Narrating Experiences of Alzheimer's Through the Arts: Phenomenological and Existentialist Descriptions of the Living Body 9783839466803

While Alzheimer's might be associated with a difficulty to express oneself, Ana Paula Barbosa-Fohrmann addresses th

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Narrating Experiences of Alzheimer's Through the Arts: Phenomenological and Existentialist Descriptions of the Living Body
 9783839466803

Table of contents :
Contents
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I: Fundamentals
Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self
Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s
Part II: Some Ways of Signifying Experiences of Alzheimer’s
Introduction
Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love
Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities
Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit
Final Considerations on the Descriptions and Interpretations of Alzheimer’s Experiences
References

Citation preview

Ana Paula Barbosa-Fohrmann Narrating Experiences of Alzheimer’s Through the Arts

Medical Humanities Volume 13

Editorial Human beings are more than the sum of their organs and body parts: their roles in society, their (hi)stories, their living and economic conditions, but also their dreams, fears, and inventions impact their health. The inter- and transdisciplinary edited series Medical Humanities will connect the perspectives of medicine, the humanities, and social sciences to gain new insights about how society, health, and the environment interact. Focusing on the living human body, the Medical Humanities series raises urgent questions on gender politics and bioethics, and mediates between care and health policies, technology and body images.

Ana Paula Barbosa-Fohrmann, born in 1971, is a professor of Legal Theory at the National Law School (FND) of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). She holds a PhD in Philosophy from UFRJ, one PhD and two Postdocs in Law from the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg. She is the coordinator of the Research Group on Theory of Human Rights (NTDH). Her field of research is interdisciplinary and has been focusing on the relation between Law, Philosophy and the Arts.

Ana Paula Barbosa-Fohrmann

Narrating Experiences of Alzheimer's Through the Arts Phenomenological and Existentialist Descriptions of the Living Body

This work received financing from Gesellschaft für Rechtsphilosophische Forschung, Münster

Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data are available in the Internet at http://dnb.d-n b.de

© 2023 transcript Verlag, Bielefeld All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Cover layout: Maria Arndt, Bielefeld Cover illustration: Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash Printed by: Majuskel Medienproduktion GmbH, Wetzlar https://doi.org/10.14361/9783839466803 Print-ISBN 978-3-8376-6680-9 PDF-ISBN 978-3-8394-6680-3 ISSN of series: 2698-9220 eISSN of series: 2703-0830 Printed on permanent acid-free text paper.

For Marta and Maria da Glória, the voices of Alzheimer’s

Contents

Foreword ................................................................................. 11 Acknowledgments ....................................................................... 15 Introduction.............................................................................. 19 I. Research Object ..................................................................... 19 II. Justification ......................................................................... 19 1. The Current State of Alzheimer’s Research ........................................ 19 2. Theme Originality and Theoretical Justification ................................... 21 III. Hypotheses ......................................................................... 23 IV. Methodology ........................................................................ 23 V. Goals ............................................................................... 24 VI. Comment on the Structure of Chapters .............................................. 25 VII. A Brief Note on the Vocabulary ...................................................... 26

Part I: Fundamentals Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self........................................................ 29 I. Marcos Abreu: Life is a Work of Art .................................................. 29 II. Parts, Fragments and Wholes........................................................ 37 1. Fragments and Moments ........................................................ 38 2. Sides, Aspects and Adumbrations ............................................... 55 3. Presence and Absence .......................................................... 58 III. Identity in Manifolds ................................................................. 61 IV. Summary ........................................................................... 65

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s ..................... I. The Psycho-Organic Body (Leib) ..................................................... 1. Three Egos and a Body .......................................................... 2. The Psycho-Organic Body and the Experience of Touch........................... II. The Living Body as a Self ............................................................ 1. Body Schema (schéma corporel) and Living Body ................................. 2. Living Body, Movement and Intentionality ........................................ 3. Vision, Touch and Synesthesia ................................................... III. Summary ...........................................................................

69 69 69 72 75 75 77 87 94

Part II: Some Ways of Signifying Experiences of Alzheimer’s Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love................................................. 97 I. A Way of Loving: Enchanting ........................................................ 97 1. Iris Murdoch .................................................................... 98 2. Marcos Abreu .................................................................. 105 3. Henry ........................................................................... 115 II. A Way of Loving: Carrying a Burden of Guilt .......................................... 118 1. Thomas DeBaggio ............................................................... 118 2. Bob .............................................................................120 3. Betty ...........................................................................122 III. A Way of Loving: Touching........................................................... 131 1. Booker.......................................................................... 131 IV. Summary .......................................................................... 132 Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities....................137 I. Habit-Body: Living Body and Body-Object ............................................137 II. The Meaning and Non-Meaning of Habit ............................................. 139 III. Habit-Body with Alzheimer’s: Meaning and Non-Meaning of Skills and Abilities.........147 1. Marcos Abreu and William Utermohlen: the Habit of Painting .....................147 2. Iris Murdoch and Thomas DeBaggio: the Habit of Writing ........................ 153 3. Henry: the Habit of Listening to Music ...........................................154 IV. Summary .......................................................................... 155 Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit ..................................159 I. Interpersonhood and Intersubjectivity ...............................................159 1. Interpersonhood: Pairing, Empathy and Contact ..................................159 2. Intersubjectivity: Communicating through Intentional Gestural Movement .........162 II. Ways of Loving through Gesture, Language and Habit ................................ 171 1. Maria, Emilia and Marcelo .......................................................172

2. Brenda.......................................................................... 177 3. John Bayley.....................................................................178 4. Michel Malherbe ................................................................ 188 5. Fernando Aguzzoli .............................................................. 191 6. Sylvia Molloy ................................................................... 193 III. Summary ...........................................................................196 Final Considerations on the Descriptions and Interpretations of Alzheimer’s Experiences.............................................................................201 I. Intentional Motor Consciousness and Identity in Alzheimer’s ..........................201 II. Fragments in Alzheimer’s Narratives of Life ......................................... 203 1. Form and Content: Reconfigurations and Non-Reconfigurations of Feelings and Sensations ..................................................... 203 2. Fragments as Reconfigurations of Relationships? ............................... 205 III. Phenomenological Experiences through the Arts .................................... 206 1. Interdisciplinary Dialogue: Phenomenology and the Arts ......................... 206 2. Phenomenological Experience: “The Meaning of Showing” in Beckettian Dramaturgy ...................................................... 207 3. Living Bodies as Reliable Narrators: Some Final Remarks on the Linker “as if…” ..................................................................210 References..............................................................................213 Movie References ....................................................................... 220 Play References ..........................................................................221 Illustration References ...................................................................221 Websites Visited ........................................................................ 222

Foreword

In life, there are events that disturb the so-called “normality” in which we find ourselves. Events that radically transform our way of feeling, thinking and acting. Perhaps this is the real: something unexpected comes along, traverses and traumatizes us, without our being able to understand it and get it under control. It can thus be asked if theoretical-scientific activities are not, in the end, an effort to create systems of protection against events which, in essence, are unpredictable. Whatever, we must acknowledge that life is stronger than death, and that the possible, in turn, overcomes all predictability. This is an account of the creative capacities induced by events that bring with them pain and suffering to the lives of millions of people. The book itself strikes us as an event that contrasts with every effort to elaborate systems of protection against the unpredictable. A book that shows, without beating about the bush, the creative potential hidden in our vulnerability. Our decisive question seems to be this: can we access the lived, without abandoning the rigor of theoretical scientific knowledge, which forces us to give up our senses and feelings, in order to realize the work of science? How can we express, in the pure language of knowledge, what we live, enjoy or suffer while we exist in the world with others? To be sure, literary and poetic writing opens up this possibility to us, but such writing is excluded, out of principle, from the rigorous and objectivist universe of science. This book is not presented as an option for its literary expression, in detriment to the rigor of academic work. It addresses a notable intellectual and human path that articulates the two forms of expression (science and poetry), whilst drawing on the phenomenological way of thinking, principally that of Merleau-Ponty. Alongside careful philosophical writing, which deals with fundamental concepts, the current book does not abandon artistic poetic sensitivity, in a tireless search: to embrace and hear “aesthetic narratives” which emerge from the most challenging and painful situations of human life, that is, those involving experiences with Alzheimer’s. Ana Paula Barbosa-Fohrmann, who is a careful reader of MerleauPonty, seems to be in perfect agreement with the French philosopher, when she proposes that adult, normal and civilized thinking, that is, the kind that supposedly represents the good use of understanding, only takes precedence insofar as it shows

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that, in the end, reason is a confrontation with the darkness and difficulties of human life1 . Her book is a notable example of human reason that opens to others and, above all, that learns with them. The challenge? To bear the radical strangeness that makes us doubt what we hear. Husserl, a philosopher fascinated by intentionality, thought of consciousness as the giver of meaning, and fought tirelessly for the renewal of the belief in reason. But it is the father of phenomenology himself who appeared troubled or worried by the possibility that what we most value and love may simply not fulfil our hope2 . The suffering wrought by war leads the philosopher to reflect on a world in ruins. In the midst of the possible chaos, the “I” resists and acts, is aware that it can bring it about and takes responsibility for meaning, even though the struggle does not bring with it any guarantee of victory or success. The “I act” is undeniable proof. To a large extent, this work is a living testimony of this proof and responsibility. When the “I” cannot assume the task anymore of responding and acting, or when personal identity seems to be lost forever, “normal” subjectivity becomes troubled, able to pay attention to the voices or voice fragments that are no longer heard. The sensitive “I”, in strict interaction with the other sick one, discovers that it is not just a “pure I”, an integral part of the world, but subjectivity that resists non-meaning. It is then that art can be an invaluable resource, since, according to Merleau-Ponty, the body must be compared to the work of art. In the arts, communication does not take place conceptually or objectively. Kant already said it. In the aesthetic act, the human being can meet the other without passing through the object. What will be affirmed in this act is the universality of feeling, that is, the “I” goes beyond itself to meet the “other”. One can, thus, reflect on judgement itself, putting oneself in a universal point of view, that is, in the other’s point of view. This is what the arts make possible: communication of our feeling without mediation of concepts, a direct meeting with the other3 . Merleau-Ponty, despite his reservations about Kantism, states something similar. My body has its world or comprehends its world without needing to resort to concepts or representations. A pianist, for example, settles at the instrument to play in the same way that an individual settles in at home4 . Just as with the work of art, the body is a nexus of living meanings. One cannot distinguish, in the aesthetic attitude, what is expressed in the expression itself. A poem, a romance, a concert: this is what cannot be translated objectively. “In a painting or a piece of music, the idea

1 2 3 4

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (2004): Conversas – 1948, São Paulo: Martins Fontes, p. 34. Husserl, Edmund (2014): Europa: Crise e Renovação, Rio de Janeiro: Forense, p. 3 ff. Kant, Immanuel (2010): Critique de la faculté de juger, Paris: Vrin, §40. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice (2018): Fenomenologia da Percepção, São Paulo: Martins Fontes, p. 201.

Foreword

can only be communicated by the deployment of colours and sounds”5 . Thus, the inter-human event that a literary work expresses cannot be transposed into a direct, neutral and objective language. In a word, the arts make us rediscover the perceived world, the world we are always tempted to forget. However, experiences of Alzheimer’s are, in some way, an opportunity to resist this temptation. How? Insofar as the experiences are “narrated” by the individuals who became subjects of this event. The “subject’s life”, forgotten by those who live with an ailment, instead of representing the simple impossibility of communication and creation, becomes a way of delighting ourselves at life, and, principally, of living this delight. The world brings us closer. The other and I react to a common world. More than that, we act one on the other. I stop being the centre of the world. The others’ situation impacts me and changes me. What is there to discover then? Attention to life. Life does not leave us indifferent. There is, so to speak, between the interlocutors, a solidarity of life. This solidarity is richer than any objective vision of the world and the other. The arts make possible the rediscovery of the world, as the communication it realizes is a communication by feeling. Ana Paula Barbosa-Fohrmann does not say it explicitly, but we believe it can be said that one of the great teachings of her thinking is this: the relationship with the sick other is marked by a disturbing ambiguity. We are overtaken by events of every kind: bodily lesions, the irruption of the unconscious in our conscious life, worries, a sense of strangeness at oneself, and unbearable suffering. This is why we are always in the midway space, that is, we never totally make what happens unexpectedly our own, or what precedes us in ourselves. The “I” that coexists with the sick other tries to resist the non-meaning, and finds itself immersed in a paradoxical condition: (1) it has the proof of its action, and it discovers the responsibility that makes it a subject; (2) it sees itself face-to-face with its own vulnerability. What in the other appears as strange and shocking (loss of personal identity, possible suffering, proximity to death, etc.) reminds me of my own fragility and helplessness. We must thank Ana Paula Barbosa-Fohrmann for having written this work, which is at one and the same time rigorously philosophical and so human and sensitive. It puts us in touch with our deepest truth, or with what we are always tempted to forget: the “exposed being”. Philosophy, law, psychology, education, medicine, and the humanities in general are forms of knowledge that stand out for their extreme vulnerability, fragility and exposure to non-meaning. But it is exactly there, in this radical exposure or fragility, that strength is found, without which we would be overtaken by the chaos and darkness. Thus, we are responsible and

5

Ibid., p. 208.

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struggling for meaning. We are all, in the end, to paraphrase the author, “living bodies looking to give meaning to love”. Santa Maria, November 2022 Marcelo Fabri (Professor of Philosophy, Federal University of Santa Maria)

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank my supervisor Fernando Augusto da Rocha Rodrigues for having believed in this work since its conception in 2018. I am grateful to him for his availability to discuss its content with me at all times. I would also like to thank Gilvan Fogel from the Graduate Programme in Philosophy of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, whose classes in 2018–2019 served as sources of motivation to explore further phenomenology and the arts, and Michel Malherbe from the University of Nantes for some e-mails on Alzheimer’s exchanged in early 2018. Furthermore, I would like to express my appreciation for all the comments made by Fábio Rigatto de Souza Andrade from the University of São Paulo, Marcelo Fabri from the Federal University of Santa Maria, Paulo Mendes Taddei from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Terezinha Petrucia da Nóbrega from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, who made up my Ph.D viva panel, which took place on 12 January 2022. Likewise, I am grateful to my reviewer Robin Ward for his accurate work over almost two years. I thank him also very much for the translation of my short story that is part of this study. I also express my gratitude to the Gesellschaft für Rechtsphilosophische Forschung, Münster, which financially supported the publication of this work. Finally, I would like to thank Alessandra Moraes de Sousa, Arthur Cezar Alves de Melo and Gustavo Cardoso Silva. In addition, I thank Anna Caramuru Pessoa Aubert for reviewing the formatting of this work. Without the assistance of my team during 2020–2021, I would not have had time to elaborate and finish this research. Rio de Janeiro, November 2022

The body is to be compared, not to a physical object, but rather to a work of art. Maurice Merleau-Ponty

In later times, I never saw that remarkable house again, for it passed into the possession of strangers after my grandfather’s death. In the memories I have of it, shaped as they were by a child’s understanding, it is not a building; to my mind, it consists of discrete parts: here a room, there a room, and here a stretch of passageway that does not connect these two rooms but is preserved in isolation, as a fragment. Rainer Maria Rilke

Introduction

I.

Research Object

I will describe and interpret fragments of certain living bodies’ or body-subjects’ experiences with Alzheimer’s, both based on their narrations and others’ narratives on them. More specifically, (1) I will describe and interpret, on the one hand, how they apprehend themselves and how they perceive others in fictional literature (short story and novels) and non-fiction (autobiographies, interviews and letters) and in painting (pictorial autobiography or self-portraits). (2) On the other hand, I will describe and interpret how others perceive the living bodies or body-subjects with Alzheimer’s in fiction (i.e. short story and novels) and in non-fiction (short story, essay, biographies and memoirs).

II.

Justification

1. The Current State of Alzheimer’s Research The world population afflicted with dementia is increasing steadily throughout the world, and forecasts designed to show the proportions of this increase have recently been revised. Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) estimated that the world population with dementia would be 35.6 million people in 2010, with estimates for it to reach 65.7 million by the year 2030 (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2009: 38); the ADI (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015: 22) also reckoned that dementia affected 42.6 million people in 2015, with an estimated number of 74.7 million people affected by 2030. There is, as stated in the 2015 document (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015: 22), an increase of 12% to 13% in the expected incidence of individuals with dementia (Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 276).

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Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that corresponds to a percentage between 50 and 60% of all dementia cases (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2018: 42). “Alzheimerʼs disease (AD) is defined clinically by a gradual decline in memory and other cognitive functions and neuropathologically by gross atrophy of the brain and the accumulation of extracellular amyloid plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles.” (Karch 2014: 11; Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 276–277) Symptoms triggered by Alzheimer’s manifest initially in episodic memory dysfunctions, but they spread progressively, compromising all domains of cognition (Lindeboom/Weinstein 2014: 83–85)1 . Thus, the practical life of patients can be affected even with regard to everyday activities, such as assimilating new knowledge, identifying household objects and talking (Taylor/Thomas 2013: 433, 435–443; BarbosaFohrmann/Melo 2021: 277). The degree of impairment caused by Alzheimer’s can be assessed based on the Global Deterioration Scale2 , in light of the deterioration imposed on the patient’s cognitive functions. Hence, there are seven stages of impairment progression: (a) no cognitive decline; (b) very mild cognitive decline; (c) mild cognitive decline; (d) moderate cognitive decline; (e) moderate severe cognitive decline; (f) severe cognitive decline; (g) very severe cognitive decline (Mckhann 2011: 136; Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 277). Briefly, the progression can also be divided into three phases: (a) initial phase; (b) moderate phase; (c) severe phase, as identified by the Brazilian Association of Alzheimer’s.3 According to Carmona, Hardy and Guerreiro (Cauwenbergh 2016: 395; BarbosaFohrmann/Melo 2021: 277), Alzheimer’s disease can manifest early4 or, most commonly, late with 65 years of age, which is the arbitrary mark that enables to differentiate temporally the two manifestations of the illness. Diagnosis of the disease can be carried out using the classification criteria known as NIA-AA5 , developed by McKhann et al. in “The Diagnosis of Dementia due to Alzheimer’s Disease: Recommendations from the National Institute on AgeingAlzheimer’s Association Workgroups on Diagnostic Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Disease” (2011). Employing such criteria, Alzheimer’s, for diagnostic purposes, can be investigated using the following terms: “(1) Probable AD dementia, (2) Possible

1 2 3 4 5

See also Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 277. This scale is developed by Reisberg et al. in “The Global Deterioration Scale for Assessment of Primary Degenerative Dementia” (1982). See https://abraz.org.br/sobre-alzheimer/evolucao-da-doenca/. According to the World Alzheimer’s Disease Report 2012, 14, only between 2 and 9% of people with dementia have the disease before 65 years of age. This is a reference to the National Institute on Ageing and Alzheimer’s Association.

Introduction

AD dementia, and (3) Probable or possible AD dementia with evidence of the AD pathophysiological process.”6 (Mckhann 2011: 265; Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 278). The evidence that points to each of the typologies varies between elements of different natures, such as the patient’s history, the limitation of cognitive functions, causative genetic mutations and biomarkers that indicate the pathophysiological process of Alzheimer’s (Mckhann 2011: 265–268; Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 278). The high level of incapacitation caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia naturally demands that significant expenses and efforts be made in order to implement the treatment and care of patients with dementia. According to the ADI (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015: 58)7 , the global cost of dementia increased from $604 billion spent in 2010 to $818 billion in 2015 – which becomes even more worrisome due to the prevalence of the population with dementia in low- and middle-income countries8 (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015: 22; Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 278). The forecast is that, in 2030, the population with dementia will reach 74.7 million and, by the year 2050, it will reach 131.5 million (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015: 22)9 . Thus, it is urgent at a global level that effective and efficient forms of treatment for Alzheimer’s disease can be developed.

2. Theme Originality and Theoretical Justification In view of the current need to continue researching on Alzheimer’s, the object of this research intends to make an original contribution, insofar as, based on the assumption that much has been written about the disease and its consequences on the sufferer in the fields of neurology, psychiatry, psychology and bioethics, as noted in the previous topic, the living body or body-subject affected by Alzheimer’s has not yet been given its own voice. In other words, it is not usually the body-subject, understood as a psycho-organic body, who tells its own story before and after Alzheimer’s. In this work, the voice will not only be given to the body-subjects, but also to their families and/or caregivers who experience the disease. Their voices will be heard based on narrations on their lives with Alzheimer’s. The individualized experience of the body-subject is a step between visions framed in epistemological frameworks that define the human being with Alzheimer’s as being or not being a person. In other words, I will not take the path 6 7 8

9

For McKhann et. al (2011: 265), the terminologies have different goals: the first two terminologies are for clinical use, while the third is for research purposes. See also Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 278. According to the report prepared by Alzheimer’s Disease International (2015: 22), 58% of the population with dementia lived in 2015 in low- and middle-income countries; it was estimated that this number would reach 63% in 2030 and, later, in 2050, 68%. See also Barbosa-Fohrmann/Melo 2021: 278.

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that conceptualizes the body-subject with Alzheimer’s as a person with or without, depending on the phase of the disease, attributes that can be generalized to every human being who suffers from this type of dementia. I will not frame it within scientific limits that argue that it and everyone else who suffer from Alzheimer’s have or do not have, with the progress of the disease, personal identity and the capacity to tell their life stories.10 This research intends, based on living body or bodysubject phenomenology, to be in this sense original. Taking another route, this work is within a theoretical framework of early phenomenology, dating back to the late 19th century until around the mid-20th century. I will use nonetheless the current translations into English of the books originally published in that time period to tackle the following central points: (a) Husserl’s phenomenology of the body, according to which the person is understood as one who has a psycho-organic body. I intend to critically update it based on the discussion of to what extent the individual with Alzheimer’s can or cannot be considered a “person” in Husserl’s terms. Among Husserl’s books, with which I will deal (a), I list the following: Logical Investigations (1970), Ideas I (1983), Ideas II (1989), Cartesian Meditations (1960) and The Paris Lectures (1998). (b) Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception (2002), The Visible and the Invisible (1969b) among other books and essays. Based on them, I will describe and interpret the individual with Alzheimer’s as a living body or a body-subject. (c) Proust’s literature (Swann’s Way [2005], Within a Budding Grove [1924], The Sweet Cheat Gone [2020]), (d) Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus (1991) and (e) Beckett’s Proust (1978), Waiting for Godot (1954) and Happy Days (1961).

I will use the philosophical tone literature of (c), (d), and (e) as starting points to expand the possibilities of description, interpretation, and meaning of the experiences of the body-subject affected with Alzheimer’s. I will resort to fragments of life story narrated by it and by family members.

10

I will not address bioethical issues concerning personhood and personality, moral agency and action, among other topics. There is a vast bibliography on those matters and much has been written on them over the years. See, i.a., Alfred R. Mele’s Autonomous Agents (1995); Bernard Gert, Charles M. Culver & K. Danner Clouser’s Bioethics (1997); David DeGrazia’s Human Identity and Bioethics (2005); David Shoemaker’s Personal Identity and Ethics (2009); Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons (1984); Marya Schechtman’s The Constitution of Selves (1996).

Introduction

III. Hypotheses (1) By writing fragmented stories of their lives with the body, certain individuals with Alzheimer’s become living bodies or body-subjects. Here, I will rely on MerleauPonty’s phenomenology11 to answer this hypothesis. (2) The fragmented narrative of life with Alzheimer’s shows that the content of life is reconfigurable. I will resort to Husserl’s phenomenology12 , but above all to MerleauPonty’s13 to answer this hypothesis. (3) Affective relationships with the body-subject with Alzheimer’s are interspersed with fiction. This hypothesis will be answered grounded in Proust’s and Camus’s literature and in Beckett’s dramaturgy14 .

IV. Methodology As already explored in the previous section, I intend to describe, interpret and signify certain narratives told by the body-subject with Alzheimer’s, as well as those told by other body-subjects in the relationships with it, such as family members and/or caregivers. I will draw on certain subjective experiences based on narrative fragments of biographies, essays, interviews, novels, and short stories. Furthermore, I chose a variety of profiles of body-subjects with Alzheimer’s and those of their family members. They are between 55 and 80 years old. They come from different backgrounds and cultures and do a wide range of activities. They are writers, painters, sculptors, philosophers, literary critics, journalists, social workers, engineers, physicians, factory workers, and housekeepers. They live in Argentina, Brazil, England, France and the United States. In sum, this is a qualitative piece of research based on the diversity of subjective experiences of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, the method of approaching the central issue is descriptive. It does not aim to formulate and answer questions, such as “what”, “who”, “why”, “for what”, but present or show “how”. In other words, its target is to show the path of perception (i.e., sensation, emotion, remembrance) experienced by living bodies or body-subjects with Alzheimer’s, both in their inner and social lives according to the field of possibilities opened up by interpretation.

