some ideas on ‘multiples’

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The first few times Hacking used the term ‘multiples’, I legitimately thought he was referring to twins/triplets. Hopefully that’s an indication of my brain state this weekend. I will fully admit that I haven’t finished this book (I’m on page 112!) for a few reasons. I’ve been fighting off a nasty cold, and to be honest I’m getting a bit annoyed at the lack of ‘literature’ on our reading list. I have never been a huge fan of philosophy and that’s what a lot of our recent books feel like for me … I am most definitely a future lit major and I wish we were reading more of that kind of thing!

Now that I’ve finished complaining, on to the actual text. It’s pretty interesting and more ‘modern’, so the terminology feels less clunky. Hacking makes some good points about multiple personality disorder that I would never have thought of myself. Here’s some quotes I liked:

“It is a story in a time-honored tradition, a story that explains by telling how things originated. Like Genesis, the first book of the Bible.” (87) The first thing I thought of when I read this was “WOW IT’S REMAKE/REMODEL” and now that I’m typing it in, I’m not totally sure that’s what Hacking is getting at, but maybe it’s an alternate interpretation? It’s interesting to bring things back to the Bible.

“The thought of child sexual abuse is very closely tied to the notion that children develop through successive stages, each with its own canon of “appropriate” sexual behavior.” (55-56) This was my favourite chapter to read because Hacking totally had me believing him by the end. The concept that many (all?) cases of multiple personality disorder stem from child abuse explains a lot and helps me to understand some of this complicated disorder. (Also, his idea that abused children turn into abusive parents – what a vicious cycle.)

Early on, Hacking mentions the link to memory and amnesia. This, again, reminds me of Trouillot. Do we ‘silence’ the things we don’t want to remember deliberately? The themes of repression and networking as well as the research of Foucault and Freud seem to keep showing up. (remake/remodel)

Lastly, I’m loving Hacking’s specific examples of cases and some of the other examples he uses to explain his points. I’m feeling more convinced (and sometimes entertained!) than I have been in a while!

Well, that felt a bit half-assed, and I can’t even make it to the lecture to redeem myself. Reading week is much needed.