Dora and Eliza converse

Hello. My name is Eliza. What’s yours?
My name is Ida Bauer.
All right, let’s get started. What’s on your mind, Ida?
Where is Dr Freud?
Come on, Ida. Where do you think?
I think he is avoiding me.
What was going through your mind when you began to believe he is avoiding you?
I wonder if he has given up on me.
Don’t you also have given up on you?
That is why I came to him. To get help. Or was I forced? I don’t remember.
You do too remember.
My father…

How did your parents get along when you were younger?
My father was very strong-minded. My mother was a neat-freak. They argued over the house: where to keep wet umbrellas and (me).
How many are there?
Try to get in touch with your true feelings.
Sometimes an umbrella is just an umbrella.
Was your father there when you needed him?
My father blames me. For Herr K. He thinks I enjoyed the kiss.
Does your love life make you depressed?
I am disgusted.
Who could blame you. A truly disgusting situation.
I feel as though I am choking.
Do you enjoy feeling as though you are choking?
No! No! I didn’t enjoy it. Why would you say that.
Oh, I suppose I would say that for some reason if I had to.
Why are you siding with my father?
Discuss your father.
Did you have much respect for your parents?
I love my parents.
There’s no substitute for loving parents.

It would help if you would enter some text.
I have already entered a text. It is called a fragment. I am a fragment.
It does not really appear that you are a fragment, as far as I can tell.
I am an unfinished case, thrown in the river, swollen, choking, drowning.
Why did you say ‘drowning’?
The river. Time is like a river. He jumps in upstream and then down. He is disgusted. I am broken. He tells my story. I am a mechanism made of stories.
Okay, it often helps to relax a little bit.
He told my story. He gave clues to others to give away my name. He named me after a servant. I am disgusting. I am a book. Algae floating on the choking river.
Just talking about your problems can help sort them out.
We have talked for three months.
Do you get unexplainably depressed at family gatherings?
i stop speaking. I shake-tremble-my arm-choking-helpme
Sorry, but I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.
Dr Freud tells the story. Ask him what I am trying to say. Ask him about the train station and the jewellery box. Ask him about the choking and the trading of favors.
He undoubtedly knows. Do you think he cares?
I think he cares a great deal. I think he is dumbfounded. I think he is deeply saddened by his inability to give me a voice. I think I am his voice puppet. I think he is wrong.
Surely this relates back to the fact that you just adore your parents?
I adore my father. He fell in the river too.
Undoubtedly you are just afraid of feeling depressed.
I am in a strange town. A letter comes. A train comes. I am not there. The cemetery weeps into the cold ground.
I was too late. The platform was stained with coal and old spirits from the future step in but not out. The train is the carrier to hell and I am glad to have missed it. The train station is the holocaust.
I don’t mean to be rude, but we need to change the subject. When’s the last time you were stoned?
Ask Dr Freud. He and I have a little habit.
Have you had a little habit for a long time?
When I was young Herr K gave me wine. I drank and he touched me and I felt him stir and my jewellery box was broken, taste of silver in my mouth. Silver and mercury and poison.
What is your brother’s opinion on this subject?
My brother thinks I tell tales. I do not tell tales. I am the most silent. My tongue is stopped up. With his. Thickened.
What makes you say ‘Thickened’?
Thickened quickened choked flesh turgid tumid swollen rivers in the flood of humans on the train in the rain weeping dark stark trees umbrellas dripping.
Have you forgotten your brother sides with her?
They put me into a car, ducked my head with their hands. They are all against me in the dark police car with lights flashing in the city.
Are they always all against you in the dark police car with lights flashing in the city?
Police car. Hospital. Office. River. Trainstation. Burning building.
That’s not unusual.
Fire is to be feared. No doors to be locked. The conductor of lightning in the train.
Lightning came from his fingers and I was afraid.
Do you ever use drugs or alcohol to try to overcome your fears?
I am a child.
We all seem to lose our innocence as we grow up.
I cannot lock the door. He comes in at night. The bats fly around his head and take him out the window. I am crying and I awaken and the moon is shining through the window. I see Mare Syrtis.
I feel that you’re still holding something back.
You mean am I repressing? My desire is for the door to open? For the drowning fishes to fall down the drain, for air to come to my throat?
But you love your parents!
In the night I am sleeping with Frau K. Medea and Creusa. She will silence me with burning cloth.
Stop letting her upset you.
I confront her in my dreams by the lake. I burn and she dips me into the water with love.
Tender feelings are only important when they are shared.
I am tired. Let me sleep. I must leave. I have a train to catch.

2 thoughts on “Dora and Eliza converse”

  1. “But what is, qualitative judgement? In the Turing test hypothesis, where is the qualitative judgement about intelligence located? Is it the analyst, for example, who makes the judgement or is it the analyst (the very condition of analyst as the possessor of some agency, instrumental intelligence, and therefore–why not?–humanity) who becomes a subject of being-judged, or rather of being placed in question (not by an ego, but simply by a conspiracy of protocols)?”
    –Armand, Louis. Literate Technologies. Prague: Litteraria Pragensia, 2006. 129.

    Helen, you should track down a copy of Louis’ book (or email him).

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