon, and even the arrival of an army truck does not 6reak the mood of comic fantasy for long...
...Barthes is as moved by the monument as Cendrars, but far more ambiguous about the technology that created it: "even as Barthes echoes Cendrars's themes, he ionizes and problematizes them...
...The comic disappears, and for the rest of the tale the reader is drawn into the accelerating pitch of a love affair that is inextricably bound up with a commitment to find out the truth about the missing Ranquileos, whatever the dangers...
...This is the trail of the desaparecidos...
...By contrast, the world of Francisco Leal is shabby but intellectually alive...
...Readers with diverse interests in national literatures and artistic genres will enjoy this book...
...Although she does not explicitly say it, she is investigating the link between megalomania and clinging, a crucial aspect of our psychology...
...McDougall sees a link between psychosomatic and neosexual problem areas...
...She begins the book by likening psychic life to a kind of theater, and calls attention to the varied forms the I can take in the course of its history...
...In such instances, something has gone wrong with what D. W. Winnicott called the transitional area of experience, the area of play between fantasy and reality...
...This is the book's turning point...
...Here the forbidden and the impossible are played out in the sexual arena...
...The ordinary objects (scraps of newspapers, tobacco pipes, nails) glued to Futurist canvases or incorporated into sculptures proclaimed the artificiality and not the realism of art...
...Chapters on Ezra Pound's prewar writings and the Russian Futurist book focus on the "rupture" of literary categories...
...His "Great Pipes Monument" --lengths of pipes crossing an industrial wasteland -is heavily ironic but also open to a new sense of aesthetic form (and one might say much the same about some of Warhol's works...
...This is what so many artists from Oscar Wilde on have meant by saying that their works are mere surface and what Warhol meant when he told those who want to "understand" him: "just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am...
...Yet each is distinct, unique, a personage who sticks in the mind...
...Thus while she distinguishes five patterns of clinical psychodynamics, she invites us to realize how we all share these five forms of I. Her broadest distinction is between the Theater of the Forbidden and the Theater of the Impossible...
...Beatriz Beltrffn negates the unpleasant aspects of the military regime by ignoring them, by absorbing herself in diets and face cream...
...Even more skillful is her use of a constantly switching point of view as a means of demonstrating how a military coup could take place and be accepted in a country with a long history of democracy...
...The challenge is to get beyond the layers of associations and "meanings" it has acquired to see it afresh --a problem Andy Warhol addressed when he used a stationary camera to film the skyscraper for eight hours...
...limits, sexuality, death, fusional anxieties and fragmentation...
...and every page seems to bring up some new facet of a work or author or an unexpected comparison...
...When the lieutenant approaches Evangelina, she knocks him to the ground: "The person who effortlessly seized Lieutenant Ramiriz's tunic, lifted him into the air, and carried him out of the house, shaking him like a mop, was a gentle fifteen-year-old girl .with fragile bones, who not long before had been serving cool water with toasted flour and honey beneath the grape arbor...
...But the Futurists welcomed it as the sign, ambiguous, banal, but somehow magnificent, of the modern age...
...Retribution is swift, however...
...Perloff relates visual collage to Marinetti's famous performances of his manifestos and "soundpoems," when he would reproduce the sounds of siege guns and airplanes as "performance art...
...Into this scene ride journalist Irene and photographer Francisco, sent by their magazine to cover the story...
...Collage art thus became one of the prime modernist achievements...
...One of the major images in Futurist art is the Eiffel Tower, which is the focus of Perloff's last chapter...
...The search leads them through the morgue, the police station, a mountain hideout, and the ultimate horror of an abandoned mine...
...The son of Spanish revolutionary 6migr6s, Francisco is a psychologist who turns to photography to make a living after the military coup makes practicing his profession impossible...
...When Irene and Francisco return to the Ranquileo home, they discover that in ~the night Evangelina has been dragged, barefoot and screaming, into an army truck, and that her brother, a young soldier in Lieutenant Ramiriz's platoon, is also missing...
...In Of Love and Shadows, Isabel AIlendc is occasionally heavy-handed, driving home points that have already been made, and summarizing where the reader wishes she had dramatized, but C HOI...
...Kirkus Reviews At your bookstore, or call 1-800-638-3030 The Crossroad Publishing Company 370 LexingtonAve., NewYork,NY10017 dynamics...
