The will ... is the driving force of the mind. If it's injured, the mind falls to pieces. (August Strindberg, The Father)
Lost selfhood and will. Heteronomy.
What emerges from the Kafkaesque metamorphosis?
Daniel Paul Schreber lived with the fear that he was turning into an effeminate Jew, a true Weiningerian composite.
The heteronomous expectation is that someone else, some master, will tell me who I am and what I ought to value and desire. To be adrift amid flows of impressions, empirical causes and influences, but without any self regulation or individually creative contribution.
Kundry, without authentic personality, subject to Klingsor’s summoning
Come up! Come up! To me!
Your master calls you, nameless one,
primaeval witch, rose of hell!
Lulu with vanity fed by the gaze of others.
Woman - living only in and through the thoughts and regard of those outside her.
This is the Weiningerian logic, that woman possesses no ‘I’, no ‘Kantian’ transcendental ego, no essence. Like some bundle of of sense-impressions she is defined by others, in particular she is defined by man’s attitude to her body as as a sex object, a commodity.
The point is - the metamorphosis is universal. This was Marx’s point, this was Weininger’s point, this was Wagner’s point, this was Marsden’s understanding of Weininger, this was Schreber’s nightmare.
To whom or what has manhood, individual will, the creative self, been lost.
Strinberg’s The Father was prescient.
The strength of woman in the unmanning of man.
Man’s cosmic perspective pronounced as madness.
Woman and proto-Freudian psychology in alliance. Just one of the many Weiningerian composites that has us in a straightjacket.
© John Dunn.