11 12 13 14

See (b) of topic 2. of the previous section. See (a) of topic 2. of the previous section. See (b) of topic 2. of the previous section. See (c), (d) and (e) of topic 2. of the previous section.

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Besides the exegetical or literal interpretations of the selected theoretical works on the fragments of narratives of body-subjects with Alzheimer’s, I also elaborated systematic and extensive interpretations throughout this dissertation. Extensive interpretation, as I understand it, makes it possible for the interpreter to reach the limits allowed by the text and the work of art. Undoubtedly, every text and every work of art are open to numerous but not countless possibilities of interpretation and meaning. Indeed, such possibilities are limited by the ratio of the text and the work of art. By using specifically extensive interpretation, I intend to give those authors current interpretations, which do not mean to denature (i.e., to rip out) their theories and works of art in such a way that nothing remains of those authors in them. In other words, I will employ the phenomenological method throughout this work.

V.

Goals

In addition, I specify the research goals to be achieved: (1) the narratives of affection of the living body or body-subject with Alzheimer’s, that is, how it experiences love, whether romantic love (i.e., enchantment), sexual love (i.e., guilt) and habitual love for the other. Here, I will use Merleau-Ponty, Proust, Beckett and Camus as a basis for reflecting on these narratives. (2) how the body-subject with Alzheimer’s was affected in the course of life by the habit, which sedimented its skills, but which was put to the test by the evolution of Alzheimer’s. I will specifically engage with Merleau-Ponty’s view and engage in a dialogue between him and Beckett. (3) the others’ narratives of affection (i.e., family member and/or caregiver), that is, how they experience sexual love (i.e. burden, guilt) and the habitual love for the one with Alzheimer’s. To this end, I will once again dialogue with Merleau-Ponty and Beckett. (4) Furthermore, I intend, turning not only to the descriptions and interpretation of narrative experiences of affection, but also to the meanings of those descriptions, to show that the body-subject, which is affected by that disease, has an identity, which unfolds into fragments (pieces) of a life narrative. (5) fictional and non-fictional narratives intermingle with each other both in the cases of the experiences of body-subjects with Alzheimer’s with itself and with others, as well as of other body-subjects with them.

Introduction

VI. Comment on the Structure of Chapters This work is divided into two parts. The first part deals with some fundamentals of Husserl’s and Merleau-Ponty’s theories. As a literary source for describing and interpreting fragments of narratives of living bodies or body-subjects with Alzheimer’s, I wrote a short story and resorted to the autobiography of Thomas DeBaggio, who was a journalist. The two chapters include some of Husserl’s theses on parts, fragments and wholes, in addition to his conception of psycho-organic body (Leib). Merleau-Ponty’s view is laterally problematized in the first chapter, but incidentally in the second one, in which I interpret some excerpts from the Phenomenology of Perception (2002), specifically his conceptions of body schema, living body or body-subject, sight and touch, movement and intentionality. In Part II, I will seek to describe, interpret and signify the self-experience of romantic and sexual love (Chapter 1, see also [1] of the research objectives in the previous section) and the experience of love, also romantic and sexual, of the other for the Alzheimer’s body-subject (Chapter 3, see further [3] of the previous section). Chapter 2 (see [2] of the previous section) deals with the sedimentation of habit in the body of the Alzheimer’s subject and is a transitional chapter between self-experience of love and the other’s experience of love. Transitional in the sense I intend, in Chapter 3, to deal more deeply with love as a habit. In the chapters that make up this part, I use fragments narrated by certain body-subjects with Alzheimer’s, namely Bob, Betty and Booker, in addition to Thomas DeBaggio. I also present Henry’s experience, besides that of Iris Murdoch and William Utermohlen. Furthermore, I resort to narrative fragments of family members and friends of the following body-subjects: John Bayley, Iris Murdoch’s husband; Brenda, Booker’s daughter, Michel Malherbe, Annie’s husband, Fernando Aguzzoli, Nilva Aguzzoli’s grandson and Sylvia Molloy, M. L.’s close friend (non-fiction); Maria, Emilia and Marcelo, the first one is a friend and the last two are Marcos Abreu’s children (fiction). The foundations brought up in the first part will be interpreted and their field of possibilities broadened based on literature and dramaturgy in the second part and according to the fragments narrated by body-subjects with Alzheimer’s. In order to further expand the possibilities of meaning of what is narrated by body-subjects with Alzheimer’s and their families, I establish dialogues between Merleau-Ponty, the main theoretical basis of this research, and Proust, as well as between the former, Beckett and Camus. In the Final Considerations, I will return to the previous points to draw conclusions on the identity of the living body or body-subject with Alzheimer’s, built on its relationship with itself and with the other, and the possibility of union between fiction and non-fiction, residing in certain narrated fragments that make up objectives (4) and (5) of this work.

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Narrating Experiences of Alzheimer’s Through the Arts

VII. A Brief Note on the Vocabulary The vocabulary used belongs to Husserl’s and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology. However, I understand that a brief explanation is necessary in order to didactically guide the reader unfamiliar with the following words. When I refer to “the puro ego”, “the psychic ego” and “the empirical ego” in Husserl, I use the pronouns “he” and “who”. I will also employ “Leib”, “psycho-organic ego” and “somatic body”, these three expressions having the same meaning, explained throughout the text, and to refer to them I use the pronouns “he” and “who”. Likewise, I use “living body someone”, “body-subject someone” as synonyms and based on Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology. “Body-self” or “body-I”, when used, has the same connotation. To all of them, I also refer with the pronouns “it” and “which”. However, when I refer to “someone’s body” or “the body of someone” I use the pronouns “he” or “she” and “who”. Just as I use the same pronouns to refer to “bodyobject”. I will use the terms “part”, “piece”, “fragment”, “whole”, “side” and “aspect”, just as I will use “profile” or “adumbration”, the last two synonymously, according to Husserl’s philosophy. I will use the terms “field” and “spectacle”, “chiasma” and “sedimentation” in accordance with Merleau-Pontian philosophy. I will also use the vocabulary “path”, “way”, “aspect” or “mode” as synonyms. Likewise, I will use the nouns “blending”, “(re)configuration” and the adjective “chiasmatic” as such.

Part I: Fundamentals

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self I’m Virginia; when I write I’m merely a sensibility. Sometimes I like being Virginia, but only when I’m scattered and various and gregarious. Now, so long as we are here, I’d like to be only a sensibility. Virginia Woolf

Section I is a short story. Section II deals with some fundamentals mainly grounded in Husserl. I will also bring in the work of two other authors with whom, alongside Husserl, I will also engage in a dialogue from Chapter 2 onwards, namely MerleauPonty and Beckett. As I describe the fundamentals, I will interpret them in line with some excerpts from my short story.

I.

Marcos Abreu: Life is a Work of Art

The capuchin monkeys jump from vine to vine: father, mother, offspring and the rest of the group hold on to the branches, peel fruit and share it with their kin, bare their teeth at me. One hits a branch and they move on. Meanwhile, the sheet of paper challenged me to describe an experience, an unusual movement, the breaking of a habit, a taboo perhaps. It challenged me to tell a secret desire, an instant straying from the path, a bad phone line, someone waiting, a scam, an escape. For over two decades, the friezes of this art deco window have been there; they flake off, I paint them, they flake off again and I paint them once more. But soon the paint on this window will flake off and it will stay like that. Today a lawyer told me that, in one or two years, I won’t be capable anymore of responding for my actions. Again I hear the monkeys’ excitement and, stirred by their din, I start to scribble these lines before my brain becomes a blank sheet: “I live in Jardim Botânico, where the Atlantic Forest and the monkeys have resisted the Portuguese invaders for more than five hundred years, where my house has resisted property speculation and its sale offers, where I got divorced and my

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two kids grew up, where, finally, I got what I’d wanted since I was 20: to exhibit on the walls of renowned museums and great galleries.” The intercom rings. I get up. I answer it and open the door. Maria’s red knuckles push a shopping trolley. I take it out of her hands and push it to the kitchen. She asks: “What time would you like to have dinner?” “At 8, as usual.” Maria is solid, a rosewood tree planted in my life for 20 years, who knows, like no other, my habits and dirt. * The sound system plays softly All Blues. There are more than twenty pictures on the walls and another lying on the floor. On it lies Marcos. “Did you sleep here?” The question wakes me to the deep brown of Emilia’s eyes. She crouches. The tip of her nose delicately rubs my stubble and a kiss wettens my forehead. I open my eyes. She walks around the studio and takes a look at last month’s paintings. I can smell the sun coming off her skin, the matt of her colour entering my mouth, the waves of her hair brushing against my ear and I reply half-asleep: “Yes...” * It is almost midday in Rio. Through the studio’s open windows, I let the forest in and I stop working. I start to feel the dampness of the leaves and the ground soddened from the last rainfall and the heat protecting the jequitibá, tambori, palm and imbé trees. But a pain, a tightening in the chest overcomes me when I remember that soon this taste of paradise will be gone forever. Feeling self-pity and tears well up, I was mentally thankful for Maria’s brusk interruption: “Marcos! Lunch is served and Marcelo is parking in the garage.” In the small wash basin, next to the window, I wash and dry my hands, while I take a moment to analyse the drawing on the easel. The tree below is still missing, as are the ochre detail of the roof and the grey of the walls. He comes down the stairs, leans on one of the pilasters going round the stairs, leaves the tap open, Blue Train’s blaring out, the paint pots have their lids on, the pencils are strewn on the table and a drawing lies unfinished. On the last step, he stops to ask Maria: “Aren’t you going to the supermarket today?” “I’ve already been this morning.” “Yes... yes... of course.”

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

“Hi Marcelo! You’re here, at last!” I give him a big hug and feel his hands around my back hesitantly. “How are you, Dad?” “Well. How was your trip?” “My agent said that the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is interested in exhibiting two of my works two years from now. They’re beginning to organize an exhibition of Latin-American artists’ work.” “Great news! Which works? Have you decided yet?” “Not yet.” “But you have to make up your mind soon, Marcelo. It’s an opportunity and a half!” “Sure...” “If I can have my say, a marble sculpture you made... When was it? Last year? Superb... What’s it called? I can’t remember.” “Hades and Persephone. I finished it five years ago. I’m pleased you remembered it. It was my third attempt with marble, after breaking Hades’ left foot in the first and Persephone’s right hand in the second. It was frustrating. I almost gave up.” “But in the end... what a result! This one you should...” “It isn’t the right one for the exhibition... I’ll think of another one, Dad, but thanks for the suggestion.” He went on: “Shall we have lunch? I’ve got a commitment at 2.30pm in the city centre. I’m a bit pressed for time.” * With his fork poised between his plate and his mouth, he followed her movements at an art school friend’s party. Between one greeting and another, her gaze wandered among the guests to meet his. The piece of cake fell from the fork, slipped off the paper plate and hit the floor. Right then he must have frowned and shrugged slightly, as he returned the gaze and saw her smile. A certain configuration makes us fall in love, a movement, a line, a colour, a curve, a cavity, an extremity, the play of light and shade on these fragments. An aesthetic perspective takes hold of us all of a sudden, in an instant, and makes the other a living body in our thoughts. This image can’t have stood up to the reality of Mariana’s smile. It must have been compassion that he saw in it, and this altruistic feeling, merciful, benevolent, Christian guilt-fuelled complicity must have quelled his desire and put paid to his passion. Years went by. He married Joana, my mother; Mariana married Roberto, his best friend. They had children, celebrated their birthdays, had barbecues once a month, and travelled around South America. After university, Mariana decided to

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be a housewife, Roberto, an art critic, and my mother, a landscape gardener. They bought their properties long before the Collor government savings rip-off. Mariana and Roberto live in Urca until today, with the same car models, and celebrated together their sixtieth birthdays. My father unravelled these stories after getting back from the Federal University of Rio Art School Class reunion. It was the early hours. I couldn’t sleep and he was feeling nostalgic. We lay down on the lawn. It was a hot night. We watched the sun rise. Life was good and Alzheimer’s hadn’t barged into our lives yet to tear him apart. * “Have you taken your medicine yet?” “What?” Moaning, Maria gave me two pills that I swallowed with water. “Thank you.” He closed the door and sat at the desk. I reread the last line of the letter. The words were jumbled. I tried to join them and understand what I’d written yesterday, the week, month or year before, though I couldn’t be quite sure. “What day is it today?” I took a deep breath to run through my mind what had happened that morning. I met Maria and Emilia in the lounge, where they were waiting for me to have breakfast. Now, at this very moment, I’m sitting here, trying to work out what to write in a letter my hand wants to keep writing. But the words vanish in the beta-thingy shadows of my brain. “What is her name?” The psychiatrist explained all this to me. I wrote: “I’m dead... dying... This is a fact... my decisions”. I concentrated to remember what was important and I listed: (1) Emilia – house... Jardim Botânico (2) Marcelo – house... Ipanema (3) Maria – house... Méier, sell... painting: “Tropical fruit”... money in her account.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

(4) UFRJ Art school – donation... drawings: “Xingu1 ”, “Mulher do Sertão2 ” (5) Museum of Modern Art (MAM) – donation... paintings: “Composition”, “Rio and the Sea”, “The Atlantic Forest” (6) San Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) – donation... paintings: “Bumba-meu-boi3 ”, “The Shallows”, “Twelfth Night”, “Ouro Preto” (7) National Library – donation: series of lithographs, 1975 (8) Asset management: Marcelo, first five years, and Emilia, the next five. Thereafter, they will take turns. (9) “I don’t...” What was the word? After a lapse, which seemed to last an eternity, the whole sentence came to me in a flash and I wrote it down straight away so it didn’t get lost. (9) “Don’t revive me!” * “This word search made him anxious, and maybe even the transformation of his art, which changed to flower gardens, woodland, Renaissance ceilings and Provençal houses. We include at the end of the book three country scenes drawn by him at 65 years of age:

1 2

3

The Xingu Indigenous Park in Mato Grosso, in the Centre of Brazil, is a National Park which was set up in 1961 to protect the environment and various tribes, who now live there. Literally, “Woman of the Outback”. The Brazilian Outback, known as the “Sertão”, is located in the hinterlands of the North-East of Brazil. This region has suffered from chronic droughts and there have been large displacements of people as a result. “Bumba-meu-boi” is a typical dance of Brazilian folklore that revolves around the death and rebirth of a bull. It takes places in June, above all, in the North and North-East of Brazil.

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Marcos Abreu, Occitania I

Marcos Abreu, Occitania II

Marcos Abreu, Occitania III

“Specialized reviewers, two critics actually, and this is public knowledge because the papers went out of their way to make a big deal about it, protested about the incoherence and inconsistency of his works in the three final years of his life. Without mentioning names, these same critics said that a picture with an undeniable tendency towards expressionism couldn’t become idyllic drawings or dream-like images, in a naive or childlike vein. Many old drawings and pictures, he himself made a point of destroying in the last two years. Those that survived are being restored by the Villela Foundation, who we are grateful to for their generous support. In the end, he often couldn’t remember what a paintbrush was doing in his hand and, on other occasions, albeit rarely, what it was used for. For our father, taking up his paintbrush every morning after breakfast and sitting in front of his easel was more than activity, it was a habit. This habit made his painting a national institution and it was also because of this that our father recounted some important events from his life, before and after the onset of Alzheimer’s, and which served as a source for this book.” * “What happened? What’s going on here?” The office window pane was shattered. I looked confused at the stunned woman who shouted in sync with the monkeys’ din: “Who are you?” “Maria, I’m Maria, Marcos.” “What happened?” “What hap...? ... help...?” Maria followed his gaze at the wet trousers: “Of course it was, Marcos. Let’s go to the bathroom.” In the evening, Emilia came across Maria, looking downcast and bleary-eyed, as soon as she opened the door. “How was your day, Maria? Are you OK?”

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

“Your father called me a witch, slapped me twice in the face and hit me on the arm. He broke my glasses! Just look, Emilia! All because I was helping him to wash himself. He was all wet with his own pee!” Emilia comforted her with a hug. “I’m so sorry, Maria! Let’s hire a caregiver, what do you reckon? And as for your glasses, I’ll take them tomorrow to an optician’s. Let me see now your bruise...” “Caregiver? No, Emilia! I’ve taken care of Marcos since the divorce. It was a tough time for him and I stood the test. Why wouldn’t I manage now?” “It’s up to you. The tendency is for him to become more and more aggressive. And it may be really complicated dealing with his reactions, though he was always a sensitive, peaceful man.” “Emilia, it wasn’t just that! The office window is broken. I don’t know if it was an animal or if your father threw something at the window. Not even he knows!” “OK, Maria. I’ll go to the clinic early tomorrow morning and I’ll phone the glass company from there.” * “... But we’re here to celebrate. Emilia and I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the friends and fans here. Any success this book may have owes itself not only to Emilia and me, but also to the tireless and competent Augusta Ferreira, the author of this biography, here by our side, and, above all, to the work that set Marcos Abreu apart as a painter.” As soon as the speech was over, a round of applause erupted. After this, Augusta, Emilia and I went down the stairs of the Travessa Bookshop to autograph Marcos Abreu: Life is a Work of Art. * “When this illness advances, I do not want to be absent in a present body. Like painting and nature, death is extraordinary, and the search for the extraordinary has always been my guide. What can I say about an experience that I have never had? One guess and a certainty. That death must be something like rolling around in black, soft, damp, fresh earth, and going back to six years of age and salivating at the smell of rain on the farm in Barra de Guaratiba. And that I will finally become earth. We will be the same matter, forming one single body and the circle will close.” “Two failures: the first, my marriage to Joana. I never understood how she ticked, nor she me. The attacks were many and mutual. I wanted the glory and so did she. No marriage resists the fires of fierce competition. Though, no doubt, we had good moments and two things in common: art school, which bound us together, and you, our children, who united us. I have no regrets for having separated while there was

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still time for us not to hate each other. The second is painful and I regret it to this day: I met C. in an exhibition at the San Paulo Museum of Art. We slept together about three times, before I, at the same speed, tired of her and her sensitivity. She phoned me a number of times in the coming months. The answering machine recorded her number. I didn’t return the calls. Five months later, she left a message: ʻIt was a boy...ʼ My behaviour at the time... how can I describe it? Snorting, snorting more, women, more women coming and going, 12–14 hours of work a day in a rented studio in Lapa, one in five canvases being accepted and sold by small-scale galleries, ten out of ten being turned down by medium-sized or large galleries, innumerable unfinished pictures, so many others destroyed. As for C., I never saw her again or heard her voice. Her absence and her silence are, nevertheless, with me to this day.” “One con: an art school student asked me to have a look at a picture of his in Tijuca. In those days, I couldn’t motivate myself to keep going. Beginners generally copy great painters’ styles. I arrived there without any expectation and was surprised by the intelligent lines, from green to blue perfectly and intensely mixed with black, the bold deconstruction of a still life. It didn’t take long for me to reproduce part of what I had seen and to sign it as mine. As for the young guy, he believed that he still needed to train the quality of the line and shading on the basket. After this episode, I sold the canvas and two more of pitiful quality and went to the South of France with a backpack. I slept in hostels, spent the night in stables, worked in lavander fields, milked goats, learnt to make cheese and stayed clean. I wandered the Camargue and Provence, lived in Aix for three years working as a kitchen assistant. On this journey, I made my peace with painting and myself. Then I returned to Brazil.” “What definitely could have been better? My relationship with Marcelo. I should have told him more often I love him and how brilliant his sculptures are. Sorry, my son, for the constant trips during your first years of life, for my not being there when the pediatrician said you had lymphatic cancer when you were seven and for being drunk and not trying to save you from a near-drowning when you were twelve. You are greater than I’ve been at any time.” “What came close to perfection? My relationship with Emilia. We shared, my daughter, the same sensibility and temperament, we were on many occasions in heaven and hell, we experienced both countless joys and as much pain. We enjoyed together, then, the high times of elation and the low ones of depression. You, more than anyone, ‘are flesh of my flesh’.” I don’t know how many times I’ve reread these passages and heard his voice in confession. Meanwhile, in the Coroner’s Office, my brother sorted out the procedures to have the body released.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

II.

Parts, Fragments and Wholes

Objects relate to one another, says Husserl, as “wholes” 4 to “parts”. As a part, an object can also relate to wholes through an effective or possible part of a whole, i.e. a whole includes it or can include it (Husserl 1970: 6–7). There are, however, objects that cannot be separated into a plurality of parts, and there are others that form parts precisely for the opposite reason. The former are called simple objects; the second, complex objects. The parts of complex objects are members of the community that forms the content5 of the whole. When in my short story, Marcos Abreu takes a moment to analyse the drawing on the easel, he notices that the ochre detail of the roof and the grey of the walls are missing. In the sensorial phenomena of “ochre” and “grey”, on the one hand, and “extension”, on the other, there are two moments6 that are not members of the same whole in the strict sense, that is, ochre and grey do not depend on the extension of the roof and the walls to be founded7 as a “certain ochre colour” and a “certain grey colour”. They depend on the conjunction of hues, which uniting with each other, founds them. In the whole these parts that depend on each other are in an intertwining relation. Likewise, the extension that “that certain ochre colour” and “that certain grey colour” will cover also does not depend on those colours to be founded as “a certain spatial extension”, i.e. as “a certain extension of the roof” and “a certain extension of the walls”. Extension depends on the association of points in lines, the shape of these lines, the contours as boundaries of the picture being drawn. Strictly speaking, therefore, these two moments “ochre and grey” and “extension” do not belong to the same community. In a broad sense, these two moments, however, are associated, i.e. one can think of the figure as a whole as an “ochre and grey expansion”. At the end of topic “1. Pieces and Moments”, I will develop these ideas more. 4

5

6 7

I point out, right at the beginning, that Merleau-Ponty names the whole “Gestalt”. The living body, which I will address in the following chapters, is a whole and as such is open to any experience with any other Gestalt. Any object, any Thing is a Gestalt. Merleau-Ponty alerts that Gestalt is not a mere sum of parts, e.g. the aggregation of objects during the life stages of a living body. It is in essence a porous content. For it predates any intellectual conception of any branch of knowledge, it is then indefinable (compare to Merleau-Ponty 1969b: 204–205; see also the criticism he makes of Gestalt psychology in Merleau-Ponty 2002: 56–57, 59, 69). I will work in this chapter fundamentally on the meaning of sensation content in Logical Investigations (Husserl 1970). This theme is taken up by Husserl in §85 of Ideas pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology, v. II (Ideen I), in which he argues that “[t]he stream of phenomenological being has a stuff-stratum [hyletic or sensuous content, e.g. colour-Data, touch-Data and tone-Data] and a noetic-stratum [e.g. physical shape].” (Husserl 1983: 203–207) Here I do not analyse the relation of non-dependence between ochre and grey. In item 1 below I will elaborate on the concept of moment. I use this verb, and not “to constitute”, in several excerpts. By employing this term, I understand them in the sense that Husserl does in Investigation III, §23 (Husserl 1970: 38–39).

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Part is, in a broad sense, that which can be distinguished in an object, which is present in it (Husserl 1970: 4–5). This means that it is something that is present in the object and that helps it to be built as such. The contents of these parts depend on each other. By their very nature, they cannot be presented separately. Examples would be the head of Marcos Abreu without the body of Marcos Abreu (only possible in our fantasy); a movement of his body, like leaning on the pilasters of the stairs to go down the steps, without thinking about his own body moving; tones and chords of All Blues and Blue Train, without the music itself; the smell of trees of the Atlantic Forest without them; the smell of summer rain on the soil that made Marcos Abreu salivate in his childhood, without the rain itself. Such contents are inseparable, dependent. They are parts of wholes, whose elimination or suppression of at least one of the contents implies the modification or elimination of those same contents in the wholes.

