Friday, July 29, 2011

Petersburg phobia conquered?

Readers of Fur Coat's most recent post may wonder whether its author ever actually made it to St. Petersburg. That detail appears ambiguous. It all calls to mind Freud's famous Roman phobia, as recounted in The Interpretation of Dreams. For years, Rome was the city that most fascinated Freud, the basis of the classical education his psychology borrowed so much from, and the destination of several abortive journeys. Freud claimed that what repeatedly turned him back, once just 50 miles from the city, was an identification with Hannibal and an antipathy for the Catholic Church due to its persecution of Jews.
Will the same fate befall Fur Coat? After years and years of intense identification with Russian culture and the Soviet experiment will physical proximity overwhelm him? Will he turn back at the Finland Station or press on across the border? We can only wait and see.

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