By Clive Bloom
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Additional info for Reading Poe Reading Freud: The Romantic Imagination in Crisis
In the chapters which follow on I shall explore the drive for interpretation that motivates the analyst in his quest for meaning ('the true state of affairs') which is exposed through identification and transference. That Poe should give such a large amount of space to a discussion of games in what ostensibly appear narratives of detection indicates not only that games were a good metaphoric analogy for analysis but that the action of games provides the technique of the narrative itself, much as Freud's narrative of 'fort/da' provides the interpretation as well.
In what way then, can one validly discuss 'absence' and its relationship with figuration? Poe's 'Eureka' is also fragmented by this conflict between demonstration and analysis. In 'Eureka' proof is 'vulgar', being just the data interpreted, and any interpretation will therefore do. 8 Indeed, for Poe, the only real proof is proof as an ironic displacement of a logical argument; proving science by denying the proof of science. This denial we have already seen in Freud's discussion of the clinical proof of sadism as a primary instinct.
If it flag for an instant, an oversight is committed, resulting in injury or defeat. 46 In draughts it is 'acumen' (or keen insight) that finds the winning combination of moves. Poe continues with an example: 'to be less abstract - Let us suppose a game of draughts where the pieces are reduced to four kings, and where, of course, no oversight is to be expected. It is obvious that here the victory can be decided (the players being at all equal) only by some recherche movement, the result of some exertion of the intellect'.
Reading Poe Reading Freud: The Romantic Imagination in Crisis by Clive Bloom