1. Fragments and Moments A different case is that of pieces where the whole is fragmented or can be fragmented. “The parts are here not merely disjoined from each other, but relatively independent, they have the character of mutually-put-together pieces” (Husserl 1970: 4–5). Pieces are parts in the narrowest sense. In §17 of Investigation III Husserl also makes the concept of fragmentation more accurate. He says: “The division of the whole into a plurality of mutually exclusive pieces we call a piecing or fragmentation (Zerstückung) of the same. Two such pieces may still have a common identical moment: their common boundary, e.g. is an identical moment of the adjoining pieces of a divided continuum.” (Husserl 1989: 58–59) The narrative of the short story can be shattered into parts and pieces (fragments). In order to do it, I will first analyse the past (A), and then the present (B) from the point of view of Marcos Abreu8 : A. The pieces and parts were remembered during the streams of consciousness9 and they are the following: (1) Beginning of the written narrative10 :

8 9 10

The parts and pieces of this short story in the third person (Emilia, Marcos and Maria) will be analysed in Part II, Chapter 3, Section II. I will address this concept in “2. Sides, Aspects and Adumbrations”. There is also a pictorial narrative, which I will approach further on.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

(a) his relation to animals (monkeys) and the Atlantic Forest: “… where the Atlantic Forest and the monkeys have resisted the Portuguese invaders for more than five hundred years…” His connection with rainforest and its animals is a dependent part founded on another connection, i.e. part (1) (b) (his house in Jardim Botânico). (b) his relation to his house in Jardim Botânico neighbourhood: “I live in Jardim Botânico… where my house has resisted property speculation and its sale offers...” Living in Jardim Botânico is a dependent part of his strong connection with part (1) (a) (the Atlantic Forest). He lived in that same house for more than 20 years. (c) his relation to museums and galleries: “…I got what I’d wanted since I was 20: to exhibit on the walls of renowned museums and great galleries.” It is a dependent part of part (2) (f) (his relation to museums, galleries, painting). (d) his divorce from Joana: “… where I got divorced…” It is a part of part (2) (d) (his marriage to Joana). (e) his relationship to his children: “…my two kids grew up…” It is a part of part (2) (d) (his marriage to Joana) and part (1) (d) (divorce from Joana). (f) his friendship with Maria: “Maria is solid, a rosewood tree planted in my life for 20 years, who knows, like no other, my habits and dirt.” This piece is not dependent on other relationships Marcos Abreu developed with other people. 11 (2) Final part of the narrative: (a) his relation to earth and rain: “That death must be something like rolling around in black soft, damp, fresh earth, and going back to six years of age and salivating at the smell of rain on the farm in Barra de Guaratiba.” It is a dependent part of part (2) (b) (his relation to death).

11

If, on the one hand, the relationship with Maria is a piece, on the other, by his narration in the present and by Maria’s narration (in the third person), this can also be seen as a part. This relationship will be once again addressed in this topic as well as in Part II, Chapter 3, Section II.

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(b) his relation to death: “What can I say about an experience that I have never had? One guess and a certainty. That death must be something like rolling around in black soft, damp, fresh earth, and going back to six years of age....” It is a dependent part because it was founded on part (2) (a) (his relation to earth and rain) as well as part (2) (c) (his relation to his childhood house). (c) his relation to the house (farm) where he spent his childhood: “That death must be something like rolling around in black soft, damp, fresh earth, and going back to six years of age and salivating at the smell of rain on the farm in Barra de Guaratiba.” It is a dependent part of part (2) (b) (his conception of death), on the one hand, and part (2) (a) (his relation to earth and rain), on the other. (d) his marriage to Joana: “[…] the first, my marriage to Joana. I never understood how she ticked, nor she me. The attacks were many and mutual. I wanted the glory and so did she. No marriage resists the fires of fierce competition. Though, no doubt, we had good moments and two things in common: art school, which bound us together, and you, our children, who united us.” It is a dependent part of two other parts, namely his relation to painting (2) (f) and his relationship with his children Marcelo and Emilia (2) (j). (e) his relationship with C.: “I met C… We slept together about three times, before I, at the same speed, tired of her and her sensitivity. She phoned me a number of times in the coming months. The answering machine recorded her number. I didn’t return the calls. Five months later, she left a message: ʻIt was a boy...ʼ … As for C., I never saw her again or heard her voice. Her absence and her silence are, nevertheless, with me to this day.” His intercourse with C. was unusual. As a short but unique relationship, it is a piece independent of any other part of other connections he has had in the past. 12 Because of these three aspects (exceptionality, short duration and uniqueness), this relationship has become a source of enchantment.13

12 13

See Husserl 1970: 39–41. This is Samuel Beckett’s conception, which I follow here. I quote: “[…] when the object is perceived as particular and unique and not merely the member of a family, when it appears independent of any general notion and detached from the sanity of a cause, isolated and inexplicable in the light of ignorance, then and then only may it be a source of enchantment.” (Beckett 1978: 11). I will elaborate more on this in Part II, Chapter 1.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

(f) his relation to museums, galleries, painting: “… 12–14 hours of work a day in a rented studio in Lapa, one in five canvases being accepted and sold by small-scale galleries, ten out of ten being turned down by medium-sized or large galleries, innumerable unfinished pictures, so many others destroyed.” It is a part of part (1) (c) (relation to museums and galleries). (g) his relation to cocaine and alcohol: Piece: “My behaviour at the time... how can I describe it? Snorting, snorting more…” Piece: “…and for being drunk…” These two pieces are independent. It is not because he was an artist who wanted to achieve stardom that he must use drugs in order to create original and unique works. Drugs are not a condition sine qua non of being a successful artist. (h) the plagiarism he committed against the art student: Here the excerpt can be understood as a piece or as a part. Piece: “… It didn’t take long for me to reproduce part of what I had seen and to sign it as mine.” This piece does not depend on any other part. The fraud committed against the student did not stem from his troubled relationship with his own art and cannot even be considered a consequence of it. Part: “[…] an art school student asked me to have a look at a picture of his in Tijuca. In those days, I couldn’t motivate myself to keep going. Beginners generally copy great painters’ styles. I arrived there without any expectation and was surprised by the intelligent lines, from green to blue perfectly and intensely mixed with black, the bold deconstruction of a still life. It didn’t take long for me to reproduce part of what I had seen and to sign it as mine. As for the young guy, he believed that he still needed to train the quality of the line and shading on the basket.” The con can be regarded as a part of his bad relation to his painting (part [2] [f]) at that time. (i) life in the South of France: As it follows, this content can be a piece or a part: Piece: “… and went to the South of France with a backpack. I slept in hostels, spent the night in stables, worked in lavander fields, milked goats, learnt to make cheese and stayed clean. I wandered the Camargue and Provence, lived in Aix for three years working as a kitchen assistant.”

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His experience in the South of France can be seen as an extraordinary, independent event. His life there had nothing to do with the life he had had in Brazil. Part: “[…] and went to the South of France with a backpack. I slept in hostels, spent the night in stables, worked in lavander fields, milked goats, learnt to make cheese and stayed clean. I wandered the Camargue and Provence, lived in Aix for three years working as a kitchen assistant. On this journey, I made my peace with painting and myself.” His experience in the South of France can be considered a consequence of his bad relation to painting in Brazil (part [2] [f]). At the end of the journey, he assumed that he made his peace with himself and with painting thanks to the experience he had had abroad. (j) relationship with his children Marcelo and Emilia: Piece: “What definitely could have been better? My relationship with Marcelo. I should have told him more often I love him and how brilliant his sculptures are. Sorry, my son, for the constant trips during your first years of life, for my not being there when the pediatrician said you had lymphatic cancer when you were seven and … not trying to save you from a near-drowning when you were twelve. You are greater than I’ve been at any time.” The love he had for his son did not internally depend on external factors, such as his troubled marriage with Joana and his divorce from her. Piece: “What came close to perfection? My relationship with Emilia. We shared, my daughter, the same sensibility and temperament, we were on many occasions in heaven and hell, we experienced both countless joys and as much pain. We enjoyed together, then, the high times of elation and the low ones of depression. You, more than anyone, ‘are flesh of my flesh.’” What I said above about his relationship with Marcelo can be applied here to his relationship with Emilia. Furthermore, when he writes the following sentence “You, more than anyone, ‘are flesh of my flesh’”, leaving in quotation marks “are flesh of my flesh”, he opened up the possibility of a more accurate reflection of his experience of this relationship. I argue, even though initially, that this expression refers to the incarnation of love. I will return to this later.14 14

For more on this, see Part II, Chapter 1.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

Part: “… and you, our children, who united us.” The relationship with his children was a part of part (2) (d) (his marriage to Joana). Here there are five pieces that are just put together and in themselves are relatively independent of each other (Selbstständigkeit) and 13 parts that depend on each other to exist as parts: The pieces are: (I) (A) (1) (f) (relationship with Maria) (II) (A) (2) (e) (relationship with C.) (III) (A) (2) (g) (relation with cocaine and alcohol) (IV) (A) (2) (i) (his life in the South of France) (V) (A) (2) (j) (relationships with Marcelo and Emilia) They exist as independent pieces, not only independent of each other, but also independent of other parts of the narrative (a content to another content). (I) (II) and (V) are species of the genus human relationships (III) is species of the genus drugs (IV) is species of the genus life abroad15 Unlike the pieces, there are other contents (parts) that are dependent on each other and on other contents of the narrative and do not exist as parts if they are altered or separated from those contents. The parts are: (VI) (A) (1) (a) (relation with animals and rainforest) (VII) (A) (1) (b) (connection with his house in Jardim Botânico) Both are dependent parts because of Marcos Abreu’s relation with the Atlantic Forest. Both are species of the genus environment. (VIII) (A) (1) (c) (connection with museums and galleries) (IX) (A) (2) (f) (connections with museums, galleries and painting) (X) (A) (2) (h) (plagiarism committed against the art student) (XI) (A) (2) (i) (life in the South of France) These four contents are dependent parts because of his relation with painting. They are species of the genus art.

15

Husserl 1970: 22 et seq.

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(XII) (A) (2) (a) (connection with earth and rain) (XIII) (A) (2) (b) (relation with death) (XIV) (A) (2) (c) (relation with the farm in Barra de Guaratiba) These three contents are dependent parts due to his relation with death. (XII) is first dependent on (X) and secondly on (XII). (X) and (XII) are species of the genus death. The genus appears as such in (XI). (XV) (A) (1) (d) (divorce from Joana) (XVI) (A) (1) (e) (relationship with his children) (XVII) (A) (2) (d) (marriage with Joana) (XVIII) (A) (2) (j) (relationship with his children) These four contents are dependent parts due to his marriage. They are species of the genus human relationships. Each one of the pieces (i.e. independent parts) has one content, i.e. an object16 . In the case of (I) the general content (genus) is the genus human relationships, whose specific content (species) is philia. Philia is a piece and forms a whole. Another example: (III) has as general content (genus) drugs, whose specific content (species) is cocaine (piece) and alcohol (piece). These two pieces form two wholes. Each part has more than one content, i.e. two or more objects. Marcos Abreu’s connection with the whole, namely painting, has art as its genus. This connection founds (or is founded in) other relations. His desire to be a painter is already present at the beginning of the narrative when in the past he expressed his ambition to be in the spotlight of attention of renowned museums and galleries (object [2]). It has as a concrete foundation painting (object [1])17 and as an abstract foundation (genus) art. Taking painting as a whole, his relationship with Joana was built over the years of the art (genus) school, which covered painting (object [1]), and then with his marriage (object [2]), dependent on object 1, and even with his divorce (object [3]), dependent on objects (1) and (2). The pictures produced at Lapa studio (object [4]), largely rejected, are partly dependent on Marcos Abreu’s relation with the art (genus) school, which covers painting (object [1]).

16 17

See Husserl 1970: 5–6. But painting can also be considered a part (object [2]) if his main motivation in life is the external realization brought about by the fame resulting from the exhibition in large museums and galleries (object [1] would be the whole) and not by being realized internally as a painter (object [2] would be painting).

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

The copy he made of the art student’s picture18 (object [5]) also has art as genus. It depends on what he produced at Lapa studio and the resulting frustration of not selling his pictures (object [4]). Besides, it depends on the painting itself (object [1]). His escape to the South of France and the decision to return to Brazil19 (object [6]) have art as its genus, and they depend on objects (1), (4). All of these parts are events that made up his trajectory in painting (the whole). Each content (object) forms one moment (Husserl 1970: 4–9), which means that parts form specific moments. In Husserl’s own terms: “We first perform a fundamental division of the concept Part into Pieces or Parts in the narrowest sense, and into Moments or Abstract Parts of the Whole. Each part that is independent relatively to a whole W we call a Piece (Portion), each part that is non-independent relatively to W we call a Moment (an abstract part) of this same W.” (Husserl 1970: 28–29) The example given by Husserl is the relation between visual quality to extension and the relation of both to the figure they form. He says that these contents can vary independently of each other. “Extension can stay the same while colour varies indefinitely, colour stays the same while extent and figure vary indefinitely.” (Husserl 1970: 7–9). Variability affects the kinds of moments “[w]hile the moment of colour remains constant in respect of its specific shade, extension and shape may vary indefinitely in their sub-species, and vice-versa.” (Husserl 1970: 7–9). “Moment” is named as such by genus “Quality”, on the one hand, and “Extension”, on the other, and these genera differentiate in species (red colour, extension of a contour). Dependent parts or parts of parts20 (the whole object is not yet formed) form moments that vary (more read at a moment (1), less red at a moment (2), as well as a contour, which can configure a larger curve at a moment [1], and a smaller one at a moment [2]). Independent parts, i.e. pieces (the whole object is formed independently), do not form moments. B. In the stream-of-consciousness the parts (moments) and pieces that Marcos Abreu experiences in the present (including the [non-]retention of the past, e.g. habits, and the anticipation of the future)21 are the following:

18 19 20

21

As argued above, this fraud can also be regarded as an independent object (piece). However, his life in the South of France can be seen as a piece, as previously explained. Husserl differentiates between immediate (proximate) parts and mediate (remote) parts (parts of parts). See Husserl 1970: 30. In §19 he gives as an example of a unified tone-sequence a melody as a whole to understand that distinction (Husserl 1970: 30–32). Here, I just identify the past and the future in the stream-of-consciousness in the present. I am not going to go deep into the structure and concepts related to Husserl’s time consciousness in this topic. For more on this see Husserl 1991.

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(k) connection with the Atlantic Forest: “The capuchin monkeys jump from vine to vine: father, mother, offspring and the rest of the group hold on to the branches, peel fruit and share it with their kin, bare their teeth at me, one hits a branch and they move on. Again I hear the monkeys’ excitement and, stirred by their din…” Both are parts (or two objects or two moments) of part 3. m. (house in Jardim Botânico). (l) revelation of life experiences: “Meanwhile, the sheet of paper challenged me to describe an experience, an unusual movement, the breaking of a habit, a taboo perhaps. It challenged me to tell a secret desire, an instant straying from the path, a bad phone line, someone waiting, a scam, an escape.” This part forms one moment in part 3. n. (Alzheimer’s). (m) connection with his house: “For over two decades, the friezes of this art deco window have been there (retention of the past); they flake off, I paint them, they flake off again and I paint them once more. But soon the paint on this window will flake off and it will stay like that…” (anticipation of the future). This is a part (moment) of part 3. r. (habits). “I live in Jardim Botânico…” This is a part (moment) of part 3. k. connection with the Atlantic Forest. (n) Alzheimer’s: “Today a lawyer told me that (retention of the near past), in one or two years, I won’t be capable anymore of responding for my actions.” (anticipation of the future). This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death) and in 3.n. itself it is a part (moment) of the decisions made by Marcos Abreu in the excerpt: “I’m dead... dying... This is a fact... my decisions. I concentrated to remember what was important and I listed:…” “[…] I start to scribble these lines before my brain becomes a blank sheet…” (anticipation of the future) This is a part (moment) of part 3. l. (revelation of life experiences) and of part 3. t. (death). “[…] when I remember (retention of the past) that soon this taste of paradise will be gone forever” (anticipation of the future). This part (moment) is grounded in two other parts (two moments), namely part 3. k. (connection with the Atlantic Forest) and part 3. m. (connection with his house in Jardim Botânico).

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

“On the last step, he stops to ask Maria: ʻAren’t you going to the supermarket today?ʼ ʻI’ve already been this morning.ʼ ʻYes... yes... of courseʼ.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. o. (working relationship and friendship with Maria). “If I can have my say, a marble sculpture you made... When was it? Last year? Superb... What’s it called? I can’t remember” (non-retention of the past). This is a part (moment) of part 3. s. (relationship with his son). “ʻHave you taken your medicine yet?ʼ ʻWhat?ʼ Moaning, Maria gave me two pills that I swallowed with water. ʻThank youʼ.” This is a part (moment) of part 3.o. (working relationship and friendship with Maria) “I reread the last line of the letter. The words were jumbled. I tried to join them and understand what I’d written yesterday, the week, month or year before, though I couldn’t be quite sure” (non-retention of the past). This part (moment) is part of 3. n. (part of life experiences) and of part of 3. t. (death). “ʻWhat day is it today?ʼ I took a deep breath to run through my mind what had happened that morning. I met Maria and Emilia in the lounge, where they were waiting for me to have breakfast. [retention of the past] Now, at this very moment, I’m sitting here, trying to work out what to write in a letter my hand wants to keep writing. But the words vanish in the beta-thingy shadows of my brain. ʻWhat is her name?ʼ The psychiatrist explained all this to me” [lack of retention of the past]. This is a part (moments) of part 3. n (life experiences). “I’m dead... dying... This is a fact... my decisions. I concentrated to remember what was important and I listed:…” This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death). “(1) Emilia – house... Jardim Botânico.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death), part 3. m. (connection with his house in Jardim Botânico), part 3. k. (connection with the Atlantic Forest) and of part 3. q. (relationship with his daughter). “(2) Marcelo – house... Ipanema.” This is a part of part 3. t. (death) and part 3. s. (relationship with his son). “(3) Maria – house... Méier, sell... painting: ‘Tropical fruit’... money in her account.” This is a part of part 3. t. (death), part 3. o. (working relationship and friendship with Maria) and part 3. p. (connection with painting). “(4) UFRJ Art school – donation... drawings: ‘Xingu’, ‘Mulher do Sertão’” This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death) and part 3. p. (connection with painting). “(5) Museum of Modern Art (MAM) – donation... paintings: ‘Composition’, ‘Rio and the Sea’, ‘the Atlantic Forest’”. This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death), part

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3. p. (connection with painting), and specifically “the Atlantic Forest” is a part of part 3.k. (connection with the Atlantic Forest). “(6) San Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) – donation... paintings: ‘Bumba-meuboi’, ‘The Shallows’, ‘Twelfth Night’, ‘Ouro Preto’”. This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death) and part 3. p. (connection with painting). “(7) National Library – donation: series of lithographs, 1975.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death) and part 3. p. (connection with painting). “(8) Asset management: Marcelo, first five years, and Emilia, the next five. Thereafter, they will take turns.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death), part 3. q. (relationship with his daughter) and part 3. s. (relationship with his son). “(9) ʻI don’t...ʼ (anticipation of the future) What was the word? After a lapse (lack of retention of the near past), which seemed to last an eternity, the whole sentence came to me in a flash and I wrote it down straight away so it didn’t get lost. ʻDon’t revive me!ʼ (anticipation of the future)”. This is a part of part 3. t. (death). “I looked confused at the stunned woman who shouted in sync with the monkeys din: ʻWho are you?ʼ ʻMaria, I’m Maria, Marcos.ʼ ʻWhat happened?ʼ ʻWhat hap...? ... help...?ʼ Maria followed his gaze at the wet trousers: ʻOf course it was, Marcos. Let’s go to the bathroomʼ.” This is a part (moment) of part. 3. o. (working relationship and friendship with Maria), and specifically “Maria followed his gaze at the wet trousers: ‘Of course it was, Marcos. Let’s go to the bathroom.’” This is a part (moment) of part 3. r. (habits). (o) working relationship and friendship with Maria: “[…] who knows, like no other, my habits and dirt.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. r. (habits) and part 3. l. (Alzheimer’s). “The intercom rings. I get up. I answer it and open the door. Maria’s red knuckles push a shopping trolley. I take it out of her hands and push it to the kitchen. She asks: ʻWhat time would you like to have dinner?ʼ ʻAt 8, as usualʼ.” When he answers “At 8, as usual”, this is a part (moment) of part 3. r. (habits). “Feeling self-pity and tears well up, I was mentally thankful for Maria’s brusk interruption: ʻMarcos! Lunch is served and Marcelo is parking in the garageʼ.” “[…] Marcelo is parking in the garage.” is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (relationship with his son).

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

“On the last step, he stops to ask Maria: ʻAren’t you going to the supermarket today?ʼ ʻI’ve already been this morning.ʼ ʻYes... yes... of courseʼ.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. l. (Alzheimer’s). “ʻHave you taken your medicine yet?ʼ ʻWhat?ʼ Moaning, Maria gave me two pills that I swallowed with water. ʻThank youʼ.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. l. (Alzheimer’s). “I looked confused at the stunned woman who shouted in sync with the monkeys’ din: ʻWho are you?ʼ ʻMaria, I’m Maria, Marcos.ʼ ʻWhat happened?ʼ ʻWhat hap...? ... help...?ʼ Maria followed his gaze at the wet trousers: ʻOf course it was, Marcos. Let’s go to the bathroomʼ.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. l. (Alzheimer’s) and part 3. r. (habits) (p) connection with painting: “It is almost midday in Rio. Through the studio’s open windows I let the forest in and I stop working.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. k. (connection with the Atlantic Forest) and part 3. m. (connection with his house). “[…] while I take a moment to analyse the drawing on the easel. The tree below is still missing, as are the ochre detail of the roof and the grey of the walls.” This is an independent part (a piece), not a moment, and forms a whole. “Like painting and nature, death is extraordinary, and the search for the extraordinary has always been my guide.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. t. (death). (q) relationship with his daughter: “ʻDid you sleep here?ʼ The question wakes me to the deep brown of Emilia’s eyes. She crouches. The tip of her nose delicately rubs my stubble and a kiss wettens my forehead. (present) I open my eyes. She walks around the studio and takes a look at last month’s paintings. I can smell the sun coming off her skin, the matt of her colour entering

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my mouth, the waves of her hair brushing against my ear and I reply half-asleep (present)22 : ʻYes...ʼ.” Specifically: “She walks around the studio” is a part (moment) of part 3. m. (house in Jardim Botânico) and “… and takes a look at last month’s paintings” is a part of part 3. p. (connection with painting). “You, more than anyone, ‘are flesh of my flesh.’” This is a piece. This statement, as mentioned above, deals with the incarnation of love and does not maintain a dependent relation to any other part of the narrative. (r) habits: “‘What time would you like to have dinner?’ ‘At 8, as usual.’” This is a part (moment) of part 3.o. (working relationship and friendship with Maria) “In the small wash basin, next to the window, I wash and dry my hands…” This is a part (moment) of part 3. p. (painting). “[…] they flake off, I paint them, they flake off again and I paint them once more.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. m (connection with his house) “He comes down the stairs, leans on one of the pilasters going round the stairs…” This is a part of part 3. m. (connection with his house) “ʻHave you taken your medicine yet?ʼ ʻWhat?ʼ Moaning, Maria gave me two pills that I swallowed with water. ʻThank youʼ.” This is a part of part 3.l. (Alzheimer’s) and part 3. o. (working relationship and friendship with Maria). (s) relationship with his son: “ʻHi Marcelo! You’re here, at last!ʼ I give him a big hug and feel his hands around my back hesitantly. ʻHow are you, Dad?ʼ ʻWell. How was your trip?ʼ ʻMy agent said that the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is interested in exhibiting two of my works two years from now. They’re beginning to organize an exhibition of Latin-American artists’ work.ʼ

22

Here there are two possible streams-of-consciousness of the present or two egos (selves). I will discuss this in Part II, Chapter 1. For more on the discussion of the meaning of “now”, I refer to Husserl 1991: 16–25, 30–34.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

ʻGreat news! Which works? Have you decided yet?ʼ ʻNot yet.ʼ ʻBut you have to make up your mind soon, Marcelo. It’s an opportunity and a half!ʼ ʻSure...ʼ ʻIf I can have my say, a marble sculpture you made... When was it? Last year? Superb... What’s it called? I can’t remember.ʼ ʻHades and Persephone. I finished it five years ago. I’m pleased you remembered it. It was my third attempt with marble, after breaking Hades’ left foot in the first and Persephone’s right hand in the second. It was frustrating. I almost gave up.ʼ ʻBut in the end... what a result! This one you should...ʼ ʻIt isn’t the right one for the exhibition... I’ll think of another one, Dad, but thanks for the suggestionʼ.” Marcos Abreu’s speech: “If I can have my say, a marble sculpture you made... When was it? Last year? Superb... What’s it called? I can’t remember.” is a part of part 3. l. (Alzheimer’s) and the whole dialogue ends up finding its foundation in it. “You are greater than I’ve been at any time.” It is a piece. This excerpt does not show that his relationship with Marcelo depended on any other part of Marcos Abreu’s narrative. (t) death: “When this illness advances, I do not want to be absent in a present body. Like painting and nature, death is extraordinary, and the search for the extraordinary has always been my guide. What can I say about an experience that I have never had? One guess and a certainty. […] And that I will finally become earth. We will be the same matter, forming one single body and the circle will close.” This is a part (moment) of part 3. p. (connection with painting) and part 3. k (connection with the Atlantic Forest). (u) relationship with C.: “As for C., I never saw her again or heard her voice. Her absence and her silence are, nevertheless, with me to this day.” This is a part of part 3. n. (revelation of life experiences). Marcos Abreu’s narrative in the present is made up of parts and pieces. The parts are: (B) (XIX) (3) (k) (connection with the Atlantic Forest) (B) (XX) (3) (l) (relation to Alzheimer’s) (B) (XXI) (3) (m) (connection with his house in Jardim Botânico) (B) (XXII) (3) (n) (life experiences)

