Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Uses of Enchantment

A few days ago when I began quoting from the old diary again I quoted from a page where a bookmark was resting. For some months I’ve been composing directly in the blogger box. But up to last fall I’d carefully written everything in a Word file because, you know, blogger used to lose stuff. Now that my mind is clearing and I’m feeling up to looking to the long term I am once more saving everything into that Word file and what do I find but diary-quotings I’d prepared and never posted.

So, what the heck, here’s the 20 years ago me reading a famous psychoanalyst:

From the diary: “Saturday November 30, 1985

“I’ve been reading a book called The Uses of Enchantment about how fairy tales provide essential pschological material to children so they can grow to become productive, mature adults – ‘live happily ever after.’ And I think I’m learning something, but I’m also getting anxiety attacks. I feel so overwhelmed by the attempt to understand myself. I want to retreat. I’m lost and confused and I hate it.”

A few days later I wrote, “Been really bogged down in Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment. Been boring me for days.”

The wikipedia entry on Bruno Bettelheim is decidedly unflattering. It declares Bettelheim’s theories on autism “erroneous” and says he was a plagiarist, calling him “Bruno Borrowheim”. Yow. Who knew?

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