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Lecture 3

ENGA10H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Steamboat, Knitting, Evry

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Deirdre Flynn

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Lecture 3
Floyd: comfortably numb
-a boy who tries too hard please everyone and he is a rockstar ony if he pleases everyone
But he is only a star if he pleases everyone. Only desire is the effect his performance generates but also treats
himself and others how he has been treated
In his car, he has assumed the persona that others need him to be
When the agen tsays “ I thinks its working..lets get ready for the show” analogous to DG’s wishing that his
portrait would grow old instead of him> both characters are foregoing their own reliazation in order to
continue being exploited by those who benefit their performance
DG- who tries to please henry and basil. i.e Sybil vane and DG, he is treating her the way he has been
treated. “ without your art, u are nothing”…he rejects his true self and embraces new self which makes him
perfectly numb and impossible for him feel emp,sym and compassion. Without these emotions, he cant
learn about himself and grow and nor can he learn about others or himself through his action with others
One of the crises of 20th century si turning away from rituals that help us experience ourselves in a larger
context towards ADDICTION
With rituals: is a repetitive process, such as praying, fasting we touch base with whats most important in our
lives and double check whether we are still living according to our principles and faith.collective ,
communcal,religious repetitive actions reaffirm to our faith and higher principles. Tend to be around
transcendental certitude i.e god but it could also be less transcendent..evry religious community ahs some
ritualistic traditions
The age of anxiety blurs these rituals in to addictions because we are not sure what to do , how to do takes
a lot of effort and generations to pass it forward..whoel communities have to commit to doing it again… there
is a sense of why rituals matter anymore..therfore, 20th century is just uncertainty: we are not sure and
uncertain rather than rejection..we are not sure what we see and feel is really real and we are not sure what
other say is real or whether what they say is what they eman or unconscious of it..
In the wake of loss of certitude, the word self becomes one of the most hyphenated word.. we are nto sure of
who we are..
Vs addiction: numbs us . lets us be comfortably numb to our existence still a repetitive process is the process by
which we shore up our when we never have to learn, never have to feel change is necessary
In modernity, rituals become addiction easily. In addiction, no community we can share and to single faith
which we can reliably refer
- the self can be anything it wants to be in modernity
- negative connotations directed toward oneself
- tension rises in the idnvidual when we dotn have a high order in which to orient in
- +ve :self that can go forward, capable of living out all the myths of modernity, progressive, perfect in
many ways, satisfying
- -ve self: self turn inward and a..fragile construct..
- Similarity between + and - is: both imply some relation to “other”..some other perceiving the
self..someone perceiving
- +ve: implies a positive encounter with other..assumes that the encounter will be self beneficial makes
u feel that u are the idealized self that u wish to be and other s will see u as such
- -ve: implies negative and critical encounter with other that other will see u in a negative light..idealized
self will be threatened by this other.
- Both assumes that u have a self and an other . both cases have self encountering with another.
- The other just becomes an accessory for the self..something that amplifies one’s sense of self or
doesn’t [is rejected then]

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Hear t of Darkness
- All of the Congolese are presented as others and the western imperialist forces are considered as self
at the expense of others
- Usually other individuals
In secular, problem with this dynamic, everyone is trying to shore up themselves using others to do so. nobody
knows anyone and because they don’t know anyone, they have no way of learning about themselves beyond
trying to shore up shaky fiction of what would they like to be..
The other disappoint so the other may be attacked or destroyed or may be ignored if its disempowered other.
- His wish puts him in the positive connotation: I want to be all these things (in +ve coloumn)
- He falls in love with her because she makes him feel wonderful, all these in +ve coloumn
- What if she stop reflecting what u wanted her to reflect? This is a shaky foundation for one’s self-
worth. the modern self is very fragile at the core. It can never be satisfied. The modern self is forced
upon an addictive dynamic not a ritualistic dynamic
- The idea of self has become ascended , something we stress over.
- Because our loss of certitude, loss of soul, soul that precedes external self. Soul as seen as part of
divine self that was indestructible , part of our interiority, not exterior. The soudl corresponded to
transcendental certitude. It can pinpoint us in relation to something beyond earth and man-made,
- Whats taken place of trans certitude is technology, progress and innovation..its all within the domain
of earth and man-made
- Tech tablet contains endless amount of info, none of it designed to instruct us how to live..meanign ful
life , how to live modernity, tech is a disenchanted form of god?
- Advertised commodity that offer to sell us self-worth and offer some sense of self-security.
- Our sense of self-security has becomes inseperable from these devices
- Vast market for Cosmetic products; deo called “Sure” promises to give us confidence, so we buy sure
because we need sure because we no longer are..
- What kinder of person are we? How do u want to be perceived? We are joeckeying for positon in
modern society and we need all the help we can get to maintain our confidence and self-esteem..we
need to focus on the self.
- Before loss of trans certitude, we relied on soul to keep us in rightful place under eyes of god..its
conscience that tells u we did wrong…the conscious is the intellectual communicator with the soul.sin
is contrary to some higher leaves a mark on ur soul. No way to unmark ur soul except prayer and
forgiveness..what if no soul? Where does conscious go and with what does it communicate? Isn’t
conscious a liability?
>essential conflict with DG
- Novel obsessed with this conflcit .soul appears 70, conscious 12, self 50
- Relationship between soul that is confused and conscious that no longer has a voice and self that is unsure
- novel trying to grasp the concept of self..What is the self in relationship to soul if any?
Has pledged his soul to exterior does the outside interact with its inside? Who shores up his faulty
belief system based on external appearance.
Further alienated from potential internal sense of who he might be i.e soul
Encounters with others that challenge who he is…but doesnot allow them to affect him..he chooses his false
belief systems everytime.
1)soul exchange. Initially embrace of false belief system, or false self shored up by false system maintained
through addictive models of consumption
2) Sibyl vane but more imp after he meets henry, when he embraces the curious pleasure of not having to
feel..being comfortably numb..she was just a wonderful experience ..failed encounter that might connect him