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(B) (XXIII) (3) (o) (working relationship and friendship with Maria) (B) (XXIV) (3) (p) (connection with painting) (B) (XXV) (3) (q) (relationship with his daughter) (B) (XXVI) (3) (r) (habits) (B) (XXVII) (3) (s) (relationship with his son) (B) (XXVIII) (3) (t) (relation to death) (B) (XXIX) (3) (u) (relationship with C.) (B) (XIX) (3) (k), (XXI) (3) (m): parts or moments dependent on the species rain forest whose genus is environment (B) (XX) (3) (l): parts of his relation with the species degenerative cognitive illness, whose genus is illness. (B) (XXII) (3) (n) part dependent on the species unusual life experiences, whose genus is life experience (B) (XXIII) (3) (o), (XXV) (3) (q), (XXVII) (3) (s), (XXIX) (3) (u) parts of his relation with the species affective relationships, whose genus is human relationships. (B) (XXIV) (3) (p) parts of his relation with the species art expressions, whose genus is art. (B) (XXVI) (3) (r) parts of his relations with the species usual life experiences, whose genus is life experience. (B) (XXVIII) (3) (t) parts of his relation with the genus death And the pieces are: (B) (XXIV) (3) (p) (connection with painting) is a species of the genus art. (B) (XXV) (3) (q) (relationship with his daughter) and (B) (XXVII) (3) (s) (relationship with his son) are species of the genus human relationships. In my short story, I can divide the content of (A) (the stream-of-consciousness in the past) and (B) (the stream-of-consciousness in the present) related to painting into moments of moments, for example: In piece (B) (XXIV) (3) (p) (connection with painting) Marcos Abreu ponders while looking at the easel: “…while I take a moment to analyse the drawing on the easel. The tree below is still missing, as are the ochre detail of the roof and the grey of the walls.” In this piece there are two relative independent objects23 , namely the contents of object “ochre colour” of the roof ([3] [p.1]) and the contents of the object “grey colour” of the walls ([3] [p.2]). Both ([3] [p.1]) and ([3] [p.2]) are pieces, since they have two independent contents in a relation to each other. Both ([3] [p.1]) and ([3] [p.2]) will depend, however, on moments, that is, on the respective internal moments that form each of them. For 23

I will not deal with all the pieces and parts (moments) that make up the figure of the tree.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

example, the association of hues that goes from yellow to red to form ochre as a certain colour of the roof, the association of other hues that goes from white to black to form grey as a certain colour of the walls. So both ([3] [p.1]) and ([3] [p.2]) depend internally on more than one object, on more than one moment. If they depend on them, then the internal moments of “ochre colour” are actually parts, objects, dependent moments, otherwise, the ochre colour would not be formed. A piece then can be founded internally in parts (moments). So what do I have here? Two perspectives of the formation of objects. Externally, ochre colour in relation to grey colour is a piece (and vice-versa). They do not depend on the internal moments of each other to be formed as such colours. Internally, however, in order to form ochre or grey as a colour, this depends on dependent moments or parts. Internally, ochre or grey colour is each one a part. In part (A) (2.) (h.) (the plagiarism he committed against the art student), Marcos Abreu says: “[…] an art school student asked me to have a look at a picture of his in Tijuca. In those days, I couldn’t motivate myself to keep going. Beginners generally copy great painters’ style. I arrived there without any expectation and was surprised by the intelligent lines, from green to blue perfectly and intensely mixed with black, the bold deconstruction of a still life. It didn’t take long for me to reproduce part of what I had seen and to sign it as mine. As for the young guy, he believed that he still needed to train the quality of the line and shading on the basket.” (the emphasis is mine) Also this part of the narrative gives me some insights concerning the formation of colours: the lines from green to blue are hues and can be divided, for instance, into some objects, such as green, light green, water green, turquoise blue, sky blue, blue. These six objects are internally independent (pieces). This is because in the text it is not said that he wanted to form a specific colour that depended internally on the association of two or more hues. These pieces were mixed with black as a colour. The hues ranging from lighter grey to black are dependent internal moments (parts) in order to form black as a colour. Again here I argue for two perspectives of the formation of objects: Internally, the independent internal objects that go from green to blue (pieces) and the internal dependent moments that go from grey to black (parts) and that make black as a colour is a part because it is grounded in those internal moments. Externally, the lines (ie. hues) that go from green to blue form an independent object in relation to the hues that form black as “black colour”. There are then two pieces. Also externally, both (B) (XXIV) (3) (p) and (A) (2) (h), whose highest genus is “Quality”, are in a relative independent relation (two pieces) to the extension of the roof and the extension of the wall of (B) (XXIV) (3) (p), which are two other pieces, and to the extension

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of the basket with fruits of (A) (2) (h), which is also another piece. The “certain extension” of each of these objects has “Extension” as highest genus. It is not the genera “Quality” and “Extension” (ideal, abstract levels) that vary, but the intuitive moments, species, objects falling under them (empirical, experiential level), which means that the moments of colours can vary in relation to the constancy of the moments of extension, and vice-versa. Variability affects then the kinds of objects, as I affirmed following Husserl in the beginning of this Section. The dependent moments (objects) ranging from yellow to red in (B) (XXIV) (3) (p) vary in colouring until they form ochre as a colour, which does not imply a variation in the moments of extension, either the extent of the ochre colour of the roof, or the extent of the roof itself. Pieces can be encapsulated in one single moment of objective unity (a whole). In my above examples, the figures “roof” and “walls” ([B]) [XXIV] [3] [p]) and “basket” and “fruits” ([A] [2] [h]), which are pieces independent of one another, can be associated in one single moment of unity, i.e. the final figure itself (the final figure of Occitania II as a painting and the final figure of a still life as a painting). The elements of pieces that we fragment “are similarly or dissimilarly associated into sensuous intuitive wholes” (Husserl 1970: 8). In other words, I can experience the pieces of Occitania II or the pieces of still life separately, but nothing prevents me from experiencing the same pieces as members of (ie. in the context of) a larger whole which is the final figure, that is, the painting itself. When the whole allows fragmentation in which the pieces belong to a lowest genus (in my examples: colour itself is the lowest genus, the higher genus is painting and the highest genus is Quality, in my view) as determined by the indivisibility of the whole, Husserl speaks of an extended whole and the pieces as extended parts. Thus, the colour of the roof and the colour of the walls would be extended parts of the indivisible whole (the painting itself), as the colour of the fruits and the fruit basket are also so (Husserl 1970: 28–29). In both examples, one cannot finally speak of isolating the pieces. Between the “roof colour” piece and the “wall colour” piece, as well as the “fruit colour” piece and the “fruit basket colour” piece, there is an identical common moment “their common boundary, e.g. is an identical ‘moment’ of the adjoining pieces of a divided continuum” (Husserl 1970: 28–29). The identical common moment that determines the border of non-isolation of the pieces in my examples is given by the lowest genre which is colour – a common content that determines a continuum between all pieces of both drawing and painting.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

2. Sides, Aspects and Adumbrations Would you not like to try all sorts of lives – one is so very small... Katherine Mansfield The concepts of “sides”, “aspects” and “adumbrations” are associated with the definition of “consciousness as intentional experience” in Investigation V. I will start then by this conception to arrive at the concepts that make up this topic. According to Husserl, consciousness is “a comprehensive designation for ‘mental acts’, or ‘intentional experiences’, of all sorts” (Husserl 1970: 81). “‘[E]xperiences’ or ‘contents of consciousness’” (Husserl 1970: 82–84) comprise primitive data such as “percepts, imaginative and pictorial presentations, acts of conceptual thinking, surmises and doubts, joys and griefs, hopes and fears, wishes and acts of will etc.” (Husserl 1970: 82). These primitive data of experiences must be taken in a purely phenomenological way (reel), so that any empirical-real reference must be discarded. In other words, if the primitive data that make up each human experience are concretely explained in a psychological-descriptive way, on a more abstract level, they must, however, be taken purely, i.e. “a manner which cuts out all relation to empirically real existence (to persons or animals in nature).” (Husserl 1970: 82) Phenomenological reduction (epoché) puts between brackets (in suspension) the statement since Descartes that the ego2425 is aimed at an object that is posited independently of the ego. In Husserl’s words: “Unfortunately, Descartes commits this error, in the apparently insignificant yet fateful transformation of the ego to a substantia cogitans, to an independent human animus, which then becomes the point of departure for conclusions by means of the principle of causality.” (Husserl 1988: 9) The phenomenology methodology for analyzing intentional acts is descriptive and eidetic. In the ordinary world, the ego is aimed at objects. And its attention is fo24

25

The meaning of consciousness as intentional experience is addressed in Logical Investigations (Husserl 1970), Cartesian Meditations (Husserl 1960) and in Ideas pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology (Husserl 1983; 1989). In V Meditation, §2 of Logical Investigations (Husserl 1970: 82–84), Husserl suggests a non-egological concept of consciousness (compare Zahavi 2008: 31–33). However, in Paris Lectures, Cartesian Meditations and Ideas pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology, Vol. II and Vol. III, Husserl addresses the subject ego cogito as consciousness as intentional experiences (pure ego) in detail (Husserl 1988; 1960; 1983; 1989). In my understanding of Husserl’s view, there are three egos: the transcendental or pure ego, the psychic ego and the empirical ego. The transcendental ego encompasses the two other egos. In Chapter 2, I will focus on the psycho-organic ego in Husserl (Leib), whose meaning is amplified by Merleau-Ponty, in the living body insofar as the living body is not totally reduced to the transcendental ego.

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cused on that object, which is placed in the world independently of the ego. As stated above, Husserl leaves this thesis aside (he encloses it in brackets), and through phenomenological reduction the experienced object becomes a correlate of the acts of the pure ego. In the stream-of-consciousness26 , the pure ego experiences by means of intentional lived experiences the form and content of an object by means of adumbrations (Abschattungen27 ), i.e. the manifold data of sensation. The sides of the object that are given and hidden appear to the ego in different modes, i.e. aspects28 (Husserl 1989: 134–143). For example, light fades during the afternoon until night falls. Shadings are formed on the walls and become more and more intense, deeper and deeper until they create certain shadows covering the walls and corners of a room. Another example is that of colouring, which becomes denser and denser and more and more closed; it forms a certain dark colour. Either shading becoming shadow or colouring becoming colour are founded by themselves as such or both are constituted as such from the ego’s perception, i.e. from the visual sensation of the unfolding of these data (shading in shadow, colouring in colour) that the ego apprehends from both. Adumbrations are unfolding and temporary data of sensation, which are mobilized by the aspect. In its turn, the aspect is the way in which adumbrations are presented to the ego. Adumbrations belong, therefore, to the aspect. The ego also varies the object in its “posited moments” (Husserl 1983: 317–318), according to the ego’s intuition and perception. Husserl gives inter alia the example of a hexahedron (Husserl 1998: 17–18), which is presented by a figure with six quadrangular faces, eight vertices and 12 edges. The ego can experience the sides of this figure from different perspectives, from near, from afar, and under certain shadings, in an unfolding 26

27

28

According to Husserl, the stream-of-consciousness is understood as the stream of lived experiences. I know it from the pure ego, i.e. inner perception and introspection, in which I grasp sensations, perceptions, remembering, feelings and affects. Lived experiences are concrete unities or interwoven unities, i.e. content, encapsulated by the pure ego, which is one and the same in the changing of those lived experiences and is inseparable from them. The stream of lived experiences is the environment, on which the pure ego functions. The structure of the intentional lived experiences presupposes the “how”, the manner in which the pure ego has lived experiences. Compare Husserl 1960: 65–68. See also Husserl 1989: 97–98, 103–106, 115–116. Abschattung is translated as “profile” by Robert Sokolowski. He says: “The aspect itself can be given to me as an identity through a manifold of temporally different appearances. Let us call each of these momentary views a profile of the aspect; it is, transitively, also a profile of the side and a profile of the cube. A profile is a temporally individuated presentation of an object. The English word ‘profile’ is the translation of the German Abschattung, which can signify ‘profile’ or ‘sketch’. Ultimately, therefore, the cube is given to me in a manifold of profiles.” (Sokolowski 2000: 19, the emphasis is mine) From Part II, Chapter 1 onwards, I will use the metaphor “path” (i.e. way) to replace the noun “aspect”.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

of colourings (adumbrations). The hexahedron seen is the same in its multiplicity of appearances. In my short story, the ego can experience the Occitania III drawing according to a perspective. For instance: “A house (the object ʻhouseʼ is the moment [a]) of Provençal rock is on a distant hill”. To provide the house with the attribute “Provençal rock” and the predicate “is on a distant hill” at moment (a) of the object “house”, the ego performs the following descriptive path: (b) The ego senses how the aspect of this certain “house” (object and moment [a]) can be. It realizes that it can visually be a rustic rock house. The unfinished aspect of the rocks gives it rusticity. The colour of the rock varies between straw and onyx. These significant contents (rock shape and colour variation [pieces in relation to each other]) are associated and form the object’s predicate (moment [c]), which depends on the content of a second part: (c) This rock house (moment [b]) is on a hill. The perspective that the ego also can experience is that the hill is leaning due to the distance between the ego and the house. (moment [d]). (d) This rock house (moment [b]) is not merely on a hill (moment [c]) but on a distant hill. The ego then senses that it cannot see the whole house, perhaps only the front side, but at the same time it senses that the hidden back side may be similar in appearance (aspect) to the visible front side (moment [d]). (e) (a) + (b) + (c): “rock house” (moment [b] of the object), “hill” (moment [c] of the object) and “distant hill” (moment [d]) are, on the one hand, then bound as relatively independent parts (pieces, one in relation to the other) but, on the other hand, as dependent parts (moments) to the primary phenomenal object that is the house itself (moment [a] of the object). (f) In a last moment (f) of the object, there is, then, the unity of the object or the whole: “A house of Provençal rock is on a distant hill.”, i.e. moments (a)+(b)+(c)+(d)+(e). Another example from the short story: When I say: “Münster cathedral (cathedral is moment [a] of the object) is lead colour”, my ego experiences this cathedral according to a certain perspective.29 To provide the cathedral with these attributes “of Münster” and “lead colour” at moment (a) of the object “cathedral”, the ego can perform the following descriptive path: (b) The ego senses how the aspect of this particular “cathedral” (moment [a] of the object) can be. It realizes that it is visually a construction located in a space (a

29

I went to Münster in the beginning of winter, 2019. I spent no more than a week there. I experienced the cathedral as being “lead-coloured”. I went to check the image of this church for the purposes of this work and I came across its “brown colour”. I leave “lead colour” here, because that was how I perceived it during some evenings in November 2019, and with that colour I retained its image in my memory.

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square) and belonging to a specific time (medieval). Space and time are essential and dependent parts (moments) to determine that it is “Münster cathedral”. This significant content (space and time) founds a part of the object’s predicate (moment [c] of the object), which depends on the content of a second part: (c) The ego intuitively varies the “colouring” “lead” of the object in its apparent, perceptive, sensory data field and identifies it as an intense, dark, cold, wintry colouring. It does not perceive it yet as a “colour” or as a “colour association”, i.e. a combination of the primary colours, namely white and black, or red, blue and yellow, which result in dark grey. The determination of “colour”, as well as “lead colour”, are the result of the sensorial experience that founds them as “colour” (moment [d] of the object). (d) “Münster” (moment [b] of the object) and “lead colour” (moment [c] of the object) are then linked together as relatively independent parts (pieces, one in relation to the other) to the primary phenomenal object that is the cathedral itself (moment [a] of the object). (e) In the last moment (e) of the object, there is, then, the unity of the object or the whole: “Münster cathedral is lead colour.” The object, at the last moment (e), is what consciousness experienced of the object at moment (a) and that in Husserl’s term “…is the unity of a manifold with constantly changing modes of appearance, a unity of its particular perspectives and of the particular differentiations of the subjective here and there.” (Husserl 1998: 16). The object is “a cathedral”, and this is the same in all four moments. What gives it identity as being “a certain cathedral” is the unity of the four moments experienced. The object experienced and determined is intentional object. All consciousness is, thus, consciousness of an intentional object. All objects that make up the living world exist if they are founded by the stream-of-consciousness (intentional experience), which is the ego itself. The same reasoning applies to my first example.

3. Presence and Absence I begin this topic with what presence and absence may mean in Investigation III, and I will address Merleau-Ponty’s view in line with that of Husserl. I will reflect on such contributions by taking some examples as starting points. Following Husserl’s example of a hexahedron, I use it to explain what presence and absence mean. In this sentence: “That hexahedron is on the table.” I fix my attention only on the subject of the sentence: “That hexahedron”.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

The ego (the stream-of-consciousness) does not perceive all of its faces at once, but it can anticipate intuitively that the faces that are hidden (absent) are on its horizon30 , which means they can be apprehended in its field of vision. If the ego turns the hexahedron upside down, on the one hand, on the other, from near, or from afar, it will have one perspective from one side, a mode of presentation will be given to the ego (aspect), and another, which is not in its immediate sensorial field of vision, will be on its horizon. It will therefore be open to its mediate field of vision. Seeing one side of that hexahedron means having a sensorial experience of a present side, which does not mean that in a subsequent sensorial experience the ego cannot perceive another side that was absent from it the first time. By anticipating in the first experience that that hexahedron may have other faces that are absent at first, it means that the ego intuitively anticipates other experiences of presence of the missing sides of that hexahedron. The presence-absence experiences of those hexahedron faces can then be multiple. The whole (content) of that hexahedron, therefore, depends on the unity of its parts, which can be present or remote present (absent). The whole is in the end founded in presence and absence. The distinction between immediate (proximate) parts and mediate (remote) parts, i.e. parts of parts allows me to affirm that absence is remote presence. Husserl defines immediate parts as parts that can enter the whole at any time and mediate ones as ones that enter other parts of the whole (Husserl 1970: 30). The example of the tone sequence illustrates this. He says that a melody is a whole, the individual tones are parts. Each of these tones has other parts, such as quality, intensity, etc. These parts of the part “tone” are remote in relation to the whole (Husserl 1970: 30–32). If I take the silence between one note and another as another example, I understand that this absence of sound is part not only of the sound itself, but it is also a remote part (a part of the part “sound”) of the whole, i.e. melody and rhythm. The absence of sound is content, it is an object, it is a moment of melody and rhythm. And such an absence allows the ego to experience this particular melody and rhythm in

30

I will not go into Husserl’s conception of horizon. But I think that of what has been thought about it in phenomenology, Merleau-Ponty’s reflection is one of the most authoritative. I quote then his comment: “When Husserl spoke of the horizon of the things— of their exterior horizon, which everybody knows, and of their ‘interior horizon’, that darkness stuffed with visibility of which their surface is but the limit— it is necessary to take the term seriously. No more than are the sky or the earth is the horizon a collection of things held together, or a class name, or a logical possibility of conception, or a system of ‘potentiality of consciousness’: it is a new type of being, a being by porosity, pregnancy, or generality, and he before whom the horizon opens is caught up, included within it. His body and the distances participate in one same corporeity or visibility in general, which reigns between them and it, and even beyond the horizon, beneath his skin, unto the depths of being.” (Merleau-Ponty 1969b: 148–149)

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its multiplicity. A short silence between notes can go unnoticed if the ego’s attention is focused on other parts (or remote parts) of the melody’s sound, such as intensity, timbre, or density. But if the ego is aware of the duration of the sound, the silence will not go unnoticed. Even if the ego is attentive to the intensity, timbre or density of the sound and not to its duration, this does not mean that the absence of the sound is not present in this particular melody, rhythm. It is, but it is remotely present as a moment that can be experienced by the ego. In my short story, Marcos Abreu writes the following: “As for C., I never saw her again or heard her voice. Her absence and her silence are, nevertheless, with me to this day.”31 As I put it in Section I., that excerpt is a part of a part of his life experiences.32 As a remote part, it is singularized when Marcos Abreu recalls it among other unusual experiences. C. is indeed a part, a moment of presence in absence throughout Marcos Abreu’s life. The presence of her living body was experienced by the painter’s ego in the absence of that living body also experienced by the same ego during its life. The absence here is therefore a remote presence, as argued above both in the examples of the hexahedron and the tones and sounds. In Le primat de la perception (1946), Merleau-Ponty employs the example of Husserl’s cube (Merleau-Ponty 2017: 34)33 , which is perceived, but one of its sides is not shown. According to him, certain objects are visible, as they are in the subject’s visual field, while others may not be visible, as they are behind him. In this regard, Merleau-Ponty asks himself “how should we describe the existence of these absent objects or of those invisible fragments of present objects?” (Merleau-Ponty 2017: 33, translation is mine). The side not seen as present is captured by the subject. “The hidden side of the cube is present in its own way. It is in my vicinity” (MerleauPonty 2017: 34). The subject (a) anticipates the unseen side of the cube because he can direct his hand to it to move it or (b) the unseen side is announced to him at once as visible if his hand goes to another place in corporal space to move the cube. With respect to (a), Merleau-Ponty, in step with Husserl, calls the synthesis between what is currently seen and the not yet visible (what can be seen) transition synthesis; with respect to (b), horizon synthesis. He does not deepen the differentiation between the two34 . The living body, through gesture, can reach or effectively reach an object within its corporal space, that is, in its vicinity (Merleau-Ponty 2017: 34). Thus the cube as a whole can be or is effectively captured through multiple views of its parts (i.e. sides), insofar as the living body, when moving, can have or has various, differ-

31 32 33 34

When Marcos Abreu thinks on death, he also refers to presence and absence. For more on this see Part II, Chapter 2, Section IV. I refer to the stream-of-consciousness in the present. I use the Portuguese translation. Compare Merleau-Ponty 2017: 36.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

ent perspectives of the cube (Merleau-Ponty 2017: 36–37). So, Merleau-Ponty states that absence is a presence in its own way. In the Working Notes of The Visible and the Invisible (1969b)35 , Merleau-Ponty returns to the theme of presence and absence. He affirms that they are not self-excluding, since they constitute two dependent contents of one whole. In other words, as they are fragmentations of one being, they are then different on the ground of resemblance (Merleau-Ponty 1969b: 217). Presence and absence form dependent contents or moments of the whole (Gestalt) experienced. They are (or can be) part or part of part (piece or fragment) of the Gestalt, because they are in Merleau-Ponty’s view intertwined, i.e. in chiasm (Merleau-Ponty 1969b: 130 et seq.), in the multiple experiences recalled by the stream-of-consciousness or living body. In this posthumous writing, it is clear why absence is a presence in its own way. Absence is a content or a moment or a part of presence or a piece or fragment of presence, which is in the vicinity of the presence. In other words, absence is a content or fragment that can be or is perceived, remembered and felt by the stream-of-consciousness or living body. It is the stream-of-consciousness that finally intertwines absence in presence. Just as absence is a remote presence according to my reading of Husserl’s view, it is also a presence that is in the living body’s vicinity in my interpretation of MerleauPonty. Lastly, with C.’s silence as an illustration, I read this in a manner analogous to what I have already argued above, founded on Husserl. Of course, the living body Marcos Abreu continued to hear her voice, especially at the end of its life. Indeed, C.’s silence spoke to it the entire time. Her presence lingered throughout the living body painter’s life. It could be or was perceived (either recalled or felt) in the flow of consciousness.

III. Identity in Manifolds In this Section, I make some introductory reflections in order to deepen the discussion on identity in manifolds in the course of this work. I begin then with the following thesis: “A certain identity is an experienced identity and according to the experience, it has the possibility of variation.” As seen in Section II, when Husserl deals with identity he is referring to the identity of an object, such as hues, colours, extensions of a painting, as well as musical tones, or even referring to the identity of a hexahedron. But that is not all. Husserlian phenomenology is not just a phenomenology of the object-thing (e.g. a picture,

35

The original Le visible et l’Invisible was published in 1964, two years after Merleau-Ponty’s death.

