Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Tag on a book

I'm back with the longpending recent tag from Deepa. It is recent, because, I do have longpending old tags from Priya and Vishesh, probably saved for some future post. I'm sure, they will pardon me.

The tag requires me to share the 5th paragraph in the 123rd page of the book I am presently reading - A simple and an interesting tag!

Rules to be followed -
1. Tell us who tagged you... dont forget to give us his/her link
2. Present the 5th para in the 123rd page of the book you are presently reading
3. If the book doesnot have 123rd page ( and/or) the 5th paragraph.. you may present the last paragraph in the last page
4. You may either type the content - or - scan the page and highlight the paragrah
5. Tag 5 more people

The book I have been reading for the past 2 months is "Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality" by Sigmund Freud. First published in 1905, it is considered as one of the most momentous and original contributions to human knowledge. Though there are only 109 pages in the book, the significant time it is consuming can be attributed to my intermittent reading coupled by contemplation and to the vastness of its investigation into the key aspect human behaviour right from chlildhood. There is always a pain associated with such books delaing with human psych, as we would start relating ourselves and the people around to the behavioural patterns and the symptoms discussed in them. The benefit of being associated with such literature right from my formative years, helps me read them in a dettached manner.

Here is the gist of the book:

In his first essay, "Sexual Abberations", Freud deals with the numerous deviations from the sexual object and the sexual aim. These deviations in sexual instinct result in aspects like inversion, degeneracy, animals as sexual objects, sadism, masochism, perversion etc.

Ideas developed in the first essay led logically to the second, which focused on sexuality in infancy and childhood. Every adult was once a child and should in principle be able to recall childhood in more than a fragmentary way, but most do not. Freud states two important observations. First, infantile amnesia affects everything concerning sexuality in childhood. Second, the strong moral condemnation that impacts all manifestations of sexuality leads to repression or gratification through sublimation. Freud explicitly states that oral gratification is a prototype for every sexual gratification, is pleasurable in itself, and is autoerotic inasmuch as it does not require any other object than the infant itself. He writes that the infant seems to be saying, "'It's a pity I can't kiss myself'" (p.48). Thumb-sucking is an example of manifestations of infantile sexuality. I was amused to note that, often infants self-impose constipation to result in abundant mass discharge of stool, resulting in stimulation of the anal zone, an example of manifestations of infantile sexuality.

The final essay, " The Transformation of Puberty", discusses the final stage of genital primacy, the various inhibitions, fixations and deviations, the forepleasure principle and the libido theory. It also includes the concepts of penis envy, castration anxiety, and the Oedipus complex.

Here is the tag -

I was tagged by Deepa :
A person of profound insight - My Perceptions
A great poet and a motivator- Appreciating Poetry

As there is no 123rd page in the book, here is the last paragraph of the last page -

"The unsatisfactory conclusions which have resulted from this investigation of the disturbances of the sexual life is due to the fact that we as yet know too little concerning the biological processes in which the nature of sexuality consists to form from our isolated examinations a satisfactory theory for the explanation of either the normal or the pathological."

A disappointing conclusion, causing further itch to discover more through the later works of Sigi or through the recent developments on the subject.

Friends Tagged: