The world of my childhood was bad – but no one wants to remember that. Or realize that it produced people who have died cannot be brought back to life.
One exception is the book Fun Home. It is a family autobiography in pictures – an adult comic book. It is a best seller.
Fun Home (subtitled A Family Tragicomic) is a 2006 graphic memoir by American writer Alison Bechdel, author of the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. It chronicles the author’s childhood and youth in rural Pennsylvania, USA, focusing on her complex relationship with her father. The book addresses themes of sexual orientation, gender roles, suicide, dysfunctional family life, and the role of literature in understanding oneself and one’s family. Writing and illustrating Fun Home took seven years, in part because of Bechdel’s laborious artistic process, which includes photographing herself in poses for each human figure.
Being totally isolated, living in rural Costa Rica – I learned about this from a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) I am taking – which is about the Modern – Postmodern transition.
Our instructor (the President of Wesleyan University) has his own take on this – which does not particularly impress me – but he is a well-connected intellectual, in touch with what is going on.
One person who impresses him is Slavoj Žižek who has an article in the London Review of Books called You May! about the post-modern superego. I quote:
In a permissive society, the rigidly codified, authoritarian master/slave relationship becomes transgressive. This paradox or reversal is the proper topic of psychoanalysis: psychoanalysis does not deal with the authoritarian father who prohibits enjoyment, but with the obscene father who enjoins it and thus renders you impotent or frigid. The unconscious is not secret resistance to the law, but the law itself.
This is dynamite stuff – and helps me understand my own bizarre personality. But for the average person it might as well be written in Sanskrit.
All this says one thing, in plain language – that we have been screwed over in some very sophisticated ways. Which only a few of us can barely comprehend.