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a musical score, a hexahedron)36 i.e. a phenomenology of sensations of an objectthing experienced by the ego. I recall this passage of Section II above: “‘[E]xperiences’ or ‘contents of consciousness’” (Husserl 1970: 82–84) comprise primitive data such as “percepts, imaginative and pictorial presentations, acts of conceptual thinking, surmises and doubts, joys and griefs, hopes and fears, wishes and acts of will etc” (Husserl 1970: 82). Joys and griefs, hopes and fears, and I add love and passion, are feelings, which can be contents of Husserl’s phenomenology of object and which are experienced not only in the stream-of-consciousness (i.e. ego, self) of a certain sensation, making it a sensation-object, but also in the stream-of-consciousness of a certain feeling, making it a feeling-object. Lastly, they are certain sensations and feelings experienced in the stream-of-consciousness (ego [a]) in relation to another stream-of-consciousness (ego [b]), which makes ego (b) a certain ego-object 37 . As I read this, the sich-selbst is a being-in-flux, which is38 a stream-of-consciousness of what is experienced. The experience through the stream-of-consciousness (ego, self) occurs in the living world, through the lived experiences of certain feelings, the experience of a certain feeling as an object. And this experience by the ego can obviously vary, because in my understanding the ego is a constant being-in-flux. Reflecting on the identity of the ego in the context of my short story, I ask then: “How was Marcos Abreu?” This will be a recurring question here. As I read this, the ego Marcos Abreu is a path for the multiplicity of experiences he has had throughout his life. Many of these experiences (affective relationships, connection with painting, with nature, with his house, life abroad, with drugs) describe how those experiences made up his ego, i.e. his identity. It is not, paraphrasing Husserl, a description of the ego, as one unique whole, based on an aggregate of contents (experiences).39 All the experiences narrated by him, whether related to the past or the present, are experiences that had contents, were objects, formed moments or moments of moments in his life story. Even fragmented, shattered experiences revealed his self or ego through their description, i.e. his identity, namely his relation to drugs and alcohol, life abroad, plagiarism committed against the art student, relationship with C. I see Marcos Abreu from two perspectives:

36 37 38 39

See Ricoeur 2009: 88–148, 106 (“living body-object”), 124–125 (“body-thing” and “living body”). Ego (a) can also recognize in ego (b) sich selbst (ego [a] or self). I will approach this point later. For now, I refer here to Meditation V in Cartesian Meditations (Husserl 1960: 89 et seq.). As I read Husserl, he says something different, i.e. that the pure ego has a stream-of-consciousness. Compare to Husserl 1989: 115–116. See also footnote 26, Chapter 1, Part I, above. Compare also with footnotes 25 and 26, from Chapter 1, Part I.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self (a) Marcos Abreu is a universal and an invariable form40 that identifies him as a man. Here, the initial question would be: “Who was Marcos Abreu?” and the answer would be “A man like any other.” (b) And the ego, the self Marcos Abreu is a being-in-flux, is founded in particular and variable contents that identify his self as that particular man at a certain moment or as that other particular man at another moment in his narrative (Husserl 1970: 39–41). And the question would then be another: “How was Marcos Abreu?”

Furthermore, the first-person narratives do not revolve around (a), that is an indeterminate man. Even in the cases of apparent indetermination, the first-person narrator does not identify himself only as a man (a), but as a man like that… (b). I will give four examples: In Remembrance of Things Past Marcel Proust starts the stream-of-consciousness (the ego Marcel) in Swann’s Way (2005) with the following words: “For a long time I used to go to bed early. Sometimes, when I had put out my candle, my eyes would close so quickly that I had not even time to say ʻIʼm going to sleep.ʼ And half an hour later the thought that it was time to go to sleep would awaken me; I would try to put away the book which, I imagined, was still in my hands, and to blow out the light; I had been thinking all the time, while I was asleep, of what I had just been reading, but my thoughts had run into a channel of their own, until I myself seemed actually to have become the subject of my book […].” (Proust 2005: 2) Life can be a work of art, I learned thirty years ago from the ego Marcel through his experiences (b), apprehended in fragments, lateral aspects, shown by overlaps and temporal cuts. The ego Marcel presented the characters, showing me a series of perspectives of their egos, and inviting me to experience an inexhaustible number of smells, visions and tastes. It needed seven volumes to present his profiles41 and the profiles of his characters in order to show me, as a reader, that he did not exhaust himself in all these fragments and moments as an invariable Marcel: “A man like any other.” (a) Virginia Woolf (1920), in Jacob’s Room, gets involved in the narrative and participates indirectly, in the first-person to tell some of Jacob’s many facets. She offers me, as a reader, impressions of what he can be like: “bumpkin”, “stupid fellow” (b). The ego Jacob tells me little about his self. His ego does not make his self known (b). I know him through what the other characters tell me about a man named Jacob. Jacob’s identity, therefore, is that of a man like the characters and the author herself describes to me through impressions about pieces and parts of his life. His identity is then fluid; he 40 41

Compare with Edith Stein’s On The Problem of Empathy (1989: 38–39). See, for instance, Proust 2020: 15, 35, 263. Volume 6 will be analysed in Part II, Chapter 1.

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can be like this or like that. His identity unfolds depending on the other characters’ impressions (perspectives), and I get the final impression that he is not just any man (a). I quote this passage at the end of the novel when the author intervenes indirectly in the narrative: “But how far was he a mere bumpkin? How far was Jacob Flanders at the age of twenty-six a stupid fellow? It is no use trying to sum people up. One must follow hints, not exactly what is said, nor yet entirely what is done. Some, it is true, take ineffaceable impressions of character at once. Others dally, loiter, and get blown this way and that.” (Woolf 1920: 67) It is also illustrative how Dostoevsky begins his Notes from the Underground (1972). I quote: “I am a sick man... I am an angry man. I am an unattractive man” (Dostoevsky 1972: 15). That man from the underground is not any man, i.e. a man with formal (universal) identity, without any content that particularizes him as that man from the underground. On the contrary, it is the how that man shows his self (b) that draws my attention, that makes me follow that particular narrative of that “sick”, “angry”, “unattractive” man. Dostoevsky does something similar at the beginning of The Brothers Karamazov (1992). He begins the biography of Alexei Karamazov, narrating in the first person and anticipating how the hero of his novel is indeed an anti-hero. I quote: “Starting out on the biography of my hero, Alexei Fyodorovich Karamazov, I find myself in some perplexity. Namely, that while I do call Alexei Fyodorovich my hero, still, I myself know that he is by no means a great man […] The thing is that he does, perhaps, make a figure, but a figure of an indefinite, indeterminate sort […] he is a strange man, even an odd one.” (Dostoevsky 1992: 1) By getting involved in the narrative, anticipating what Dostoevsky’s anti-hero looks like, he arouses my attention, as a reader, and makes me want to know not just about any man (a), but more about that particular man, with that identity, that is “he is by no means a great man”, “a figure of an indefinite, indeterminate sort…he is a strange man, even an odd one.” (b) In my short story the first-person confessional narrative singularizes and identifies the self or ego Marcos Abreu before and after the onset of Alzheimer’s through the remembrance of parts and pieces of his life. Through different adumbrations, sides and aspects, from different perspectives, events, persons, pictures, sounds and places were recalled by him as I showed in this chapter. His self-identity was not grounded in just one whole, but in multiple wholes, and these multiples wholes were united differently according to different contexts. Therefore, I say that the self Marcos Abreu is an identity in manifolds, i.e. he is a unity in a constant changing of appearances (Husserl 1998: 16). His self-identity is in the end a being-in-flux.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

IV. Summary In short, the ego Marcos Abreu is identified through the parts and pieces of both his past and present experiences. He is a unity of five wholes or contexts that unfold, as follows: (1) Affective relationships (a) Relationship with Maria: Piece: (I) (A) (1) (f) [the past] and Part: (XXIII) (B) (3) (o) (the present). This relationship is a piece (a whole) in the past and a part of a whole in the present. A piece that reappears as a part is indeed a remote (or mediate) part of a part. (b) Relationship with C.: Piece: (II) (A) (2) (e) [the past] and Part: (XXII) (B) (3) (n) (present) and Part: (XXIX) (B) (3) (v) (the present). This relationship is a piece (a whole) in the past and a part of two wholes in the present. That piece is thus a remote part of two wholes. (c) Relationship with Joana: (c.1) Marriage. Part: (XVII) (2) (d) (the past). This part finds no connection with present experiences. (c.2) Divorce. Part: (XV) (A) (1) (d) (the past). This part finds no connection with present experiences. (d) Relationships with Marcos and Emilia: Part: (XVI) (A) (1) (e) [the past], Pieces and Part: (V) (A) (2) (j) (the past) and Pieces and Parts: (XXV) (B) (3) (q) [the present] and (XXVII) (B) (3) (s) (the present). In the past, these two relationships were a part (beginning of the narrative) and pieces and a part (final part of the narrative). In the present, they are two pieces and two parts. The pieces (ie. wholes) are how relationships were experienced internally by the ego Marcos Abreu both in the past and in the present. They are pieces both in the past and in the present, as they do not depend on other external relationships or events to have been and continue to be experienced as such. Part: (XVI) (A) (1) (e) (the past) is grounded as a part of Marcos Abreu’s marriage in the past, but does not find the same dependency in the present. The same applies to the Part: (V) (A) (2) (j) (the past) that finds no connection with the experiences in the present. These two parts are therefore parts of the past. Likewise, part: (XXVII) (B) (3) (s.), which finds its foundation in Alzheimer’s, is experienced by the ego in the present. There is no connection with any past experience. This is a part, therefore, of a part of the present. Part: (XXV) (B) (3) (q) (the present) can be understood as a part of part: (IX) (a) (2) (f) (connection with museums, galleries and painting) from the past.

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(2) Nature (a) Connection with earth and rain: Part: (XII) (A) (2) (a) (the past) and Part: (XIX) (3) (k) (the present). This connection is a part of a part of ego Marcos Abreu’s connection with animals and the Atlantic Forest. (b) Relation with the farm in Barra de Guaratiba: Part: (XIV) (A) (2) (c) (the past) and Part: (XXI) (B) (3) (m) (the present). This relation with the farm in Barra de Guaratiba is a part of a part of his ego’s connection with his house in Jardim Botânico. (c) Connection with animals and the Atlantic Forest: Part: (VI) (A) (1) (a) (the past) and Part: (XIX) (3) (k) (the present). These two parts are in fact a single one, for the content, the object and the moment are one and the same in both streams-of-consciousness. (d) Connection with his house in Jardim Botânico: Part: (VII) (A) (1) (b) (the past) and Part: (XXI) (B) (3) (m) (the present). What I said above about the ego Marcos Abreu’s connection with animals and the Atlantic Forest applies here.

(3) Painting (a) Connection with museums and galleries: Part: (VIII) (A) (1) (c) (the past). This part is a part of part (XXIV) (B) (3) (p) (the present). (b) Connection with museums, galleries and painting: Part: (IX) (A) (2) (f) (past) and Part: (XXIV) (B) (3) (p) (the present). These two parts are also a single one, for the content, the object and the moment are one and the same in both streams-of-consciousness.

(4) Unusual life experiences: Part: (XXII) (B) (3) (n) (present) is a part that relates to Piece: (II) (A) (2) (e) (the past), Piece: (III) (A) (2) (g) (the past), Piece (X) (A) (2) (h) (past), Piece: (IV) (A) (2) (i) (the past) or a Part: (XI) (A) (2) (i) (the past). This is in fact a whole of wholes. (5) Alzheimer’s: Part: (XX) (B) (3) (l) (present). This part finds no connection with past experiences. This part is founded on parts of the present. At the same time, this is a whole for parts of the present are founded on it. (6) Habits: Part: (XXVI) (B) (3) (r) (present). This part is not explicitly related to any other part or piece of the ego Marcos Abreu’s past. This part is founded on parts of the present. At the same time, this is a whole for parts of the present are founded on it.

Chapter 1: Fragments of the Self

(7) Death: Part: (XIII) (A) (2) (b) (past) and Part: (XXVIII) (3) (t) (present). These two parts are a single one, for the content, the object and the moment are one and the same in both streams-of-consciousness. For now, I interrupt these reflections in order to address some basic aspects of the living body or body-subject with Alzheimer’s, that living body or body-subject, which appears and is apprehended through sensorial experiences.

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Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake

In this chapter, I will return to the themes “content and form”, as well as “identity of the self”, already covered in the previous chapter. Here, content and form will serve as a backdrop to deepen the identity of the self with Alzheimer’s. The description of the identity of the self with Alzheimer’s will be grounded in the discussion about the senses of the body. I will resume some excerpts from the short story, among other examples, such as the autobiography of the newspaper journalist and herb grower Thomas DeBaggio. I will approach the concept of Leib in Husserl (I.) and Merleau-Ponty (II.) in order to address the senses of touch and vision. I will take longer, however, in Merleau-Ponty’s view, which, although following Husserl, radicalizes the Husserlian theses of sensations and of the revelation of the body as mine.

I.

The Psycho-Organic Body (Leib)

1. Three Egos and a Body Husserl unites the transcendental self with psyché, the anima through the body, forming a somatic (Leib) or psycho-organic (leiblich-seelisch) or animated body, also known as correlated body, that is, the perceived related as the perceiving body (Husserl 1989: 151–169; 1960: 65). Without the material or the empirical body, the transcendental intentional life and the immanent intentional life do not incarnate in the world of life. It is inseparable from its experiences, i.e. sensations, memories and affections. The material body is, in this sense, the nexus between the transcendental ego and the psychic ego and the living world. Equally, it is the material

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body that unites transcendental and immanent experiences with one another in the living world (Husserl 1989: 97). In my understanding of Husserl’s Ideen II (1983), there are three egos: the transcendental ego, the psychic ego and the empirical ego (Ich-Mensch), i.e. one ego (the transcendental one) that unfolds into two others. I have already dealt with the first of the three in Chapter 1. I recapitulate that it is only what it is in relation to intentional objectivities. This means, “objects are for me, and they are for me what they are only as objects of effective or possible consciousness” (being-for-me) (Husserl 1960: 65). The psychic and empirical egos, formed through perception, are ultimately dependent on the transcendental ego. Therefore, they also present themselves as intentional consciousness. The psychic ego, being intentional consciousness, experiences in himself the objects that make up life. Life experiences are thus internalized in it. It does not only capture himself in flux of life, but also he captures himself in himself by constituting himself as a being, i.e. as a self that lives continuously this or that experience of this or that object (Husserl 1960: 65). What I call “empirical ego” is in Husserl’s Ideen II (1983) identified as “I as a man”. The empirical ego, which is dependent on the previous two, attributes to himself not only lived experiences, i.e. psychic state, but also his cognition and the properties of his character, which are manifested in the experiences of psychic life. The expression “I as a man” contains the material body and the spirit and both are intertwined. The “I as a man” is, thus, the experiences of psychic life united with a material body. I would add that Husserl’s understanding of the “I as a man” is also that of a “normal man”, that is, he has as a reference a man who “perceives”, “judges”, “wants” or, for whom, these acts and states are open as possibilities. It is a man, therefore, who can speak in first person “I understand”, “I judge” and “I want” (Husserl 1989: 97–102). Because the body is, therefore, a nexus, as seen above, it is subordinate to the psyché, which, in Husserl’s view, has priority over it: “The Body is not only in general a thing but is indeed expression of the spirit and is at once organ of the spirit” (Husserl 1989: 102). Thus, the three egos are united through the body: the pure ego or intentional consciousness of experiences lived transcendentally, which encompasses the psychic ego or intentional consciousness of experiences lived psychically and the empirical ego, which is the “I as a man”, i.e. material body united to the psychic ego. The material body is understood as an organ of the psychic ego. In this sense, I cannot say, following Husserl, “I am my body”, but “I have my body”.1 This supremacy of the self or ego over the body is ultimately due to the understanding that the intentional consciousness of the first two egos, again, transcendental ego and psychic ego, determines the body’s subjection to it. In Husserl, material body is not intentional consciousness. The material body does not “think”, i.e. it is 1

Compare topic 2, Section I, Chapter 2, Part I.

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

not a “body thinks” (cogito), i.e. it does not say “body feels”, “body perceives”, “body evaluates”, “body fantasizes”, “body wants”, etc. The “I think”, which makes the body its possession or its object, is a “pure ego”, which is one and the same in the course of time and the experiences lived through it. As the pure ego is closely linked to the experiences, when he thinks, his thinking is directed to the thought, i.e. to the perceived, to the sensed. The pure ego is an intentional pure ego, directed as seen above and in Chapter 1, at intended objects. Because he is directed towards the object, he can be active or passive; in other words, he can attract the object to himself or be attracted to the object (ego-poles active and passive). It could be, however, affirmed that the pure ego could not be numerically identical and remain as such because he is precisely not separated from lived experiences. However, in Husserl’s view, the transcendental ego is not, either as an active ego-pole or as a passive ego-pole, experience, that is, he is not reduced to experience. Experience is the “how”, that is, the way in which the transcendental ego lives it 2 . The pure ego is not perceived by adumbrations, sides and aspects. Adumbrations are perceived because they are part of how the pure ego experiences them. The experience is not perceived in its entirety, but in adumbrations. The pure ego, on the contrary, is given entirely. The experience unfolds, multiplies, varies; the same cannot be said of the pure ego, which in himself is immutable. (Husserl 1989: 110–111) The transcendental ego and the empirical ego are, in my understanding, like a mirror that reflect one another. Like the transcendental ego, the empirical ego identifies himself as an “I as a man” think (feel, perceive, judge, etc.) and that is, therefore, capable of expressing his actions and his states in the first person. At its most abstract level, it seems to me evident that Husserl’s phenomenology of the ego was built not only from empirical conceptions of human person, but above all from a capable human person, who is invariable and numerically one and the same in time and space. That person serves as a model for the reflection of the ego as the one who perceives this or that, i.e. intentional consciousness. It is the person who actually experiences memories, feelings, sensations, when saying “I remember this or that” and “I feel this or that”. Experiences thus become intentional experiences only if the transcendental ego, which is directed to the object of remembrance, feeling and sensation, is, on a concrete level, a “normal” human person. Therefore, intentional consciousness effectively excludes psychic disorders or abnormalities3 . Intentional consciousness or consciousness of this or that excludes apparently intentional disorder or disorder of this or that, insofar as the Husserlian conception of intentional consciousness is based on the

2 3

Compare Husserl 1989: 110–111. Husserl dedicated some lines to deal with that as follows: “… we know very well that there are such things as ‘abnormalities’ (for example: in the case of subjects who are blind or deaf) […] the constituting of abnormality is possible only on the basis of an intrinsically antecedent normality.” (Husserl 1960: 125, italics are mine)

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concordance between the ego and the intended object, i.e. “I remember this” and “the remembered”, “I feel this” and “the felt” and “I perceive” and “the perceived”4 . The apparently intentional disorder, in turn, is based on a non-concordance between the disordered ego and the apparently intended object, i.e. “I, abnormal, remember” and “the phantasm (or illusion) of the remembered”, “I, abnormal, feel” and the “phantasm (or illusion) of the felt”. Taking Marcos Abreu as an example to reflect on the ego Marcos Abreu based on Husserl’s phenomenology, as already done in Chapter 1, the loss of cognition does not prevent him from being considered a “capable human person”, so much so that he recounts his memories and decisions in the form of a letter. The “I remember this or that”, as well as the “I decide this or that” expressed in writing are evident in his confessional and epistolary narrative. I could not say the same about some other moments, during which Marcos Abreu’s troubles (hallucinations) manifest when he throws something at the window, shattering it, when in the same scene he is found covered in urine by Maria, not knowing where the bathroom was and when Maria tearfully reports to Emilia the fact that he slapped her in the face, breaking her glasses because she wanted to help him get up from the chair to wash him in the bathroom.

2. The Psycho-Organic Body and the Experience of Touch On the material body (Körper), Husserl builds a psycho-organic body (Leib), as this is an organ of the psychic ego. This psychic body, as an organ of the perception of the psychic ego that experiences, has localized sensations (Husserl 1989: 152–154). All perceptions of the psycho-organic body are part of a solipsistic experience of the psychic ego. The solipsistic experience described by Husserl is that of touch, according to which my body appears twice, when my right hand touches my left hand. My hands are active and passive at the same time. My right hand is active when it makes my left hand feel the contact produced by it. My left hand becomes the object of my right hand. At the same time, my right hand is passive. It becomes the object of my left hand because it also feels the contact of my left hand. I can thus say, following Husserl, that my right hand is a bearer of reflexivity 5 , insofar as it is the means by which reflex sensations are felt by the psychic ego. Here, there is an exchange of sensations between one hand and the other, because the same reasoning can be described if my left hand is the starting point of the sensations produced in it and by it. The experience of double touch is not equivalent in the other senses. My eyes are not able to be a seer and be seen at the same time as well as my ears are not able to be a listener and be listened to.

4 5

Compare Husserl 1960: 108–111. In Section II, I will deal with how the hand is reflexivity itself in Merleau-Ponty.

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

Localized sensations produced by double touch not only present the body, but also reveal the body as mine, i.e. a part of my psyché. The psychic ego, by having a body, makes it his psychic body. I emphasize that, in Husserl, the body belongs to the psychic ego; it is his organ. To that extent, the body is relegated to the function of bearer of sensations. Husserl does not dissociate himself at this point from the empirical and rationalist traditions in the epistemology that subjugate the body to the command of an ego that is not only psychic, but also, and above all, is transcendental. My psycho-organic body is also the centre of space orientation (Nullpunkt), that is, it is the “here”, the “original”. Everything else is “there ahead”. In Meditation V, Husserl says: “As reflexively related to itself, my animate bodily organism (in my primordial sphere) has the central ‘Here’ as its mode of givenness; every other body, / and accordingly the ‘other’s’ body, has the mode ‘There’” (Husserl 1960: 116).6 What was explained above about the reflexivity of touch must be read in the light of Husserl’s understanding of the reflexivity of the psycho-organic body in this excerpt. The material body does not reflect itself without psyché. That is, between me in myself, i.e. in my mental life and my tactile sensation is the material body. Who feels is not the material body, but my psyché that commands it. The material body is not reduced to mental life by forming a single unit. Reflexivity or self-perception is not from my material body, but from my psychic ego that captures himself through the material body. It is in this sense that the psycho-organic body, as a zero point, will move and directs himself to objects. Just as the material body is an organ of the psychic ego, it is also an organ of the pure ego. The will that determines its free and spontaneous movement is not exactly of the body, but of the pure ego. The pure ego subjects the material body just as the psychic ego does. It is the pure ego that has the ability (I can) to move freely. The material body, once again, is, in Husserl’s view, a field of localization of sensations (Husserl 1989: 159–160), whether of the pure ego or of the psychic ego. So, when my right hand touches the left, when my fingers touch the back of my left hand because I was bitten by an insect, because I feel cold for example, the urge to scratch or warm the back of the other hand, does not belong to the material body, but to the transcendental ego. My corporeality, therefore, is not given to me by my own body, but by the transcendental ego, insofar as both the movement driven by wanting to touch the body and the free movement of it in space are given by the pure ego. In short, the material body does not perceive itself as a material body, i.e. there is no self-perception of corporeality according to Husserl. When Marcos Abreu takes the paintbrush or one of his pencils between his fingers, this movement is not automatic and caused by his material body. It is the ca6

See also Husserl 1989: 211–219.

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pable human person Marcos Abreu that wants to make it. This movement does not, however, make his person unique. It is not peculiar to him as a capable human person, nor does it belong to his own body. His body does not perceive itself as a body. His fingers and his hand do not perceive how the folds of the joints involve the paintbrush or pencil, intertwining with them and becoming a perceiving unit with them. His body does not perceive itself sitting and projecting itself on the easel or towards the table where the sheet of paper is found. Finally, his body does not identify Marcos Abreu as Marcos Abreu. His body is in possession of a pure ego. Cogito et quod a me cogigatum est need the body as a nexus both to attach themselves to the experience of the action of painting, and to the experience that this action produces in the internal life or in the psychic ego Marcos Abreu. The body is the bearer of physical and localized sensations produced by the movements that underlie the action of painting. The psychic ego Marcos Abreu translates the body into movement, i.e. the body painting, as an intentional life experience. Psyché (ie. psychic ego) translates intentional experience as a part of his life, that is, as a moment among other moments that he has already experienced. The psychic ego Marcos Abreu thus corresponds to the way the body moves and how the sensations are experienced by the ego himself at that moment. The moment is the content of the intentional life experience. The psychic ego, however, would not have lived that experience without moving and without painting. The condition for this experience to occur is a priori: as long as Marcos Abreu expresses his will in the first person “I want to move” and “I want to paint”, his inner self will then be able to experience or actually experience the movement and painting. Without framing the “I” in the formal logic: “I want to move, so I move my body” and “I want to paint, so I move my body to be able to paint”, without, finally, understanding “I want this” and “I act” based on the conception of the “I” inserted in an intellectual scheme that transcends the psychic, the content of the experience cannot be experienced. Therefore, it does not seem to me at first possible to interpret Husserl’s body scholarship to encompass the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, in which the “I want it” becomes involuntary and, therefore, not rationally thought out.7 As I have already argued in item 1.1., intentional consciousness excludes the apparently intentional disorder or even the actual disorder of this or that. The Husserlian view of the ego, body and sensation will, however, be challenged by Merleau-Ponty as I will explain and describe in the next section.

7

In Part II, Chapter 2, I will return to that point when I deal with habit.

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

II.

