As a Weasel Sucks Eggs: An Essay on Melancholy and Cannibalism

By Anders Olsson, Daniel Birnbaum

Initially released in Swedish in 1992, As a Weasel Sucks Eggs examines the enigmatic relation of melancholia to an early type of cannibalism, which psychoanalysis, specifically, under pressure. It includes studying of, among others, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Thomas Bernhard, Sigmund Freud, G. W. F. Hegel, and the Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf. The authors additionally quote Goethe and Rabelais, for whom foodstuff is a cosmic precept, the soil of fertility, on which all production is predicated. In a transferred experience, meals additionally performs that very same function for the melancholiac—he who questions the conventional order of items, who creates an different “unknown food,” with various meanings. The authors “trace the will for this different nutrition during the a while, and scrutinize its courting to either primitive sacrificial rites in addition to modern anthropology, philosophy, and linguistic theory.”

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Hans-Georg Gadamer cites this anecdote for instance of his hermeneutic thesis at the priority of the spoken over the written note. ‘ The voice is toward the particular which means than the motionless mass of letters in written language. The voice want not often be interpreted, because it constitutes the very medium of the understandable. The voice translates itself, so that you can communicate: “All writing is, as we've acknowledged, one of those alienated speech, and its symptoms must be remodeled again into speech and which means. as the which means is subjected in writing to a kind of self—alienation, this means of reworking it again is the particular hermeneutic job. /... / The spoken observe translates itself in an surprising approach, by way of its demeanour of conversing, its tone, its pace, etc. ”2 the 1st job of hermeneutics is to extract the unique meanings of the written characters, the particular which means that reveals expression within the dwelling voice. 1 Gadamer, WahrI1e1'tundMethode,Tiibingen 1960, p. 371 2 Ibid. p. 371. 127 n 2. during this bankruptcy we are going to of the mouth, study what might be will be known as of consuming, within the West. The fixation an a priori the oral that psychoanalysis has studied with regards to depression has left its mark on totally different discourses and points of tradition: the ingestion that happens within the Christian Holy Communion might be traced again, as Freud mentioned, to primitive or ritual sacrifices, but additionally lives on, through on Christian hermeneutics, in speculative philosophy. The dominance in philosophy of the mouth not just manifests itself as phonocentrism, yet, as we will see, it is also take place within the idea of interpreting and interpretation as a sublimated consuming. religion within the priority of orality over the written textual content dominates Western philosophy from the Platonic dialogues to Edmund Husserl’s perspectives at the subject’s inner monologue because the actual medium of which means. Nowhere is that this phonocentrism as transparent as in Hegel's philosophy, the place it takes at the type of an oral advanced of a either philosophical and physiological nature. the following, the mouth isn't, relatively as organ, however the passage among inner and exterior, bepassage no longer in the direction of the earthly and customary it was once in Rabelais, a materializing idealizing organ tween topic and global, a guy, yet in the direction of more and more larger orders of fact. the following, it isn't simply the foodstuff digested within the organism that's integrated, but in addition the mouth, that is the residing position of the idealizing voice. within the spoken note, the topic unearths fast expression: “The voice is what lies closest to suggestion, for it's right here that natural subjectivity turns into an item. ” via the mouth, innovations are exteriorized to exterior sounds, to phrases that sublate themselves the very second they're mentioned. in contrast to the lifeless textual content, whose markings stay even if not anyone is familiar with them anymore, the voice corresponds to the ideality of concept. idea passes in the course of the the mouth out into an empirical area, however the voice annihilates itself phrases are canceled out within the similar immediate they're articulated, thereby conserving their excellent personality.

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