May 18, 2013

"I think he's crude, I think he's medieval, and I don't want an elderly gentleman from Vienna with an umbrella inflicting his dreams upon me."

"I don't have the dreams that he discusses in his books. I don't see umbrellas in my dreams. Or balloons."

So said Vladimir Nabokov, in 1966, answering the question "Mr. Nabokov, would you tell us why it is that you detest Dr. Freud?" I'm reading this now after writing the last post, about the symbolism of Obama and the Marine-held umbrella. The post ends:
If umbrella-holding conveys a message of unmanliness, it is a vivid image of impotence. It's a symbol.
Umbrellas are a famously Freudian symbol, and I was going to embellish that last post with some stray erudition. But the post was already too long. (Too long!!) And here was Nabokov, taking a swipe at the elderly gentleman from Vienna way back in 1966.

Interestingly, Nabokov is also talking about something else that was a topic in the Obama-and-the-umbrella post:
I'm not a good speaker, you see. When I start to speak, I have immediately four or five lines of thought — sort of roads, you know, trails going various ways. And I have to decide which trail I'm going to follow, and while I decide this, hawing and hemming begins, and it may be very upsetting because I hear it myself. I can never understand those limpid, fluid speakers, as my father was, who just deliver perfect phrases, beautifully built, with an aphorism here, you know, and a metaphor there. I can't do it. I have to think it out; I have to take a pencil; I have to write it down laboriously; have it before me. I do things like that. It's probably psychological. I can imagine what old Freud would have said, whom I heartily detest, as my readers know by now.
Ah! What would Freud have said about Obama's endless uh-ing?

Nevertheless, I am downloading Freud's "Interpretation of Dreams." I want it in my Kindle, alongside, among other things, Obama's — ahem — "Dreams From My Father."

22 comments:

pm317 said...

Ah! What would Freud have said about Obama's endless uh-ing?

What Nobokov describes is somewhat related to INTJ thinking -- I can totally relate to what he is saying.

I do not, do not think that has anything to do with Obama's endless uh-ing -- because in Obama's case he is just thinking which road will lead me to say 'present' and be safe for next go around. It is not like he gets 4-5 hefty thoughts that he has to choose from. He is just thinking how he can get out of it in the future -- it is a crook's mind at work, not a genius's.

CEO-MMP said...

So the (rumored) down low POTUS gets a handsome young white Marine to hold his phallus?

Sounds right.


All the girls love a boy in uniform.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

You have to read Freud's writings, not the commentaries or summations, to see if you agree with the guy.

Some of his stuff makes a lit of sense. (IMHO)

I remember a friend of mine going through NROTC at Villanova telling me that they had been told never to carry an umbrella on duty in uniform because it was unmanly.

Truth in advertising:

This is during the late 60s, so the viewpoint may have changed.

Palladian said...

When it rains, it pours...

Palladian said...

I love drawing umbrellas.

CEO-MMP said...

Let a smile be your umbrella, Palladian.

Palladian said...

I love the etymology of "umbrella" as well. Obama's under a shadow, indeed.

Beth said...

My first thought when I saw the pic of Obama having the Marine hold an umbrella for him was "Pussy!"

William said...

I suppose Freud got a few things right, but his enthusiasts oversold him. He was, they claimed, the scientist of the brain. People who had reservations about his theories were not just wrong, but wrong in the way that the Inquisition was wrong about Galileo. It was reminiscent of the current global warming debate.

Hagar said...

If umbrellas are phallic symbols, what are parasols?

wyo sis said...

Palladian
That was informative.
The manly definition of carrying an umbrella comes from the ruler carrying it.

cold pizza said...

From the halls of Montezuma
To the....

What the hell?

.. To the Rose Garden


Bravo to that sharp Marine. I can only wonder what thoughts were going through his head. Probably something like, "Don't let me screw this up. Keep it together."

Since when have the Dems really had any use for the military except to use as backdrops at social gatherings anyway? Oh, waiter...

Semper Fi, Devil Dogs! -CP

pm317 said...

"I think he's crude".. now that could apply to Obama too for asking the marine to hold his umbrella. Now if he had offered a marine to hold the umbrella for his guest but held his own, that would have been the true representation of America. America is all about classless, no hierarchy, do your own, kind of country. You stand in line, king or slave and get your own. That is at least my romanticized view of America. What Obama did is seen as abuse of power at its most simplest and America does not like that.

cold pizza said...

Didn't Freud also say, "Sometimes a cigar is just...." Oh, wait. Now I've got Clinton stuck in my head, too. -CP

St. George said...

"You are putting up a shield against your emotions and are trying to avoid dealing with them.

If the umbrella is leaking, then it indicates that you are unprepared with facing your problems."

From dreammoods.com, a dream interpretation website.

Ah, the leaks.

Wonder how long it will be before Obama has a fit ala Nixon's rage when he shoved his press secretary, Mr. Ziegler.

It all comes rushing back to me like the hot kiss at the end of a wet fist....

n.n said...

The vindictive government agents, the criminal cartels, the insane terrorists, and all the other petty criminals who participate in redistributive and retributive change are laughing as you poke them with your umbrella.

Let them be Armed with umbrellas.

This reminds me of a Monty Python skit. It's powerful symbolism. Obama is mocking his enemies by disarming their warriors.

jr565 said...

Freud was a fraud.

ricpic said...

Freud really got hammered by his Viennese colleagues when he made his its all about sex breakthrough. Which explains why he became as rigid as they were when it came to a disciple disagreeing with him. Doesn't excuse it, explains it. I've always thought that Jung made some great breakthrough additions to Freudianism, but Freud would have none of it. My way or the highway, so Jung was ejected for apostasy. Of course Jung was a bit of a kook himself. Gotta take everything great men say with a grain of salt.

jr565 said...

ricpic wrote:
Freud really got hammered by his Viennese colleagues when he made his its all about sex breakthrough. Which explains why he became as rigid as they were when it came to a disciple disagreeing with him. Doesn't excuse it, explains it. I've always thought that Jung made some great breakthrough additions to Freudianism, but Freud would have none of it. My way or the highway, so Jung was ejected for apostasy. Of course Jung was a bit of a kook himself. Gotta take everything great men say with a grain of salt.



Maybe the scientologists are onto something when it comes to psycho analysis. Though, definitely not onto something when it comes to scientology.

ken in sc said...

As a retired AF officer, I knew it was against regs for a military man in uniform to hold or carry an umbrella. We were issued raincoats, cap covers, and wheel hats to keep the rain out of our faces. In that same reg, was a rule that a man in uniform should not be seen carrying a baby. I'll bet that rule is in not in there anymore.

Donald Sensing said...

Umbrella-Gate? Get a grip!

And don't forget that darn, military hating Gerald Ford.