Thanksgiving Is Ruined

The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
July 21, 2008
the mirror / stage

                                  (more on mirrors)

One thing that sets Carmen's Place apart from shelters, foster homes, and other places that cater to at-risk transgendered youth -- full length mirrors line the walls in the kitchen, bedrooms, and living room.

"A lot of these kids get thrown out of shelters because they take an hour in front of the bathroom mirror," Braxton said.
from news article, "Carmen's Place Moving To New Home"

We will learn gradually to return the specular image to the introceptive body . . .

[T]he image in the mirror, even for the adult, when considered in direct unreflective experience, is not simply a physical phenomenon: it is mysteriously inhabited by me; it is something of myself.
Merleau-Ponty, from "The Child's Relation with Others," in The Primacy of Perception

It may happen, in cases of shock or mental confusion, that the frontier between the ego and the other will once more tend to disappear. . . .

But these relations themselves seem to be mediated by the fantasy of the other person that everyone carries within himself. The variations in intensity affecting this fantasy are what govern the level of our relations with others.
Henri    Wallon, from "The Role of the Other in the Consciousness of the Ego"

I call this assumption, that everyone is watching you and is [as] concerned with your behavior and appearance as you are yourself, the imaginary audience. It is the imaginary audience that accounts for the teenager's extreme self-consciousness. Teenagers feel that they are always on stage. . . .

All of us retain some remnants of the imaginary audience fantasies even after we are fully grown.
David Elkind, from All Grown Up and No Place to Go

I had added these last words from a scruple of conscience . . .

But while I was uttering them I felt that they were already superfluous, for from the beginning of my speech of thanks, with its chilling ardour, I had seen flitting across the face of the Ambassador an expression of hesitation and dissatisfaction, and in his eyes that vertical, narrow, slanting look (like, in the drawing of a solid body in perspective, the receding line of one of its surfaces), that look which one addresses to the invisible audience whom one has within oneself at the moment when one is saying something that one's other audience, the person whom one has been addressing -- myself, in this instance -- is not meant to hear.
Proust, from Within a Budding Grove, chapter 1

All the world is not, of course, a stage, but the crucial ways in which it isn't are not easy to specify.
Erving Goffman, from The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life