...A BOOK OF REVELATIONSFOR AQUARIANS AND CATHOLICSALIKE.'"* CALIFORNI S SHORES "This brilliant, hyperintellectual combination of personal memoir and philosophical tract records a Catholic priest's odyssey through the consciousness movement of the 70's and 80"s...
...McDougall calls this area the Transitional Theater...
...The art of collage was appropriate to an age of bewildering juxtapositions during the transition from hand-labor and horse-drawn transportation to the world of the machine, as well as to the ambiguity of an age of radically changing values...
...Heal my poor husband's hemorrhoids...
...the ethos ofavant guerre has its counterpart in the contemporary dissolution of LOVERS & °DESAPARECIDOS ° the boundaries between art and science, between literature and theory, between the separate genres and media, ours is what we might call a disillusioned or cool Futurism...
...But we may find ways to ward off psychosis by more circumscribed forms of "madness" in daily life...
...The Tower is to Paris what the Empire State Building is to New York --originally a great technical achievement, it became a symbol for the city itself, and finally an endlessly reproduced, cliched image...
...Attention is given to the surface of the work, the play of the words and phrases, rather than to thematic or symbolic meaning...
...Perloff explores this disillusion...
...This is one of the most memorable novels this reviewer has read in recent years...
...the stadium of the capital city is used as a political prison...
...The former refers to neurotic problems which center on oedipal problems and forbidden libidinal longings...
...In the most extreme instances, our impossible wishes may result in psychosis...
...To measure the changes that have overtaken us, Perloff compares Blaise Cendrars's poetic treatment of the Tower to Roland Barthes's post-modern version...
...Shabbier even than the Leal home is the dirt-floored cottage of Digna Ranquileo, the peasant woman whose daugh...
...The final chapter shows us how the Futurist revolution lives on in the present...
...Allende, niece of the slain Chilean president Salvador Allende, never names the country of her fiction, but her novel, based on the actual discovery of a cache of bodies in an abandoned mine, is clearly about her native land: a general in dark glasses rules following a military coup...
...l i OF LOVE AND SHADOWS Isabel Ailende Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden Knopf, $17.95, 247 pp...
...GETTING DEPERSONAL THEATERS0F THE MIND ILLUSION AND TRUTH ON THE PSYCHOANALYTICSTAGE Joyce M'eDougall Basic Books, $22.95, 301 pp...
...McDougall performs a service to American readers by providing a good discussion of French and Canadian work with psychosomatic illness...
...McDougall shows how it is necessary to try to stimulate richer mental functioning in such patients...
...It is not simply a matter of the mind evading stress, although this is true...
...His current job at a women's magazine is one of "compulsory illusion" mitigated by a quite different reality: "The same day that he photographed exquisite dresses of muslin and-lace~ in his brother Jose's barrio he treated the little girl who had been raped by her father, then carried the latest list of victims to the airport, where, after reciting the password, he delivered it to a messenger he had never seen before...
...Cure my carbuncles, santita," they pray in a scene reminiscent of Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude...
...Meaning in this tradition is ambiguous because clear and direct statements are evaded...
...The subject creates sexual alternatives which keep him alive and viable, often at great expense...
...Futurism.lasted for only a moment of prewar experiment and enthusiasm, but The Futurist Movement expands that moment and shows how it permeates our own...
...C ) "' Houghton Mifflin Company 2 Park Street, Boston, Massachusetls 02108 ¢ Hc~Jghton Miffhn Company 1987 PROMINENT CATHOLICS AND EX-CATHOLICS REVEALTHE INFLUENCE OF THE CHURCH ON THEIR LIVES AND WORK BY PETER OCCHIOGROSSO 14 August 1987:461 theseare minor flaws in a novel that takes the risks of combining love story, adventure story, comic episode, and mortally serious political event...
...These horrors come later in the novel however...
...Allende has struck her target with little margin of error...
...Apparently little psychic elaboration of mental pain has evolved and a biological "solution" to psychological problems ensues...
...A chapter on the "Manifesto as an Art Form" explores a genre of art in which the categories of the literary and the theoretical breakdown in a mode characterized by improvisation and theatricality...