The Living Body as a Self O strange face there in the glass! Ezra Pound

1. Body Schema (schéma corporel)8 and Living Body Merleau-Ponty’s conception of living body stems from what he calls a body schema. In a broad approach, he argues that the body is not a mere juxtaposition of organs in space. The subject knows that he has a body through a body schema in which all the organs are involved (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 112–113)9 . In a specific approach, he divides the body schema into two formulations that will be of interest here. They are the following: (a) The body schema results from associations in the course of our experience. The body schema is assembled little by little, already in childhood10 , and it is structured as the visual, tactile, kinesthetic and articular contents are associated with each other. Its physiological representation is a centre of images (overlapping body design). In the psychologists’ use of this conception of body schema, however, these associations need to be regulated at every moment by a single law: the spatiality of the body descends from the whole to the parts. For example, the left hand and its spatial position depend on the corporal whole and have their origin there. The left hand can overlap the right, go through the right hand or also become the right hand due to the purpose that each of these actions has; a purpose that, on the one hand, has its origin in the bodily whole and on the other hand provides that same bodily whole with intersensory unity. (b) The body schema results from a global awareness of my posture in the intersensory world, a “form”, in the sense of Gestaltpsychologie. My body is a form, that is, a phenomenon in which the whole precedes the parts. Here, the second formulation is interwoven with the first. Being a body schema, my 8

9 10

In the English translation, “body schema” was mistakenly translated as “body image”. I agree with Taylor Carman here on this point grounded in two different articles of his, where he also draws attention to that. See “The Body in Husserl and Merleau Ponty” (Carman 1999); “Sensation, Judgment, and Phenomenal Field” (Carman 2005). I read the word “schema” as “form” or “project” and “image” as a “representation” of a form or project. Certainly, the body is not a representation in Merleau-Ponty as I will describe in this chapter. See also Verissimo 2012: 192. See Merleau-Ponty 2010: 145.

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body is dynamic. This means that it appears facing a current or possible task. Here, too, this second formulation is interwoven with the first since in the first formulation the bodily whole has a purpose. Its spatiality is situated. Thus, my body is a form that appears to me as an attitude directed towards (or that has as a purpose) the execution of tasks, which situate it; in other words, my body exists towards them. The body schema is thus a way of expressing that my body is in the world (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 114–115). (c) Merleau-Ponty goes beyond those two formulations to affirm that the body is not only a form11 , it also exists as a content. The content is understood in the form. He clarifies: “In so far as the content can be really subsumed under the form and can appear as the content of that form, it is because the form is accessible only through the content.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 117). He calls “living body” the content of the form (body schema). As I see it, there is a change here in the conception of body schema as formulated in (a) and (b). The body is not a mosaic of associations or physiological juxtapositions, in which the bodily whole is the origin, because it is the empirical cause of the parts, i.e. of the organs, whose tasks ultimately unite in the whole, because the “bodily whole” caused them. The body is in Merleau-Ponty the body that appears to me phenomenologically, that is, it is married to experience for experience constitutes it. Experience embodies the body, assigns a content to it, making it a living body. This experience of incarnation is also situated. The world in which the body itself is constituted as such is the world of life. By arguing that the form is accessible only through the content, he means that the body schema is only accessible through the living body. But in so arguing, Merleau-Ponty does not clarify what he specifically means by “accessible only through”. Does that expression mean that the content precedes (ie. founds) the form? (c.1) If Merleau-Ponty means that the body schema does not subsume the living body, that is, it does not comprise it in such a way that there is no reason to signify the body as a content (or living body) since it is already assumed that the living body is entangled in the meaning of the body as a form (or body schema). The living body as a content would not be in relation to the body schema as a form. (c.2) But if Merleau-Ponty understands “content” in Husserl’s sense of the word, the meaning of content (a part of a whole, a part of the part of a whole, a piece or fragment as a part of the part, a moment) is phenomenologically not only dependent on experience and shows itself, therefore, by aspects, but also dependent or relatively independent of the whole. If Merleau-Ponty shares the same Husserlian conception of content, as a dependent or relatively independent part of the whole, the meaning of living body would be a part of a whole (body schema), a part of another living body, 11

Compare Verissimo 2012: 194.

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

a part of the body schema or even a fragment, i.e. a part of the part (living body). The living body as a content would be in relation to the body schema as a form. (c.3) For Merleau-Ponty, the living body and the body schema are not opposed in such a way that this opposition results in a denial of one or the other or a reduction of one to the other. This is evident when he says that content and form are in relation and this relation does not imply the reduction of form to content, nor the subsumption of content to form. The dialectical relation between content and form that phenomenology calls Fundierung12 “is not a relation between contradictory and inseparable thoughts; it is the tending of an existence towards another existence which denies it, and yet without which it is not sustained.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 194) (c.4) So far, I see no distance between Merleau-Ponty and Husserl. However, a little later in this chapter, I will deal with two arguments that may contradict what was immediately exposed above: (c.4.1). Merleau-Ponty’s understanding that the living body is the subject of perception, (c.4.2). His view is that the living body understands a movement or an action when it acquires a habit.

2. Living Body, Movement and Intentionality How does the living body move within a nightmare? It might be a good question to start this topic and get familiar with Thomas DeBaggio’s story. In his book Losing my Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer’s (2002)13 he tells, as is evident from the title itself, that experience. He develops three narratives: the first in which the author tells how his childhood has been up to the present, the second in which the narrative unfolds in the present, consisting of lapses, losses, humiliations, uncertainties and disappointments, qualifications employed by DeBaggio himself, and a last one in which he reports on recent Alzheimer’s research. I will focus on excerpts from the second narrative. Newspaper journalist and herb-grower Thomas DeBaggio was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 57. Active, married and with a son, he did not have any health problem that would prevent him from enjoying his mature age and from gradually transferring part of his business activities to his son Francesco and thus enjoying life with his wife Joyce, with leisure and traveling. Alzheimer’s, however, buried his projects. His reaction to the diagnosis is impactful: 12

13

Fundierung as a concept is clarified in this excerpt: “Fundierung: the founding term, or originator—time, the unreflective, the fact, language, perception—is primary in the sense that the originated is presented as a determinate or explicit form of the originator, which prevents the latter from reabsorbing the former, and yet the originator is not primary in the empiricist sense and the originated is not simply derived from it, since it is through the originated that the originator is made manifest.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 458) DeBaggio also wrote When it gets Dark: An Enlightened Reflection on Life with Alzheimer’s (2003). I will, however, stick to the first autobiography.

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“At first I viewed the diagnosis as a death sentence. Tears welled up in my eyes uncontrollably; spasms of depression grabbed me by the throat. I was nearer to death than I anticipated. A few days later I realized good might come of this. After forty years of pussyfooting with words, I finally had a story of hell to tell.” (DeBaggio 2002: 1) The book is the result of a journal he wrote to understand the disease process. Just as the disease is unique, so is Thomas DeBaggio’s book. Certainly, there are countless books on Alzheimer’s, among which I highlight the following: Alice Munro’s The Bear came over the Mountain (2006), Samantha Harvey’s The Wilderness (2009)* and Matthew Thomas’s We are not ourselves: A Novel (2014) (fiction); Jonathan Franzen’s “My Father’s Brain” (2001) (newspaper article), David Shenk’s The Forgetting: Alzheimer’s: Portrait of an Epidemic (2001) (a journalistic book); John Bayley’s Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (2012)*, Diane Keaton’s Then Again (2012), in Spanish Sylvia Molloy’s Desarticulaciones (2010)* and in Portuguese Fernando Aguzzoli’s Quem Eu? Uma Avó. Um Neto. Uma Lição de Vida (2015)* (testimonial, books with biographical elements); Peter Conradi’s Iris Murdoch: A Life (2010)* (biography); Jeffrey Meyer’s Remembering Iris Murdoch (2013)* (letters and interviews), Lisa Snyder’s Speaking our Minds (2009)* (interviews) and in French Michel Malherbe’s Alzheimer. La vie, la mort, la reconnaissance (2015)* (a poignant short story and philosophical essay).14 DeBaggio’s autobiography is a narrative of the panic, of the race against illness that eroded his memory and destroyed his life (DeBaggio 2002: 25). If the living body moves, in DeBaggio’s case, it moves through words (Cardim 2021) which, with the progress of the disease, made it difficult to spell words, to organize phrases, as well as to find letters of the alphabet. DeBaggio’s life was limited to watering the plants and growing herbs, sweating and letting, as he puts it, the words sing to him. In the meantime, he did not take care of the plants and wrote, the author walked. He walked along familiar routes with a small tape recorder on which he recorded revealing memories of elations and sorrow. At home, his gait became uncertain. He describes it: “I walk through my house where I have lived for over twenty-five years and I have the feeling sometimes I am in a motel, an unfamiliar place of transition.” (DeBaggio 2002: 76). At home he also began to devote himself to books he had read 25 or 30 years ago, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn; Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur, On the Road, and The Subterraneans; Samuel Beckett’s Watt and The Unnamable; and James Joyce’s Ulysses. His narrative preferences, whether by plot or structure, describe him. Reading again was a feeble attempt to recover a part of life. For Thomas DeBaggio, reading and writing and recovering his creativity were somehow a boost. As he says: “There is nothing so comforting for me

14

I will address the titles in asterisks in the next parts.

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

now as sitting in the silence of an early morning and listening to my mind spin and create sentences in stories.” (DeBaggio 2002: 91). I interrupt for a while the narrative of Thomas DeBaggio’s life to reflect on the living body as intentionality. Every body moves in a corporal space: to the right, to the left, up, down. Thomas DeBaggio sits down, takes his pen between his fingers to write, holds Ulysses in his hands, waters his plants, walks around the neighbourhood. Marcos Abreu takes the pencil to draw, sits at his easel and with a paintbrush in his hands protrudes over the canvas, washes his hands, leans on the pilasters and goes down the stairs, answers the door. All these actions are the actions of two individuals with Alzheimer’s: Thomas DeBaggio describes his experience and Marcos Abreu his own, while Emilia, Marcos and Maria report how they perceived Marcos Abreu’s illness. In my view, all these actions are actions not of the body schema, but of the living bodies through which the body schema appears. The living bodies are motor intentionalities15 , not the body schema16 , insofar as every movement is consciousness of movement. In order to understand whether the patient – Merleau-Ponty examines cases of psychic blindness and that of the phantom limb and, up to this point, I myself analyse two cases of Alzheimer’s – keeps the consciousness of movement, Merleau-Ponty differentiates abstract movement from concrete movement based on their characteristics: the background of abstract movement is built, whereas that of concrete movement is the given world. The abstract movement takes place in a field17 of reflection and subjectivity, i.e. it superimposes a virtual or human space on the physical space. The design of the abstract movement is aimed at someone (Merleau-Ponty 2002). For example, I walk distractedly with my dog. He sees a neighboring couple across the street before I do and pulls me towards them. At that moment, I wave to them and go to meet them. This nod is aimed at other subjects.

15

16 17

Hubert L. Dreyfus explains that motor intentionality in Merleau-Ponty’s view means that the body is attracted towards the Gestalt, it is called by it regardless of any representation. It is required by the situation to perform a series of movements without anticipating through representation whether or not it will succeed (Dreyfus 2000: 293–294). Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 127. The term “field” in Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy means according to Donald A. Landes: “The concept of a ‘field’ is developed through Merleau-Ponty’s study of Gestalt psychology in relation to perception. For Merleau-Ponty, every perceived thing necessarily belongs to a field that is charged with value and sense, such that experience can never be wholly explained by its component parts. Moreover, anything that is experienced is also shaped by a tacit set of horizons (such as the anticipated other side of an object, or the weight of past experience) that provides the atmosphere of meaning and temporality. This culminates in the phenomenal field as the structure capable of sustaining the fundamental ambiguities of our lived experience.” (Landes 2013: 81–82). I will use the word “field” from this chapter onwards, interchanging it with “ambiance” or “atmosphere”.

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This nod occurs in a human space. Another example: Thomas DeBaggio continued to work in his plant business and in this regard he says “I worked at the farm Saturday and Sunday. The day went slowly. There were not many customers for our large assortment of herbs and edible plants. […] I checked out a customer, something I have done for the last twenty-five years. I was operating a cash register slightly different from those with which I am familiar. I discovered I did not know which keys to hit to complete the sale. I was embarrassed, and had to call for help. We all laughed it off.” (DeBaggio 2002: 98) This whole scene takes place in a human space as well as the one above. When DeBaggio calls for help, this movement is aimed at another subject. When he laughs, his laughter that covers his embarrassment, aims, perhaps out of shame or apology, also at another one, who also reacts by laughing. One last example, in the short story: “On the last step, he stops to ask Maria: ʻAren’t you going to the supermarket today?ʼ ʻI’ve already been this morning.ʼ ʻYes... yes... of course.ʼ ʻHi Marcelo! You’re here, at last!ʼ I give him a big hug and feel his hands around my back hesitantly.” These actions and movements made by Marcos Abreu take place in the human space of his home. The question, Maria’s answer, the greeting, Marcelo’s hug, Marcelo’s reaction returning the hug. These three movements by Marcos Abreu, whether in words or gesture, are aimed at other subjects. The concrete movement does not aim at another subject. Its project is not aimed at someone, but at my own body (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 128). For example, after two hours of work, I flex my knees to get up from the chair next to my desk, I move my neck to the right, left, back and forth. Finally, I stretch my arms and hands. Thus, the concrete movement is projected onto the body itself, it is centripetal, while in the abstract movement, the body itself is projected onto another subject. It is centrifugal. The first is aimed at oneself, the second is aimed at another subject (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 128). Furthermore, the concrete movement occurs in the actual body itself, while the abstract movement occurs in a bodily space of possibility (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 128). The concrete movement unfolds against a background that has already been given naturally, while the abstract one builds its background, a space where what does not exist naturally can acquire a semblance of existence (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 128). In Merleau-Ponty’s view, the normal18 subject performs concrete and ab18

Disability studies, when grounded in the models of sociology, reject the use of the adjective “normal” (Barbosa-Fohrmann 2020; 2018; 2016). The critical view of the use of that

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

stract movements and sick subjects preserve concrete and imitative movements. Although he uses the qualification of “normal” to distinguish subjects, it is in my view evident that both in the case of “normal” subjects and in the case of sick ones, Merleau-Ponty attributes to the bodies of both intentional motor consciousness19 . In the case of sick subjects he takes as an illustration, these compensate through movements for the impairment of visual data with the tactile or kinesthetic sense (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 127–134). The patients referred by him are those with visual impairment, mental blindness and physical disability, as in the case of Schneider’s phantom limb. I consider also that the distinction between normal subjects and sick ones, between those who perform the two types of movements and those who perform only one type, should be relativized in the case of individuals with Alzheimer’s. This is because there is no typical Alzheimer’s subject,20 unlike the cases reported by Merleau-

19 20

term is, according to its advocates, fundamentally based on Michel Foucault’s work (see e.g. Shelley Tremain’s Foucault and the Government of Disability [2015]). Thus, the qualifiers “normal” and “sick” used by Merleau-Ponty in the Phenomenology of Perception of 1945 can generate criticism today, if the theoreticians and defenders of the rights of persons with disabilities interpret the author’s words exegetically and not within his phenomenology’s argumentative ratio. Notwithstanding, it is undeniable that Foucault was ia. influenced by Merleau-Ponty (compare with Dreyfus/Rabinow, 1995). Aligned with Merleau-Ponty, Foucault also understands that every subject is body consciousness. Foucault, however, goes beyond Merleau-Ponty by raising the body-subject to the level of political-body-subject. Creating the categories “normality” and “abnormality” as starting points to discuss how the body was historically considered a body-object, Foucault reaffirms the Merleau-Pontian phenomenology thesis that every body is a subject because it is embodied consciousness of intentional movement. As a last observation, I note that the normality-abnormality dichotomy was, in Foucault’s view, an intentional construction of medicine (psychiatry) and law (and morality) of the middle of the 18th century and especially of the 19th century, which were appropriated and institutionalized by the state. Compare Histoire de la folie à l’âge Classique (Foucault 1972) and Les anormaux (Foucault 1999), which brings together his lectures at Collège de France between 1974 and 1975. See also in Portuguese Microfísica do Poder (Foucault 2017). This book includes a series of Foucault’s writings. I quote specifically O Nascimento da Medicina Social, O Nascimento do Hospital, A Casa dos Loucos, Poder-Corpo, A Política da Saúde no Século XVIII. In Brazil, in light of Foucault’s methodological proposal, I highlight the book Os Infames da História by psychologist and historian Lilia Ferreira Lobo (2008). In this book, the author discusses characters, namely the poor, the black and the disabled, who have remained in the margins of the history of Brazil i.e. from the colonial period to the beginning of the 20th century. See also Leandro Neves Cardim’s Corpo (2009: 127–143). Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 127. In this regard, Thomas DeBaggio includes in his autobiography a report entitled Home Safety for the Alzheimer’s Patient of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center that states: “There is no ‘typical’ Alzheimer’s patient. There is a tremendous variability among patients in their behaviors and symptoms. There is no way at present to predict how quickly the disease will progress in any one person, nor predict the exact changes to occur.” (DeBaggio 2002: 112)

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Ponty of visual, motor and psychosocial disability. In other words, there is variability of the psychiatric condition presented by subjects with Alzheimer’s. One stage of the disease may be longer for one individual and shorter for another, the stages of the disease may overlap one another, the emotions and behaviour of a subject with Alzheimer’s may be different from another in the same stage of the disease. The symptoms also exhibit this variation. That is why the phenomenological descriptive methodology is adequate to the casuistry of the disease. The two cases of Alzheimer’s analysed here reveal two subjects who kept their abstract and concrete movements. I understand, however, that the case study analysed by Merleau-Ponty and the distinction proposed by him also had this perspective of describing phenomenologically the living bodies one by one. He makes this clear when, in other words, he states that the above distinction can only be maintained if for the body there are countless ways of being a body and for consciousness several ways of being consciousness. (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 143). Body and consciousness are ways of being.21 The pure essence of consciousness effected by cogito discards and, therefore, does not know or understand other modes of consciousness, infantile consciousness, morbid consciousness, the consciousness of the other. Each of these consciousnesses carries out the cogito. In Merleau-Ponty’s terms, the lunatic is not mad, he thinks he is. Madness is an unwillingness. The meaning of the disease is unified, as it identifies all diseases as the same disease. This is the rationalist view (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 144). Physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists do not share the universalizing and unitary vision of intellectualist consciousness and return, as a result, to empirical causes. Empirical causes have only one advantage: they take into account what is particular about each disease. For modern pathology, there is not “the” disorder because there is not “the” consciousness. Both one and the other are nuanced according to the particularity of the behaviour (language, perception and action) that it affects (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 145). Intellectualism and causalism (naturalism) are at opposing poles. The generality and particularity of the disease, the form and content of the disease do not share the same perspective of grounding consciousness and, therefore, the disease. As long as phenomenology does not become genetic phenomenology, this antagonism will not be overcome. With that in mind, Merleau-Ponty proposes, in my interpretation, that the relationship between form and content be conceived not as a reduction to one another, i.e. a relation of overcoming opposition through synthesis, but as a relation of tension, which does not need to be overcome by means of synthesis. Both intellectualism and causalism are forms of knowledge that were built late in relation to genetic phenomenology. Genetic phenomenology understands the relationship between form and content based on the concept of Fundierung, i.e. “it is the tending of an existence towards

21

This statement is linked to Section III of Part I, Chapter 1.

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another existence which denies it, and yet without which it is not sustained” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 146, 194, 458) as already explained in topic 1. [c.3]). However, the following critical reflection remains on the author’s criticism of intellectualism (or rationalism) and causalism (or naturalism), which incidentally permeates his entire book: by continuing to use such terms as “consciousness”,“disease” and “disorder”, Merleau-Ponty is already within a logic of knowledge constructed from the rationalism of the 18th century onwards and the empirical causalism of medical knowledge, specifically psychiatric, originating also at the end of the same century. Thus, it is unclear (a) What genetic phenomenology is for him. (b) What is genetic in his phenomenology for it to be considered as the foundation of other forms of knowledge. Yet, Merleau-Ponty does not deny that his philosophy is within a logic of constructed knowledge: “Phenomenology could not be constituted before all the other philosophical efforts that the rationalist tradition represents, nor before the construction of science [...]” (Merleau-Ponty 2017: 55, the translation is mine). Regarding (a) he replies: “[Phenomenology] measures the gap between our experience and this science: how could phenomenology ignore it, how could phenomenology precede it?” (Merleau-Ponty 2017: 55). Concerning (b), he replies: “There is a first thing to say: I do not know if the phenomenological attitude serves other sciences, but it certainly serves psychology” (Merleau-Ponty 2017: 69, the translation is mine). My point of view on these statements is that genetic phenomenology measures its distance from intellectualism and causalism, which is not to say that it separates from one and the other. To resume what was said above: The body has countless ways of being a body and consciousness, many ways of being consciousness. Both are ways of being. Body is not a “which”, “what”, it is a “how”22 . I add two other reflections by Merleau-Ponty. The first is intentional consciousness, i.e. it is the being for the thing through the body and the second, the consciousness is not an “I think”, but an “I can” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 159)23 . As I interpret the statements above, movement connects the body to the world, which it inhabits. When learning movement, it, body, understands that. When it understands movement, it, by moving in a direction of corporal space and in an instant of time, is aimed (perceives) at things. Everything on the left, on the right, in front, diagonally, at the top, at the bottom, at a certain time, on a certain day, at the beginning of the year, five years ago is possibility of being, only if it is perceived. The thing is a possibility of being, that is, it is not yet “pen”, “notebook”, “paintbrush”, “picture”. The thing is only objects “pen”, “notebook”, “paintbrush”, “picture”, if the body, through movement, aims at it. It is by aiming at that that the body makes the thing object and at the same time becomes a body with consciousness of that object, i.e. body

22 23

Compare Part I, Chapter 1, Section III. Merleau-Ponty’s conception of the psycho-organic body as an “I can” shows some influence from Husserl’s theory. Compare Husserl 1989: 269–289. See also Cardim 2009: 106, Martiny, 2015.

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as intentional consciousness; in Merleau Ponty’s terms living body. The body lives because it is body-consciousness for the object. Making his words mine: I don’t think about the object and I don’t think about myself thinking about it as reflexive analysis and science do. Being entangled with my body that knows more about the world than I do, I end up joining myself with the object through perception (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 277). By uniting the subject to the body and conceiving the body as consciousness, Merleau-Ponty is affirming in other words that the living body is the subject of perception.24 Thus, I can speak of the living body Marcos Abreu and the living body Thomas DeBaggio. It is evident that Merleau-Ponty’s conception of living body, since it depends on the experience of perception (Cardim 2009: 99), is also an identity in manifolds, i.e. it is a unity in a constant changing of appearances (Husserl 1998: 16). The living body-identity is like the ego (the self), a being-in-flux. By reducing the subject to the body and intertwining them,25 he states in other words that consciousness is intentionally embodied (incarnated). This is justified because, as argued above, “my” body knows more about the world than I do myself. It knows more about the world, because it is primitively (genetically) inserted in the concrete structures of mundane experience; in short, the body is already in the world. The “I”, the subject, is a late construction of rationalism.26 I recover the formulation in topic 1. (c): the form (body schema) is accessible only through the content (living body). This can lead to the conclusion that the living body relates in a dependent manner to the body schema, i.e. as a part in relation to the whole, as well as content in relation to form. This conclusion would not bring any further information to what has already been argued above in topic 1. (c.2). However, the possible subversion of Merleau-Pontian philosophy is in my view in considering that the living body (body as content) is a pre-requisite for the body schema to exist (body as form). It is the living body that, in perceptual experience, understands, it is the 24 25

26

Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 231, 239–240. Compare also with the ego (the self) in Part I, Chapter 1, Section III and Section I of this chapter. In O Primado da Percepção (1946), Merleau-Ponty reaffirms what he stated in Phenomenology of Perception: “This subject who assumes a point of view is my body as a perceptual and practical field [...].” (Merleau-Ponty 1945: 36, the translation is mine) At this point, Merleau-Ponty goes beyond Husserl and approaches Heidegger. This proximity with Heidegger did not lead to the radicalism of starting from Husserl’s phenomenology to found a new phenomenology, as Heidegger did. This is confirmed when the author lectured on O Primado da Percepção before the French Philosophical Society, on November 23, 1946. The philosopher Jean Beaufret, who received Heidegger’s work in France, made the following observation about Merleau-Ponty’s speech: “The only reproach I would make to the author is not to have gone ‘too far’, but not to have been radical enough. The phenomenological descriptions he proposes to us maintain, in effect, the vocabulary of idealism. Accordingly, the Husserlian descriptions are ordered. But the whole problem is to know precisely whether phenomenology does not, in fact, demand that subjectivity and the vocabulary of subjective idealism be left, as Heidegger did starting from Husserl’s [...].” (Merleau-Ponty 2017: 75–76)

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

living body that feels. Hence, the body schema depends on the living body. In other words, the body schema is part of the whole, that is, the living body. This is how I read the statement already quoted in topic 1. (c): “[…] the form is accessible only through the content.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 117). Furthermore, the body (the living body and the body schema) is to be compared to a work of art (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 174). Examples showing that form is part of content come from modern art. In Cézanne’s painting27 , it is, on the one hand, the colouring (content) that forms the colour (shape), but, on the other hand, it is the colour (content) that forms the figure (drawing, form). Different from the impressionists28 he wanted to capture and register the weight of objects through colourful sensations (Bernard 2009: 23). Cézanne’s palette expanded into 18 colours. The use of warm colours and black shows that Cézanne wanted to rediscover the object and to represent it behind the atmosphere. Colour (content) is a pre-requisite for drawing (form) to exist, we learn with Cézanne’s paintings. Blue, frequently used by Cézanne (eg. 1902; 1904), shaped the contours of an object in order to produce the impression of solidity and materiality as well as lighting through the choice and use of certain tones and hues29 . In realistic drawing, it is the shading (content), not the lines, that makes the figure (form) appear. Indeed, layers and more layers of shading make up, for instance, Picasso’s self-portrait (figure, form): his abundant hair, his nose, his deep eyes, his thin lips follow that way of drawing (see Picasso 1900).

