Lost in Loss

Every time I reread Freud’s Mourning & Melancholia, I understand it—the pathology of male melancholy—in a new way. Teaching it on Wednesday.

Last night, reading the essay on the subway on the way to Shakespeare in the Park, I wrote down:

“Melancholy is lost in loss”

“Mourning strives. Even if it’s all the time, as Derrida says. It won’t give up.”

“The melancholic is not mourning the loss of an object, he is mourning his own ego as lost object. As a loss that prohibits him from even being able to have future objects to which he is attached enough to potentially lose, let alone love. Melancholia is therefore a prohibitive and all-consuming structure that cannot let anything or anyone (else) in. It doesn’t have room.”

Freud on the melancholic:

“He really is as lacking in interest and as incapable of love and achievement as he says.”

Reminds of me of the Scorpion and Frog parable. If someone tells you what they are, believe them.


“He is ill, whether he is speaking the truth or whether he is being unfair to himself.”

Crossposted with Love Dog.

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