...Instead of the ability to create cultural illusions that are life-giving to all, the individual is stuck using others to sustain megalomaniac scripts which fail to make the most of the hard facts of life...
...In her second novel, Allende's storytelling skills are considerable...
...The person relates to himself and others in a machine-like way, treating himself and others as physical ob]ects or instruments shoha of rich affect, imagery, and meaning...
...Pradiolo Ranquileo has been told that the coup saved the nation from Soviet tyranny: "The enemy must truly have been dangerous and skillful, because to that day no one had ever learned of their bloodthirsty plans except the commanders of the armed forces, who were always vigilant on behalf of the nation's interest...
...by analyzing the "anti-monuments" of Robert Smithson...
...Mich'ael Eigen/ with n trying to make sense of her psychoanalytic practice, Joyce McDougall has found it neces,sary to disti'nguish five main kinds of personality problems their typical psycho"'BRILLIANT...
...SONIAGERNESis the author of a novel, The Way to St...
...She uses examples from her clinical practice to show how the patient exploits others in order to maintain a sense of self by warding off the pain of II REVIEWERS T1MOTHYMATERERis chair of the English department at the University of MissouriColumbia, presently on leave with a Guggenheim fellowship to edit the letters of Ezra Pound...
...God save you, Evangelina, full of grace...
...Allende uses these old people to telegraph immediately Irene's essential character: though flashy and headstrong, she "never missed an opportunity to visit the guests," having "discovered a language that overcame their deafness and faulty memories...
...Soniu Gernes 66 he ones they take away never come back," the peasant woman says, telling Irene Beltrdn of her missing daughter, and it is these missing ones, the political victims, the desaparecidos of a Latin American dictatorship, that form the underlying link in Isabel Allende's tale of lovers who come together in a dangerous and vertiginous search for the truth of these vanishings...
...In the slightly comic, slightly surreal mode that characterizes much of the early novel, Allende describes the Will of God Manor, a home for the wealthy, aged, and senile that Beatriz unwillingly maintains in the lower floor 460: Commonweal of her mansion to support herself following her husband's desertion...
...A psychosomatic "type" has arisen characterized by an "operational" mode of functioning and an inability to sustain fantasy or a sense of affective meaning...
...Her cast of characters is large, ranging from Professor Leal, the aging socialist with a kitchen printing press, to Pradiolo Ranquileo, the young soldier tormented with lust for his foster sister, to the cardinal in his episcopal mansion...
...McDougall finds it helpful to View so-called perverse sexuality as a kind of addictive use of others, a creation of a neosexual erotic theater...
...Even the villainous Lieutenant Ramiriz is given his say: "They had also trained him to wage war against common criminals, to pursue them mercilessly, hunt them down like dogs, so that decent men, women, and children could walk the streets with a light heart...
...With regard to the first of these, McDougall is particularly interested in how we use others as drugs...
...But the more telling problem is that the mind as such has, in important ways, failed to develop, or has been evacuated...
...In addition to neurosis and psychosis, there are severe character and addictive disorders, psychosomatic disorders, and perversions (neosexualities...
...The original Futurists welcomed the technological age unreservedly, which is scarcely possible now...
...Ives (Scribner...
...The key concept of "The Invention of Collage" (Chapter II) is related to the verbal art of the Futurist Manifestos and to the experiments of major poets like Ezra Pound...
...In the case of the Eiffel Tower, turn-of-the century aesthetes repudiated it as a "monstrous" erection among the city's churches and museums and as the folly of an "ironmonger...
...The latter refers to impossible narcissistic desires, such as our longing for fusion with the Other or perfect control of the other and life's events...
...In both instances it appears that the 462: Commonweal...
...Perloff's critical terminology is sophisticated but clearly grounded in a wealth of specific and lively details...
...The fetish, the partner, or part-object are used to combat oedipal and narcissistic castration anxieties, but also attempt to provide some maternal object to combat the terror of inner death and sense of wholesale destructiveness...
...To insist on meaning is to miss the significance...
...That was his mission...
...MICHAEL EIGEN is a psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City...
...and bodies bearing the marks of torture are stacked up in the city morgue...
...ter Evangelina is attracting pious crowds with her daily noonday "attacks...

Vol. 114 • August 1987 • No. 14


 
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