Asylum Piece by Anna Kavan PDF

By Anna Kavan

This selection of tales, usually interlinked and principally autobiographical, chart the descent of the narrator from the onset of neurosis to ultimate incarceration in a Swiss health facility. The experience of paranoia, of persecution through a foe or strength that's by no means given a reputation, conjures up The Trial via Kafka, a author with whom Kavan is frequently in comparison, even if her deeply own, limited, and virtually international —accented sort has no actual version. a similar characters who recur throughout—the protagonist's unhelpful "adviser," the buddy and lover who abandons her on the health facility, and an collection of deluded companions—are sketched with out a hint of the craze, self-pity, or sentiment that experience marked more moderen money owed of psychological instability.

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The car went out of control, crashed through the wall of a house and into the kitchen, passing through EITHER THE STOVE OR THE REFRIGERATOR, then out of the house and, all unhurt, back on to the same street, but now it was snowing. She wondered whether sexual excitement and closeness frightened her ... but if excitement frightens her, then coolness isolates and terrifies her--like the doctor said, her sensitivity is too extreme. For 15 years now, ever since her first analyst had unilaterally terminated treatment, she had suffered from an inability to completely empty her bladder and bowels which forced her to spend as much as several hours a day in the bathroom.

Thus the emphasis is less on the communicative function and more on the genetically earlier manipulative function of words, which may be used to frighten or to soothe, to distance or to merge, to control or to be controlled. A patient whosP. mother was dying of cancer, overwhelmed by feelings of fear, rage and impotence, began to have sadomasochistic fantasies whenever he visited her in the hospital. The fantasies were of hanging women upside down, giving them enemas, raping them and of having the same done to him.

I fasten on one word and forget what you're saying ... " .... ] Your voice became like thunder .... ]I resent that you don't tell me your fantasies .... You're fine and clean and I'm dirty .... )I want to be hugged by you .... Talking doesn't count for anything-what counts is being hugged. Because language is used more manipulatively or as a substitute for more primitive, proximal and autocentric modalities, such as touch, taste and smell, one has the overall sense that the language is impoverished, although at times it may be rhetorically brilliant.

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