OCCASIONAL COMMENTS ON PSCHO-ANALYTIC MATTERS + CONTIBUTIONS fromMICHAEL ROLOFF Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear Louise Lambrich

Thank you for your comment which I will make part of this post and to which I reply below:

"Louise L. Lambrichs has left a new comment on your post "A COMMUNICATION ABOUT THE HANDKE CASE":

Deeply interested by your paper. But do you read French ? If you do, you may read "Le cas Handke", I published in 2003, three years before the "Affaire" in France and Germany (www.inventaire-invention.com)

. Interesting is how Handke's literature allows to understand what happened in Former Yugoslavia. Of course, the context should be also well understood... Unfortunately, if French scholars read English and American studies, I'm not shure that American do read the French... ! Personally, being Jew, French, German, Austrian and Belgian, I don't think that "ethnicity" is relevant to think the case. The main question is the question of unconscious denial, in this specific context. Handke is blind... as many others. I remain you that a new genocide happened in Eastern Europe, and that Handke supported openly Milosevic. Do you have an idea of the reasons ? Sincerely. 

I discuss Handke's denial in the posting on the Milosevics controversy at:
and as a matter of fact have written a series of long papers on that subject.
Denial is a common and even essential human psychological capacity, necessity.
In Handke's case it became emphatically necessary during his childood trauma, one of the sources of the creation for his "other-worldly" art. On the other, I have never known someone who sees so much, is such a great phenomenologist. If you read his JUSTICE FOR SERBIA carefully you notice that he refuses to report anything he has not seen, and when, e.g. he sees corpses floating down one of those rivers, he angrily skips a stone across it, instead of falling into the standard language of condemnation; he reports his wife Sophie Semin saying to him, about Dubrovnik, "and so you are going to deny that too?" - which means that he himself is aware of his tendency to deny. And not so long ago he denied the shelling of Dubrovnik once again, to some visiting Croatian magazine and t.v. reporters in Chaville.  Very funny, and then tried to supress that  he had said so once again! Even more touching!

Denial occurs for two main reasons, one because acknowledgment creates unbearable pain, the other for reasons of self image, which can be just as painful, and also as in the foolish case of Ahminejab of Persia because he wants to eliminate the raison d'etre of Israel.  Denial has been criminalized meanwhile, it derives from my profession, my analytic caste, and it is a monstrosity to criminalize denial, in France I gather denial of the Turkish genocide of Armenians has meanwhile been criminalized... once you go  down that road you end up at the very heart of hypocrisy and have people as in the middle ages going around with death heads in their hands, saying that they will not deny death. I well know the origin of the prohibition of denial as an aftermath of the Shoah, but it is a mistake. Handke in his somewhat problematic play EINBAUM / VOYAGE BY DUGOUT has the case of the Serbian bystander of an atrocity who was arrested in German for not intervening back in Serbia and who was then condemned to five years in a German prison for that inaction - he represent this case, which really happened, through a character called "the Forest madman", because the fellow when the Germans finally saw the error of their ways and sent him back to Serbia, he was despised: what had he done - he had watched, witnessed an atrocity, about which he could do nothing, he had not denied it even, but he was condemned for having seen. If you see where this insanity of prohibition of denial then leads.  I am also appalled at French  denial of their 90% collaboration and passivity under German occupation, and then seizing DeGaulle's statement about "heroic la France" as a cover,  just the way the Austrians seized on the opportunity to regard themselves as victims of Hitler, whereas they were only victims of their hopes and wishes and hatred of Jews, and the way the French then treated the women who had slept with German soldiers, and that the Comedie Francaise canceled the production of a great play, Handke's THE ART OF ASKING. Handke has his monstrous sides in some ways, but I would say that denial in the instance of Yugoslavia is the least of it, and the French news media exclusively making Serbians and Milosevic's responsible is also an act of total idiocy.  You might say, that all the tribes became murderous, for reasons that they scarcely know, I would say because of two national security directives under Reagan that declared economic warfare, and then when the center of socialism started to fail, you get the disintegration into ethnic nationalist beastialities.   
I do read French do not know your book, will gladly read yet another on the subject,
perhaps we can correspond via e-mail? mikerol [at] lycos. com 

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MICHAEL ROLOFF http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html