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with something beyond myths of modernity..when he agrees that vane was just a marvellous experience and
goes in quest for’s actual existence keeps coming up ..consume something to stop the onslaught of
reality …addictive paradigm because ehis belief system is so shaky. He only needs one resource from her: her
3 ) basil also a believer in a false belief system. Basil puts his faith in dorians youth and beauty. Dorian
aggressively shores up his false belief system when he murders basil..
- basil is disgusted and horrified by it. Basil first impulse is to pray..
- Dorian: “I made this mistake..i not stil sure whether it’s a mistake or not..
Dorian is annoyed with basil’s reaction because he is absolutely complicit in his illusion and faulty belief system
and he asks: “can’t us ee your ideal in it” with sarcasm
Basil is an consumer..he has been enjoying dorian’s natural resources : youth and beauty. Instead of offering
sympathy to dorian and saying sorry for leading him astray..he is terrified because this challenges his faulty
belief system and he yells out to return to some trans certitude.
They are so far away from any organized ritualistic system that they can’t remember any rituals.
This confession has failed and has turned murderous. Confession implies willingness to be judged, it implies
higher order that can judge u. confession come with a desire to be better, to act better in the future. A way to
restore purity of a soul that has sinned. DG rejected this entire system, he may have worshipped basil too
much, his icon has fallen. He sees that basil has been using him, just like he has done to others and he feels
hatred. Basil had his belief system shattered, though dorian was a god like figure.
For dorian , it s a direct threat to everything he has believed. Threat to his very sense of self , his idealized view
of himself…in DG’s view, to be is to be seen to be beautiful is to feel that way…hence, he rejects anything other
than idealizing glance of others upon his false self.thats why destroys anyone that may have seen his degraded
self behind his false self.--> incapable of learning from these events and because he cant see others as anything
other than reflection of self, they cant have authentic feeling in relation to others..”pseudo” feeling: any feeling
is hypocrisy because they are all about shoring up himself, something that might make his portrait look better.
4) Hert Metton. Not seducing. He realizes that he has led a destrcutiev life so he decided not to ruin the life of
this girl. Forego this pleasure and spare her. Rushes back to see the portrait hoping that it will look better. Its
all hypocrisy because it s all about his ideal self.
He has a high degree of isnight.he didn’t seduce her because of all 3 questions he has asked!!!
He cant do anything that is not in the service of his false self..
5) feels bad about his murder. Cant drug himself. “this murder..was it to dogg” –its all about him, he perceives
himself as the victim.
He chooses to destroy it b/c it doesn’t shore up his false beliefs and ideals. He rejects the painting , any last
whisper of consciousness.
Stabs the painting, hence killing himself. He brings the body and conscious together but only now the body is
dead. and painting has returned to its beauty.
The body was identified only by its materials remnants
The body now registers all the repressed and denied sins that he had committed.
The ideal is ut back in the picture, to snare another person….
- In between these encounters, he keeps exploiting people. Number of people is astonishing…alan
simpson..he see old friends who have been victims at the opium dens. Basil asks <why is your
friendship fatal to young mean?
- Dorian’s friendship is fatal to both men and women. And also fatal to the families of people involved
with him i.e Sibyl’s bro..james is shot accidentally by the person whom DG is visitng..he treats people
as objects to be used and discarded or as victims to be consumed till their death (vampiric)
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