27

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Paul Cézanne, whose life was marked by crises of anger, anxiety, depression, and difficulty in establishing contact with other people, made painting “his mode of existence” (see Merleau-Ponty 1964a: 9, 59). He found meaning for his work in the colours of Aix-en-Provence’s nature and in the habits of a life without the commotion of the novelties of the Paris salons and his contemporaries’ criticism (Bernard 2009: 27–28). The meaning of his work, however, overcomes his personality and the hardships of his life. Initially linked to the Impressionist movement, particularly to Camille Pisarro, Cézanne considered painting an attempt to capture the appearances of nature. The things of nature attack the senses, which through perception capture them. This attack occurs instantaneously through lighting, which excludes earthy, dark tones that favour shading. The impressionists used the seven colours of the spectrum to represent objects. Such colours were divided and decomposed into different tones and hues. The object thus created lost its own weight in a mass of impressions caused by a procedure of overlapping tones and parts. See Cézanne 1904.

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In poetry, specifically, in Mallarmé’s “A Dice Throw”30 , in Ezra Pound’s imagism and vorticism, as well as in the visual poetry of e.e. cummings, in the Brazilian concretism of Haroldo de Campos, Décio Pignatari and Augusto de Campos, it is the content that makes the structure (the form) of verse and stanza appear. In the modernist literature of Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, the content (the plot) ultimately shapes the form of the narrative. So the figure is not the whole, it is part of a whole, which is the colour, the shading. Likewise, it is the content in modernist poetry and literature that is the whole, and the narrative form its part. In my short story, the plot, made up of speeches by different characters – I highlight that of Marcos Abreu in the first person, in a confessional tone –, fragments of chronological time, making the past and the present, overlap and, therefore, mixing one with the other. The plot does not presuppose a chain of facts. And because it is so, it makes the way the story is told free, not tied to a model that persisted until the middle of the 19th century: chronological narrative told by an omniscient narrator. With the modernist movement of the early 20th century, the plot (content) determines how the story will be formally structured. Beginning, middle and end, past, present and future are disorganized to match the content. I can begin to tell Marcos Abreu’s story from any part of the narrative. The story told by Thomas DeBaggio involves three narratives, which complement each other. I retrieve what I said at the beginning of this topic: the first in which the author tells how his childhood has been up to the present, the second in which the narrative unfolds in the present, consisting of lapses, and a last one in which he reports on recent Alzheimer’s research. By focusing on the second narrative, I, the reader, do not know if it is morning, afternoon or night. The way the content is told in the present is episodic. Because it consists of content that reveals time lapses in the present, the form of the second narrative is, moreover, uncertain. It reveals nothing more than the content, i.e. the whole that constitutes it. The content is nothing more than an expression of the author’s cognitive decline. The form, therefore, could not obey any diachronic logic.

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Elizabeth McCombie comments the experimentalism of “A Dice Throw”, written in 1897: “Mallarmé had experimented with the removal of normal punctuation in some earlier sonnets. Here it is again abandoned in favour of what might be called a spatialized variety. Unusually large blank spaces interrupt the phrases across the double page, at times threatening to engulf it completely. The drama occurs between the instant and the space that reabsorbs it; the extremely mobile text has a fluctuating, rubato-driven reading tempo. In a preface to the poem’s first publication, Mallarmé writes that the spatially separated groups of words are akin to a musical score.” (McCombie 2006: xxvi)

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

3. Vision, Touch and Synesthesia “Dear Allen: [...] Great new long poem of yours. I haven’t really studied it yet, answering letter first – But it surprised me that when you were really hi on ether and heard the bells (ʻThe sound of the bell leaving the bellʼ, said Basho in a haiku) you thought of me, as I thought of you at the highest hi on mescaline last Fall. When on mescaline I was so bloody high I saw that all our ideas about a ‘beatific’ new gang of world people, and about instantaneous truth being the last truth, etc. etc. I saw them as all perfectly correct and prophesied, as never on drinking or sober I saw it. Like an angel looking aback on life sees that every moment fell right into place and each had flowery meaning. Your ʻuniverse is a new flowerʼ is a perfect statement like that, as tho thought on real hiness [high-ness] to get real high and write visions, it seems I have to wait right now, I’m a little exhausted actually from all those Angel Midnights of past few years when I went all out.” (Kerouac/Ginsberg 2011: 592–593) Kerouac’s letter to Ginsberg on September 19, 1960 reveals the sensation the writer experienced when using mescaline. Hallucinogenic, widespread among artists, especially those belonging to the beat generation, mescaline and its effects had already been attested by Merleau-Ponty in 1945, the year of his phenomenology. In this regard, I will show you how mescaline is introduced by Merleau-Ponty, but to do so, I will first analyse his conception of sensation, specifically the senses of vision and touch. I will try to approach their meanings by relating them, as I have been doing throughout this writing with other concepts, with the arts, specifically those produced by subjects with Alzheimer’s. Sensations are, first of all, pre-personal. Merleau-Ponty does not address sensation based on definitions of causal and reflective thinking. He says that “Every sensation carries within it the germ of a dream or depersonalization such as we experience in that quasi-stupor to which we are reduced when we really try to live at the level of sensation” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 25031 ). He describes them, that is, as they appear and are perceived in a certain field, be it visual, tactile, audible, gustatory, olfactory. To say that I have a visual field, for example, means that I have access to things, visual beings that are available to my gaze, that offer themselves to it. I express that I am naturally able to give sense to aspects of being, without myself having given it to them by an intellectual and constituent operation32 . So, the visual experience is described as the perception of a certain visual sensation in a certain visual field. As

31 32

See also Merleau-Ponty 2002: 158. Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 251.

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discussed in the previous topic, this perceptual experience transforms myself and the thing; in other terms, the natural subject becomes a living body, the thing becomes an object. To see an object is to fix it. The subject sees an object in the natural world and this data is offered to phenomenology, which receives it as follows: because I paid attention to the thing, fixed it and, in this way, possessed it, I make it an object. By making it an object, I become pari passu intentionally embodied consciousness, i.e. living body or self. How can this fixation be described? Insofar as the object is concerned, it is to separate the fixed region from the rest of the visual field, it is to interrupt the total life of the spectacle33 , it is to assign, in my opinion, in the case of the foundation of colours, a certain colouring, taking into account a certain illumination of that region (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 263). Regarding the subject, it lets itself be invaded by a local vision that it governs in its own way. In short, colouring invades my body, its way of being fills me up (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 263). As it enters me, my experience is not limited to a single sensory register: spontaneously, it overflows to all other senses, that is, synesthesia. There is no need to go through an experience with mescaline or another psychedelic for some individuals to experience synesthesia naturally. The following three examples come from art: In literature, it is the character Marcel who, savouring a madeleine softened in a teaspoon in Remembrance of Things Past (2005: 47), recalls his past. The taste was confused with the sense of smell and the vision of a moment from his past. In painting, Wassily Kandinsky conveyed the sound he perceived when listening to music to the paintbrush movement on the canvas34 . Here, hearing and vision intertwine. In music, Arnold Schoenberg conceived the so-called “tonal colour” (Klangfarbe) (Schoenberg 1978: 421), based on the synesthesia between vision and hearing. The use of mescaline, however, artificially favours synesthesia. The subject who uses psychedelics breaks with the intellectualist perspective that is based on the fact that each sense is limited to its own sphere. Thus, the taste stimulus, for example, is limited to the specific sphere of taste. An example of the synesthesia caused by 33

34

Recurrently, I will use the word “spectacle” as any description of a living body’s or a body’s narration, occurring in a certain phenomenal field. The spectacle can take place in fiction and non-fiction, for example: fictional and nonfictional literature, dramaturgy, painting, etc. The spectacle can occur in the phenomenal fields in which Proust’s central characters meet their partners. In Beckett’s dramaturgy, the spectacle takes place, for instance, on a road or in an arid landscape. The spectacle can take place in a pictorial field, such as a studio or a museum. The spectacle can also take place in repetitive fields, such as that of family relationships. The way I see this, Merleau-Ponty allows me to expand the possibilities of describing how a spectacle takes place in a certain field and how that description can be signified as a spectacle. See Wassily Kandinsky’s series C omposition I, 1907 to C omposition X, 1939 in https://www. wassilykandinsky.net/compositions.php.

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

mescaline is a patient’s report, in which he described that a dog’s bark attracted lighting in such an indescribable way that it reverberated on his right foot (MerleauPonty 2002: 265). The effects, however, produced by mescaline are not in all cases synesthetic. Aldous Huxley, for example, describes his experience in The Doors of Perception as follows: “The sun was shining and the shadows of the laths made a zebra-like pattern on the ground and across the seat and back of a garden chair, which was standing at this end of the pergola. That chair – shall I ever forget it? Where the shadows fell on the canvas upholstery, stripes of a deep but glowing indigo alternated with stripes of an incandescence so intensely bright that it was hard to believe that they could be made of anything but blue fire. For what seemed an immensely long time I gazed without knowing, even without wishing to know, what it was that confronted me. At any other time I would have seen a chair barred with alternate light and shade. Today the percept had swallowed up the concept.” (Huxley 1963: 14) Colours only became much brighter for Huxley. Likewise, in the excerpt at the beginning of this topic, the effects of mescaline on Kerouac were also not synesthetic. However, both in one and the other, the experience subjected them to vitality, that is, to a primitive vital experience of the phenomenon that displaced them from the intellectual universe. In Huxley’s case, the vision of a new type of blue, i.e. fire blue, which does not exist in a colour palette. In Kerouac’s case, mescaline opened the door of perception to another dimension, the infinite, which, in fact, the mystical poet William Blake had already enunciated in the 18th century. Its widespread use among writers and poets between 1945–1960 was due, in my view, to their search for a return to art itself , to its vitality, to its ancestry, to the natural world and, in some cases, like Kerouac’s, to the communion with deities. Thus, the use of mescaline may or may not favour synesthesia. Its effects vary from case to case. Thomas DeBaggio describes, in his turn, the sensation caused by Aricept, a medicine prescribed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s: “When I shut my eyes at night, before I go to sleep, I am given what I imagine is a tour of my brain. Pictures of the day pass before my closed eyes and I am treated to an abstract phantasmagoria: bouncy colored lights, mountains in fantastic colors, pictures that resemble the landscape of the moon seen from a slowmoving vehicle. It is as if a television camera tuned into my brain to show me sights streaking across an inner sky. It is a moving canvas I see on which a painter delights in mixing colors and then throws them into my sleepy mind. Some nights the visual pyrotechnics are so strong it is difficult to get to sleep […].” (DeBaggio 2002: 24)

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From the description, this is not synesthesia, but an experience similar to that of Aldous Huxley when using mescaline. Fantastic colours in DeBaggio’s case and fire blue, brilliant colour in Huxley’s case. In DeBaggio’s case, the initial and side effects of Aricept caused a change in perception, Huxley’s case, mescaline caused it. Unlike DeBaggio, Marcos Abreu had a synesthetic experience. It is not revealed in the story if it was the medicine indicated for the treatment of Alzheimer’s or some psychedelic or if it was a natural synesthesia. He narrates: “The question wakes me to the deep brown of Emilia’s eyes. She crouches. The tip of her nose delicately rubs my stubble and a kiss wettens my forehead. I open my eyes. She walks around the studio and takes a look at last month’s paintings. I can smell the sun coming off her skin, the matt of her colour entering my mouth, the waves of her hair brushing against my ear and I reply half-asleep: ʻYes...ʼ.” Smelling the sun radiating from Emilia’s skin (smell and sight) and tasting the matte colour of her skin (taste and sight) are sensations that describe along with the sight of sound (Wassily Kandinsky) and the hearing of colours (Schoenberg) the communication between the senses and their unity. As I discussed at the beginning of topic 1., my body is not a sum of juxtaposed organs. It is a synergistic system through which, by movement and the perception of the phenomenon, one organ joins the other, and the unit is linked to the world as an intentional embodied consciousness (living body or self). Intentional embodied consciousness is linked to the world by a blending of sensation and the sensible. For instance, when I walk barefoot on the sand of Ipanema beach in the late afternoon, I feel soft sand between my toes and under the soles of my feet, I feel the low waves wetting them, I smell the sea air entering my nostrils, I feel the salty wind coming from the sea entering and hardening the waves of my hair, I feel it running through and buffeting my arms and legs. It is touch that blends with the beach sand, sometimes soft, sometimes hard. It is the sense of smell that becomes one with the sea air, it is touch that connects the sea wind to my scalp and the fine hairs of my arms and the bare skin of my legs, raising them. The sense of smell and touch come together and I do not know where one sensation begins and the other ends. I cannot say that this synergy succumbs to the sensible or the opposite. Smell and touch are not governed by sand, sea waves and wind, or the other way around. I cannot say that my body acts on this piece of nature or that it acts on my body. I cannot say, in the end, that my body gives meaning to this piece of nature or this to it. I enter this mystery of unity with nature without reflecting on it, I abandon myself to it and it to me. This piece of nature “thinks inside me”, the sea, sand and wind become one with my body and start to exist in me. In my view, there are thus three synergies and units. The first is the synergy and the unity of the senses, the second of the elements of nature, which come together, which communicate with each other and become one as nature and

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

the third is the synergy and unity between my body and nature35 . Intentional consciousness, which is incarnated and linked to the world through synergy and unity, goes beyond Husserlian intentional consciousness, as well as Husserl’s logic of the whole and the unity36 . As already discussed in this chapter, Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology seeks to move away from rationalism (but not to deny it), which still presents itself in Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology. Because the living body is a synergistic, incarnated and intentional consciousness, the two hands are never touched and touching in relation to each other. It is not a matter of two sensations that I would feel together by juxtaposition, but an organization in which the two hands alternate between “touching” and “touched”. The sensation is twofold: the touching function moves from the right hand to the left and the touched function from the left hand to the right. When exploring the outside, the left hand is alive and throws itself over objects, thus exercising a function of knowledge. The body is surprised from the outside, it tries to touch itself by touching, it outlines a type of reflection3738 , and that would be enough to distinguish it from the objects, which touch my body, but only when it is inert and without it being in an exploratory movement (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 107). Therefore, not only is the living body consciousness, it is synergistic, incarnated, unified and intentional, but also, in my interpretation, its parts, specifically the hands, are intentional consciousness. The hand is aware of its exterior when, by projecting on it and exploring it sensorially, it is understood from the outside as being a hand. It is in this sense that the body and specifically the hand in its active (touching) function are not an object, but an awareness of it. The body at the same time sees itself, by seeing, and touches itself, by touching. The vision, argues Merleau-Ponty in Phenomenology of Perception (2002) and later in The Visible and the Invisible (1969b), is a kind of touch with sight. Sight and touch are intertwined (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 259; 1969b: 134–135). Blending or interlacing (chiasm) is not a reduction of one to the other; in this case, of sight to touch. In my interpretation, because the skin covers all other organs, touch, through communication (synergy) with the other senses, encompasses, interweaves and subordinates all of them. I am not talking about reduction by negation of one sense to the other.

35 36 37 38

Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 249. Compare Part I, Chapter 1, Section III. At that moment, Merleau-Ponty radicalizes the meaning of Husserl’s double sensation of touch and moves away from his premises. Compare topic 1. Compare also with Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of “radical reflection”: “The task of a radical reflection, the kind that aims at self-comprehension, consists, paradoxically enough, in recovering the unreflective experience of the world, and subsequently reassigning to it the verificatory attitude and reflective operations, and displaying reflection as one possibility of my being.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 280)

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Thus, in its active and space-exploring function, i.e. when my hands or my eyes move and go over everything that catches their attention (fixation) in their visual or tactile field, touch becomes intentional consciousness. Finally, I return to what was argued in topic 1. (c.4.1). to make one last point. Touch is the subject of perception, since touch is the living body. Touch (living body) is content while the body schema is form. Touch is the whole of which the body schema is a part. Therefore, how (and not who) are Marcos Abreu and Thomas DeBaggio? 39 When Marcos Abreu’s hand takes the paintbrush and protrudes onto the easel, this movement does not result from a reflection by Marcos Abreu. The painter does not even think about himself thinking about his hand picking up a paintbrush and projecting himself onto the easel. Nor does his hand pick up the paintbrush due to an external stimulus or automatism. The paintings scattered around Marcos Abreu’s studio, the canvas on the easel, the Atlantic Forest penetrating that environment through the half-open windows, the table where his paintpots, palette, paintbrushes, pencils are scattered; in short, the sight of the pictures, the smell of the forest, the smell and sight of the paintpots, the sight of the colours of his pictures, the sight of the blank or unfinished canvas, hearing John Coltrane’s saxophone playing on the cd player, all this forms the spectacle which his hand is called upon to participate in. His hand is touched by this spectacle; it is called to experience it. Its attention is fixed on a certain field against the background, that is, the spectacle. On the stage the paintbrush is between Marcos Abreu’s fingers, the paintbrush extends naturally from his fingers, the paintbrush touches the canvas. Marcos Abreu’s fingers are active, as well as his eyes. His gaze, combined with his touch, also touches the canvas. He says: “The tree below is still missing, as are the ochre detail of the roof and the grey of the walls.” By being touched and, at the same time, by touching, that is to say by touching himself, it is in the duplicity of the movement and the sensation of touching that the living body Marcos Abreu appears in manifold. In other words, it appears through the paintbrush’s experience touching the canvas and being touched by the canvas’ rough or smooth surface, by its corners and sides. It appears through the experience of Marcos Abreu’s fingers opening and closing the paintpots, by his paintbrush mixing the colours on the palette, by his fingers being stained by the paints, by his fingers stirring the pencils, spreading them across the table, and by his fingers becoming dirty with charcoal. The living body Marcos Abreu appears by the touch of its gaze on the canvas, which also touches its gaze, by showing its gaze that this and that detail is missing. The living body Marcos Abreu is not limited, therefore, to a generalized form, which is the body schema, it is, above all, content that appears in the multiplicity of movements that individualize it, according to experience. It is also in the psychophysical experience

39

Compare Part I, Chapter 1, Section III.

Chapter 2: The Sensorial Experience of the Self with Alzheimer’s

of painting that the living body Marcos Abreu appears as a painter40 . It does not appear as any ordinary painter, but as that certain living body painting Provençal houses with Renaissance ceilings, revealing a naive, childlike tendency unlike the other living body Marcos Abreu, who, before Alzheimer’s, painted pictures with an expressionist leaning. Even with the progress of the disease, Marcos Abreu’s hand can still be considered intentional consciousness, as it knew, in most cases, what the paintbrush was used for. This is evident in this passage reported by his son Marcelo: “In the end, he often couldn’t remember what a paintbrush was doing in his hand and, on other occasions, albeit rarely, what it was used for.” The same reasoning can be put forward about journalist and writer Thomas DeBaggio, who wrote the book. This is evident, as he started writing his story from the diagnosis of the disease on, as reported at the beginning of topic 2. of Section II of this chapter. The pencil, the notebook, the computer are extensions of him. His hand is called upon to write that life story. His fingers hit the computer keys, which, in turn, when lowering and raising, touch his fingers. The pencil slides along the lines of the notebook as an extension of his fingers. It is in this tactile field, in which he touches, is touched, touches himself, and which has his books, boxes, notes, office, house, herb and plant garden, as a background, that the living body Thomas DeBaggio appears. It appears through experience, which is the action of writing. It is also through this experience that the living body Thomas DeBaggio appears ill. These passages reveal this condition at the very beginning of the autobiography, that is, in the acknowledgments and in the living body author’s note: “M ny friend he ped with th project, as they have in the past, and again I owe them much” (DeBaggio 2002, unnumbered pages). And further: “Thi i book b nced between the wonder of childhood and the tottering age of memory” (DeBaggio 2002, unnumbered pages). As I mentioned above, it forgot letters and words, which reveals its particular existential condition. It is, therefore, not only that certain living body that appears when writing, but also that appears with Alzheimer’s when writing.41

40 41

Compare Nóbrega 2018: 15. Both in the fictional story and in the real one, I argue that the living body narrates these two stories in the first person based on the consciousness of movement, specifically touch. With a view partially close to that but using other arguments, Dan Zahavi affirms that we capture the self in a more primitive and fundamental way that individualizes its life experiences (Zahavi 2007: 193), taking, ia., Alzheimer’s as an example (Zahavi 2007: 192). However, differently from what is argued here, this notion of self is, in his understanding, not captured in terms of narrative structures (Zahavi 2007: 179). As developed in Chapters 1 and 2 and in this note, I do not agree with that final part of Zahavi’s position. On the first-person narration and perspective of the feelings, experiences and behaviours of selves with Alzheimer’s, see Lisa Snyder’s Speaking Our Minds (2009).

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III. Summary In short, I make as follows some final remarks on how I read Merleau-Ponty’s description of body, identity and consciousness in relation to Husserl’s: (1) the part and the content subordinate the whole and the form in Merleau-Ponty, while in Husserl, the part and the content depend on the whole and the form. (2) as identity is defined by content and form, it is multiple in Merleau-Ponty because of content and subordinates form to that multiplicity. In Husserl, identity is also multiple due to content, but it is dependent on form, which is not multiple. (3) consciousness in Merleau-Ponty is incarnated and intentional (touch or living body). Touch is part and it is the content of the body schema. The body schema is the whole and it is form. Touch subordinates the body schema. Consciousness in Husserl is on a first level transcendental and on a second level it is also psychic. Transcendental intentional consciousness is form and the body is considered a mere bearer of sensations through which the psyché can experience touch. The lived experience of touch is then part (content) of the psyché and the field upon which transcendental and intentional consciousness (form) posits any object in the world. (4) the self is not “who”, but “how”. It is being-in-flux. The self in Merleau-Ponty, identifies with intentional motor embodied consciousness (living body). The self in Husserl identifies with the intentional consciousness of the transcendental ego to which psyché joins (psychic ego) through the material body, which he calls psychoorganic body. (5) subjects with Alzheimer’s (Marcos Abreu and Thomas DeBaggio) are selves (living body or touch) in my interpretation of Merleau-Ponty. In Husserl, Marcos Abreu is a self because he is a person. (6) In Merleau-Ponty’s view, sensation, which is an element of the experience of the self, involves depersonalization; in Husserl’s understanding, this is not possible because intentional consciousness is personalized. It does not include any “disturbance”.

Part II: Some Ways of Signifying Experiences of Alzheimer’s

In this part, I will address how the self with Alzheimer’s (Chapters 1 and 2) and family members (Chapter 3) signify the experience of love and habit. In Chapter 1, I will describe how the self-experience of love influences the bodyself (I will use “body-self”, “body-subject” and “living body” as synonyms. The same meaning for both terms is in line with Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception [2002]) with Alzheimer’s and interpret it. I will work with Merleau-Ponty in dialogue with Proust, Beckett and Camus. Again, fragments of my short story and Thomas DeBaggio’s book will serve as illustrations to address those experiences. I will also describe and interpret the content of some letters exchanged between philosopher and writer Iris Murdoch and biographer Jeffrey Meyers, some excerpts of the interviews made by clinical social assistant Lisa Snyder with subjects with Alzheimer’s as well as some scenes of a documentary film, which follows social worker Dan Cohen’s visiting day to a nursing home, where subjects with Alzheimer’s live. In Chapter 2, I will explore body-self’s sedimentation of skills and abilities in such a way that – to paraphrase Merleau-Ponty – throughout its life the self-experience becomes a habit. In Chapter 3, I will cover how family members relate to living bodies with Alzheimer’s. I will keep, as far as possible, parallel with Chapter 1 with regard to the sources researched, the descriptions and interpretations carried out in that same chapter.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

I.

