This week's podcast is a ghostcast featuring Rick Roderick
's 1990 lecture for the Teaching Company on Freud and Postmodern Culture. Rick Roderick was a philosophy professor who worked at Duke University and who came from Abilene, Texas. The son of a "con-man" and a beautician, Roderick was (according to Wikipedia) revered by many students for his socratic style of teaching combined with his brash and often humorous approach. He died too young in 2002.
From Roderick's Lecture:
Now, the only reason I am mentioning Freud at all in these last lectures is to remind us, and take us back for a moment to Kierkegaard and deepen that analysis, where I did mention despair, and used a kind of existential motif to turn it into a social one. Despair not as, sort of, an existential thing like a Bergman movie, “The Seventh Seal“, or something, but as a social malady that is not merely psychological. Many of you have had the experience, I am sure, of going to a therapist and hearing them describe the problems you have with your husband and how you should adjust, and you go “Geez, I don’t think it’s that, I think it’s really the whole situation, you know, the fact that he has all the money and my life is shit, and I think that’s the problem” – ah, we’ll cut that, anyway – “My life is a mess, and that’s the problem”. Well those objective problems were what I was trying to show despair to be, and not ones that can be fixed, as it were, by simply having someone say: “adjust”.
Unrelated Blog Post from Tor.com
Time Travel in the Second Person: The Man Who Folded Himself
The most interesting and perhaps most overlooked move that David Gerrold makes in his fractal time travel book The Man Who Folded Himself is that he writes the whole story in the second person without alerting you, the reader, directly to this fact. You’re brought inside the book without really knowing it. The second most interesting fact about Gerrold’s 1971 Hugo nominated book is that the book has no protagonist. Instead of a protagonist, the reader is presented with a contradiction and asked—no, compelled—to identify with this empty place in the narrative. And the reader is coerced into position, made to stand in for the narrator and protagonist, with two simple sentences:
“In the box was a belt. And a manuscript.” — David Gerrold, The Man Who Folded Himself, p. 1
More at Tor.com