A Way of Loving: Enchanting If only I could love and possess you Without you existing or being there! Fernando Pessoa

Romantic and sexual love can embrace a mosaic of emotional and sensual states, such as enchantment, desire, pleasure, jealousy, anger, hate, grief, pain, infatuation, passion. From a naturalistic point of view, they are what touches the subject by external stimulus. From an intellectual one, they are for him a representation1 . But romantic and sexual love cannot be reduced to any of those two perspectives. Their experiences are between naturalistic and intellectualist explanations. As an opportunity between these two epistemological frameworks, romantic and sexual love are effectively shown or can be shown as vital experiences2 of the healthy subject and the troubled one3 . In that regard, says Merleau-Ponty: “Pathology brings to light, somewhere between automatic response and representation, a vital zone in which the sexual possibilities of the patient are elaborated, in the same way [...] as are his motor, perceptual and even intellectual possibilities.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 180)

1 2 3

Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 179–180. Compare Verissimo 2012: 200. I prefer to use the terms “trouble” and “troubled” instead of “disorder” and “disordered”, since I do not wish to imply any normative-ethical-political aspect to their employment. On the contrary, I wish to use those terms as close as possible to how they were used in Phenomenology of Perception in the French original. Although in the English version, the translator chose to employ the terms “disorder”, “disordered”, in the French original, Merleau-Ponty used the term “trouble” more than two dozen times (see Merleau-Ponty 1945: 37, 102, 104, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134. 135, 139, 140, 144, 147, 158, 160, 161, 162, 163, 165, 181, 186, 190, 204, 205, 222, 223, 224, 227, 237, 265, 326, 327, 332, 391, 406).

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Romantic and sexual love can exist in such a vital mode in the troubled living body, insofar as it is intentional motor consciousness.4 The troubled living body is the subject who gives meaning to love through his particular experience of this feeling and the sensations involved. His experiences of love unfold in multiple manifestations in temporal flow. Assigning meaning to the stimulus and to the sexual representation is, according to my understanding, posterior to the experience itself, as this has already happened and its meaning has already been given on the path5 that leads to the causal explanation of the experience of love as a stimulus or the intellectual explanation of the experience of love as representation. In other words, the experiences of romantic and sexual love are the ways to the empirical construction of a naturalistic basis (i.e. automatic response of the individual’s body [1] to the external stimulus caused by the vision of parts of another individual’s body [2], which reaches the first individual’s senses [1] from the outside to the inside). Such experiences are also the ways to the metaphysical one of an intellectualist basis (i.e. love or sex as an idea and a representation). The topics, which make up this chapter, i.e. enchantment, guilt and touching will be signified6 based on both fragments of fictional and real experiences of these affective states as narrated by the living bodies Iris Murdoch, Marcos Abreu, Henry, Thomas DeBaggio, Bob, Betty and Booker. It is not my objective either to conceptualize or to explain sensations and feelings, but to describe and interpret them.

1. Iris Murdoch On 8 November 1993, Iris Murdoch wrote to Jeffrey Meyers: “Dearest Jeffrey, So sorry not right [i.e., write]. I have a little been away (in bits and pieces), and have had to make speeches etc (I hate that) but mostly it is, as you say, the pile of papers. I receive more & more letters asking me to do things, all sorts of people, all sorts of things. […].” (Meyers 2013: 80)

4 5

6

Compare topics 2. and 3., Section II, Chapter 2, Part I. By using the metaphor “path” interchangeably with the word “way”, I intend semantically to provide both with abstract, plastic and fluid content. This also makes possible the opening of the meaning of the words “path” or “way” beyond what is actually being expressly communicated within the text. See also footnote 28, Chapter 1, Part 1. I understand “signification” or “meaning” as a description of a way of intentional movement that the subject takes into consideration. This mode of intentional movement contains the sensuous experiences which can be internal (the living body or body-subject in relation to itself) or external (its relation to other living bodies or body-subjects). Compare also with Eric Matthews’s “meaningful actions” and “meaning-giving norms”, centred on the subject’s external experiences (Matthews 2007: 98–99).

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

On 14 November 1994, she wrote again to him: “[…] I was partly away and partly very tired; and am now [in margin: less tired but] still not getting on with my present novel. Hope better soon. I get so many requests from people who want me to do things. […]” (Meyers 2013: 81). Further, in the same letter: “[…] I am amazed that someone has suggested that John and I are parted, divorced, this is absolutely impossible. We are utterly loving and forever together and well known to be, and have always been! Not an ʻoddityʼ— a perfect marriage—if that’s odd! Please tell the crazy someone that it is a completely happy marriage, and he or she need not worry! […].” (Meyers 2013: 81) And on 23 January 1995, she exchanged her last letter with him: “Dear Jeffrey, John has been having a splendid time with Edmund Wilson, and now I am at him. Many thanks! You write so beautifully and you know so much! We have a rather crazy spring here, blue sky and birds singing. Much love, I You are really super. [on envelope: We are into cats over here.].” (Meyers 2013: 83) Iris Murdoch passed away on February 8, 1999 due to Alzheimer’s. The news that she was ill had been released by her husband John Bayley to the press in 1997. He suspected that something was wrong with her two years earlier, the year of her last novel Jackson’s Dilemma (1997). However, before 1995 traces of the disease had already appeared. In her diary Murdoch reports in early 1993: “Find difficulty in thinking and writing. Be brave” (Conradi 2010: 585). Bayley also reported to the press in 1997 that, in mid-1996, she compared her block to writing as being in “a hard dark place” (Meyers 2013: 26)7 ; in her own words in December 1997: “…I began sailing away into the darkness” (Conradi 2010: 614). Also on November 8, 1993, she writes to Jeffrey Meyers, a long-time friend: “So sorry not right [i.e., write]. I have a little been away (in bits and pieces) […]” (Meyers 2013: 80); on November 14, 1994, in a letter exchanged with Meyers, she further says: “… I was partly away and partly very tired; and am now [in margin: less tired but] still not getting on with my present novel” (Meyers

7

In this respect, John Bayley also writes: “But this time it was quite different. ‘It’s this man Jackson,’ she had said to me one day with a sort of worried detachment. ‘I can’t make out who he is, or what he’s doing.’ I was interested, because she hardly ever spoke of the people in a novel she was writing. ‘Perhaps he’ll turn out to be a woman,’ I said. Iris was always indulgent to a joke from me, even a feeble one, but now she looked serious, even solemn, and puzzled. ‘I don’t think he’s been born yet,’ she said.” (Bayley 2012: 129)

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2013: 81). Both in 1993 and in 1994 she complained that people asked her a lot to do various things and that was tiring her out: “I receive more & more letters asking me to do things, all sorts of people, all sorts of things. […].” (Meyers 2013: 80) and “I get so many requests from people who want me to do things.” (Meyers 2013: 81). I understand that in 1993 she had shown signs of Alzheimer’s by exchanging “write” for “right”; by revealing her physical and psychic fragmentation, ie. that she was in “bits and pieces”; by confessing that she was partly far away internally8 ; by telling Meyers the struggle she waged against herself to be present in order to keep on writing her latest novel and, finally, by admitting the tiredness that represented meeting so many requests from other people. On November 14, 1994, she writes to Jeffrey Meyers about her love for John Bayley and their marriage: “We are utterly loving and forever together and well known to be, and have always been! Not an ʻoddityʼ— a perfect marriage—if that’s odd!” (Meyers 2013: 81). On January 23, 1995, she writes the last letter to her friend Meyers, showing her admiration and affection for him: “You write so beautifully and you know so much!” (Meyers 2013: 83) and ends this letter with “Much love, I. You are really super” (Meyers 2013: 83). In the more than 95 letters exchanged with him, Murdoch always ended them with “love”, “much love” or “lots of love”. This way of saying goodbye touched him. Meyers says: “Even if she wrote this way to a lot of other people, I was still pleased to have this precious bit of her affection.” (Meyers 2013: 12) Following Merleau-Ponty, “[l]et us try to see how a thing or a being begins to exist for us through desire or love...” (Merleau-Ponty 2009: 178).9 It is through “how”, “experience”, “desire or love directed towards himself and (or) the other” that the living body with Alzheimer’s continues to exist for itself and for others. In the living body Iris Murdoch’ case, whether by long-lived love, based on companionship to Bayley, or by friendship to Meyers, “the experience of feeling directed toward” was signified by it until its death. The experience of love was not only the way in which it lived with other people, but also with itself. It was its condition to exist in the world as Jeffrey Meyers reports: “Throughout her life Iris was surprisingly, often enchantingly promiscuous – sexually benevolent and generous.” (Meyers 2013: 4) The living body Iris Murdoch maintained affective relationships equally with men and women;10 among them are 8

9

10

I refer here to Part I, Chapter 1, Section II, where I dealt with fragmentation as a piece (i.e. a relatively independent part from other parts), taking Husserl’s understanding as the basis for this analysis, and where I addressed the themes of presence and absence according to Husserl’s and Merleau-Ponty’s views. Although the chapter dedicated to sexuality including love in Phenomenology of Perception (Merleau-Ponty 2002) is very timid in relation to the others that compose that book, I take it as a starting point to expand the possibilities of meaning for love. In Iris Murdoch’s biography, Peter Conradi says: “Philippa Bosanquet [later Foot], who came up in 1939, recalls that the fascination with Iris then, as later, was general. Many were in love with her, could not get enough of her company. And she struck women, as well as

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

the names of moral philosopher Philippa Foot, love affair and lifelong best friend11 ; poet, officer, freedom fighter and British national hero Frank Thompson, a platonic love12 ; and writer Elias Canetti, a predatory love (Meyers 2013: 4)13 . “The desire for” speaks for it and gives meaning to Meyers’s qualification of “enchantingly promiscuous”14 . Here, I will stick to “subject-object”, the meaning of the verb “to enchant” and the noun “enchantment” so that in the end I can align them with desire for. The verbs in the active voice “I enchant someone” or in the passive voice “I am enchanted by someone” meet a dichotomy of “subject-object” or “master-slave”, which I translate phenomenologically into “I have a body (including someone else’s)” (subject-master) – “I don’t have a body (the other has taken over it)” (object-slave). In this regard, Merleau-Ponty reflects: “Usually man does not show his body, and, when he does, it is either nervously or with an intention to fascinate. He has the impression that the alien gaze which runs over his body is stealing it from him, or else, on the other hand, that the display of his body will deliver the other person up to him, defenceless, and that in this case the other will be reduced to servitude. Shame and immodesty, then, take their place in a dialectic of the self and the other which is that of master and slave: in so far as I have a body, I may be reduced to the status of an object beneath the gaze of another person, and no longer count as a person for him, or else I may become his master and, in my turn, look at him. But this mastery is self-defeating, since, precisely when my value is recognized through the other’s desire, he is no longer the person by whom I wished to be recognized, but a being fascinated, deprived of his freedom, and who therefore no longer counts in my eyes.” (Merleau-Ponty 2009: 193)15

11

12 13 14

15

men.” (Conradi 2010: 115) Also: “[…] the idea of role-reversal fascinated her all her life, and to some degree she lived it. She records with no self-consciousness both ‘homosexual’ (she does not use the word ‘lesbian’) dreams, and the possibility of exchange of tendernesses, from time to time, with a loved woman-friend.” (Conradi 2010: 299) The first encounter with Philippa Foot was described as follows: “Iris, hitherto a somewhat distant and glamorous figure, one year senior, arrived at Philippa’s lodgings at 2 Bradmore Road with a bunch of wild flowers. ‘I recall the joy with which I found her,’ wrote Iris later, her ‘life-long best friend’. Iris chronicled the ups and downs of this friendship, over nearly sixty years, more than any other.” (Conradi 2010: 145) About her first encounter with Frank Thompson, Iris Murdoch said: “[…] He was, I think, the most remarkable person that I met as an undergraduate at Oxford.” (Conradi 2010: 109) See also Conradi 2010: 355–358. Although Iris Murdoch did not use the expression “enchantingly promiscuous” to describe herself, it is a fact (or evidence) that she maintained several romantic relationships throughout her life. Although I do not go into Sartre’s ontology, this quote from Merleau-Ponty in 1945 Phenomenology of Perception is, as I see it, a response to the Sartrian view of the body in Being

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So, when someone says, “I have a body”, he is saying in other words: “I can be (potentially) seen or I am effectively being seen as an object. As an object, I lose my freedom and subjectivity. Although I want to break with the subservience, which reduces me to an object, in order to become a subject again, as soon as the other sees me and I let myself be enchanted by him or her, I am reduced, once again, to an object and become his or her possession.” As already discussed16 , the body is not mine, the body is I. From this perspective, “bodyobject” and “possession” lose meaning, just as “to enchant” gains new meaning outside the logic of the active voice (“I enchant someone”) and the passive voice (“I am enchanted by someone”). I return to what I have already explored17 to deepen the description of the bodysubject as intentional motor consciousness as follows: (a) (a.1) By moving (interchangeable with feeling, sensing, remembering, etc.), one living body (first body-subject) is aimed at a certain feeling-object or sensation, such as enchantment, desire and pain in a certain field.

(a.2) Through a certain feeling-object or sensation it is aimed at another living body (second body-subject). (a.1.) and (a.2.) The first body-subject is aimed at an action (ie. moving), and through

16 17

and Nothingness (1943). For Sartre, the facticity of the self means self-denial, i.e. selfness (being-for-itself). It is in relation with others (being-for-others) that the self gains existence, but an existence as a self-object, i.e. self-instrument, as a body (Körper), like any other instrument-thing (or instrument-bodies) in the world. For the self, there are then two options: nothingness or the instrumentalization of itself. This is because Sartre’s starting point is the body as experienced by doctors and inserted in the middle of the world as it is for the other. The body does not appear to me in the middle of the world, as I do not see it, that is, I do not see its internal structure. It is from the experience of the other (e.g. surgeons see my organs and tell me how he saw them) or from the experience I have of the other (e.g. I see the dissection of corpses and compare them with what I saw represented in anatomy books) that I know my body (Sartre 1978: 303). Because I do not perceive it from the inside, but rather I perceive it from the outside as an object, a thing in the middle of other things, other objects. I say, therefore, that the body is mine, my property and not my being (Sartre 1978: 304). I know consciously that I have a body because I know, first of all, that the other has a body, which joins my consciousness through experience. So I have no self-consciousness (from the inside) of my body, but I have consciousness of the body of the other, which allows me to know and to capture my body (from the outside) as being mine (Sartre 1978:303). See Part I, Chapter 2, Section II, topic 2. See Part I, Chapter 2, Section II, topics 2. and 3.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

the action it is aimed at a feeling-object or sensation and through the object it is aimed at the second body-subject 18 in a certain field. More on (a.1) It is during the movement of touching (ie. gazing at, smelling, hearing, tasting), in which the body-subject and the feeling-object or sensation are about to unite”, that (a.1.1) the reflective voice of the verb “Body-I enchant myself” and “Body-I enchant myself by the feeling-object ‘enchantment’” takes place (ie. field). (b) When I say: “Body-I enchant myself”, this action (ie. movement) succeeds in the field of sensual experiences of body-self towards body-self. This is a whole that unfolds, that is, it appears in multiplicity as follows: (b.1) The body is the subject of action “Body-I enchant” (part) (b.1.1) as well as being the subject of “enchant myself (ie. body-self)”, insofar as this part is already contained in the previous part “Body-I enchant” (ie. a part of a part interchangeable with piece or fragment).

So, (c) When I say: “Body-I enchant myself by the feeling-object ‘enchantment’”, the reflective voice of the action “to enchant” has already succeeded in relation to the constitution of the feeling-object “enchantment”. Descriptively: (c.1) The body-subject is towards (i.e. is aimed at) the action “to enchant” (intentional motor consciousness). (c.2) The body-subject in action is towards the feeling-object “enchantment” (intentional motor consciousness). (d) When I say: “Body-I enchant myself by the feeling-object enchantment” there are two intentional motor consciousnesses: (d.1) “Body-I enchant myself ” (intentional motor consciousness) (d.1.1) “…by the feeling-object enchantment” (intentional motor consciousness). It is clear that motricity is implied here by virtue of (d.1.1) being a part of (d.1). (e) When I say: “Body-I enchant myself” is intentional motor consciousness, I mean, a relation can be constituted between “Body-I (subject)” and “enchant myself (action)” in such a way (i.e. mode). Subject and action are two moveable parts in a chiasmatic relation19 . Chiasm offers a plastic description of body-subjectχaction20 relation

18 19 20

I will address intersubjectivity (the second body-subject in relation to the first body-subject) in full in Chapter 3 of this part. I began to outline the meaning of chiasm according to Merleau-Ponty in Part I, Chapter I, Section II. chi (χ) is the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet.

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insofar as it means possibility to perceive (i.e. to feel, to sense, to remember) a relation in multiple ways as well as to configure and rearrange its parts in relative independence. The possibility of configuring and rearranging those parts in another way, rather, in another mode of appearance, makes them relatively independent. (f) When I say: “Body-I enchant myself by the feeling-object ‘enchantment’” is intentional consciousness, a relation is constituted between “Body-I enchant myself” (intentional motor consciousness) and “by the feeling-object ‘enchantment’” (intentional motor consciousness). Like (e) this is a chiasmatic, i.e. a moveable or plastic relation of two relatively independent consciousnesses21 , which can come together in multiple ways. This is how I describe Iris Murdoch’s “charming promiscuity” with herself. As I see it, she maintained relationships with several partners not as a desire to make them objects and take them in possession, but as a desire to experience the action (to enchant, be enchanted) or the object of the action (enchantment) as formulated as follows: “Body-I enchant body-self by the feeling-object “enchantment”. At the end of its life, the warm-hearted living body Iris Murdoch continued to express itself in an epistolary manner and through the construction of the characters and the plot of its latest novel, about which Meyers commented: “Forced rather than fluent, it now seemed – with its convoluted plot, freakish characters and bizarre sexual entanglements – a tedious reprise of her earlier work” (Meyers 2013: 25)22 . The experiences of desire or love or friendship were relevant themes to signify the living body Iris Murdoch in the course of its intellectual and private life until its death. Its sexuality was not lost despite Alzheimer’s. It did not fail to project it in a certain field (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 181). This is evident in the excerpts above and in its latest novel Jackson’s Dilemma (Murdoch 1997). It builds a Jewish character named Tuan who does not put himself in a sexual situation either with men or with women because he cannot account for his past tainted by the Holocaust. Tuan, for example, says “– oh, the past, how soon it can vanish and be forgotten...” (Murdoch 1997: 165). Marian Berran, another character, blames herself for abandoning her future husband the day before their marriage.23 Sexual guilt in Marian Berran’s case and the past in Tuan’s case pervade this latest novel. The living body Iris Murdoch had, in its fictional narrative, to put itself in a certain sexual field to write about the self-denial

21

22 23

I recall what I have argued in Part I, Chapter 2, Section II, topic 2. “… for the body there are countless ways of being a body and for consciousness several ways of being consciousnesss.” (Merleau-Ponty 2009: 143) Compare also with Murdoch 1997: 614. Compare Nicol 2004: 38.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

of novel characters in putting themselves in that same ambiance. It had, as a writer, to project the denial of a sexual world for its characters.24

2. Marcos Abreu The bond that unites another person to ourselves exists only in our mind. Marcel Proust Also in fiction, Marcos Abreu remembers his affections in a letter addressed to his children, in which he tells them about his stormy relationship with their mother Joana and his fleeting relationship with C., who he was enchanted with. Continuing the above description of the previous topic, I will complement and deepen it, using passages from Proust’ Swann’s Way (2005), Within a Budding Grove (1924) and The Sweet Cheat Gone (2020). I will draw on Merleau-Ponty’s interpretations of Proust (Merleau-Ponty 2002: xxiv, 94, 99, 168, 211–212, 454, 457, 493–494) and Samuel Beckett’s essay (1978), which has already been outlined in Chapter 12526 “The way of enchanting oneself by enchantment” and “desire for that way of feeling” gain in significance by reading and interpreting Proust. Central romantic relationships are those experienced by Swann and the narrator Marcel: Odette is the target female character of Swann’s enchantment and Gilberte and Albertine are the narrator Marcel’s one. On the relationship between Swann and Odette, Merleau-Ponty makes the following consideration: “Swann’s consciousness is not a lifeless setting in which psychic facts are produced from outside. What we have is […] a certain way of loving in which the whole destiny of that love can be discerned at a glance. Swann has a liking for Odette’s person, for that ‘spectacle’ that she is, for her way of looking, of modulating her voice, and for the way a smile comes to her lips. But what is having a liking for someone? Proust tells us when speaking of another love: it is the feeling of being shut out of the life of the beloved, and of wanting to force one’s way in and take

24 25

26

In Iris Murdoch’s biography, Peter Conradi states: “She had always lived among and through her characters.” (Conradi 2010: 614) In Part I, Chapter 1, I mentioned Beckett’s view of enchantment. I quote again the passage: “… when the object is perceived as particular and unique and not merely the member of a family, when it appears independent of any general notion and detached from the sanity of a cause, isolated and inexplicable in the light of ignorance, then and then only may it be a source of enchantment.” (Beckett 1978: 11) Occasionally, I will refer to Keith Whitmoyer’s A Philosophy of Weakness (2016); Leo Bersani’s Marcel Proust. The Fictions of Life and of Art (2013) and Stephen Gilbert Brown’s The Gardens of Desire (2004).

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complete possession of it. [...] Swann’s feeling of pleasure in looking at Odette bore its degeneration within itself, since it was the pleasure of being the only one to do so.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 493–494) Merleau-Ponty means that the experience of love is “a certain way of loving in which the whole destiny of that love can be discerned at a glance” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 494). Also, jealousy, possession and pleasure are adumbrations (or profiles) of the multiplicity of manifestations of one and the same feeling of love. As love is a certain experience of a mosaic of affections, the living body Swann’s enchantment by the living body Odette was discerned as “a certain way of loving at first sight”. On the one hand, it can be described as the first gaze of the living body Swann towards the living body Odette (active pole). On the other hand, the living body Odette attracted the living body Swann’s gaze through the way of returning its gaze, of modulating its voice and moving its lips that formed a smile directed to the living body Swann. The living body Swann’s enchantment by the living body Odette was, therefore, love from the beginning. Enchantment did not produce a change in the quality of love27 so far as it is an aspect of the manifestation of the content “love”. Love appears (or unfolds) through different profiles, aspects or ways, such as enchantment.28 As I read Merleau-Ponty, possession and pleasure are aspects or profiles of a particular type of the experience of love (so far as it is experienced by the living body Swann and not by any other in the same way) unfolding (i.e. in a loving mode). Neither one nor the other qualitatively modifies the content of this way of feeling that sprouted from the living body Swann inside out as it gazed at that spectacle presented by the living body Odette. That is to say, neither the enchantment of the first gaze, nor the desire to possess the living body Odette, nor the jealousy for not having it, changes the quality of the content “love”. None of them originates in the feeling “love”. They are already “a way of loving”. I partially agree with Merleau-Ponty’s view. I interpret “a certain way of loving” as a manifestation in “the way of enchanting oneself by enchantment”, which was translated (but not developed) into “fascination” and meant as love by the author. I recall an excerpt from the passage mentioned in the previous topic: “Usually man does not show his body, and, when he does, it is either nervously or with an intention to fascinate” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 193). If Merleau-Ponty had developed the meaning of “enchantment”, he would have developed it as a way of feeling that shows itself as “enchantment by a subject”. If I so understood, all sensations that make up this way of loving would be locked in possessing (for desiring) the other’s body or feeling jealousy for not possessing it (desire is not satisfied). I understand, as I already

27 28

Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 494. Compare with Husserl’s distinction between parts, pieces (or fragments) and the whole, as well as content (quality) in Part I, Chapter 1.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

discussed previously on the living body Iris Murdoch, desire as desire to be in that mode of enchantment or love and to remain in it, which is “desire to experience BodyI enchant body-self by the feeling-object enchantment” or simply “desire for a way of feeling”. It is not exactly desire to grip the other’s body and to reduce it to an object-instrument. Jealousy, the result of a desire for the other’s body, which was not or was partially fulfilled, is aroused in the subject who did not possess the other’s body at all, making it an object of its desire. If desire, on the contrary, is a desire to experience a mode of enchantment, that is, a desire for one or more sensations that involve that way of feeling, jealousy, born of the unfulfilled desire or insatiable thirst for possession, loses meaning. The living body Swann’s enchantment or love was, therefore, an unsuccessful Recherche to remain in the instant during which it was enchanted by this enchantment, namely, the spectacle of a profile of the living body Odette. It was hence not enchantment by Odette’s body. All Proustian suffering, involving the experience of the second central character (the narrator Marcel) and arising from unfulfilled love, resides, as in Swann’s case, in the living body Marcel’s desire to remain unsuccessfully in an instant of the past, in which it first gazed at the living bodies Gilberte and Albertine and was enchanted by a certain way of feeling. In Swann’s way29 (Méséglise), the instant, in which the living body Marcel first gazed at the living body Gilberte, the living body Marcel fell in love with a certain spectacle of its profile. I quote: “Suddenly I stood still, unable to move, as happens when something appears that requires not only our eyes to take it in, but involves a deeper kind of perception and takes possession of the whole of our being. A little girl, with fair, reddish hair, who appeared to be returning from a walk, and held a trowel in her hand, was looking at us, raising towards us a face powdered with pinkish freckles. Her black eyes gleamed, and as I did not at that time know, and indeed have never since learned how to reduce to its objective elements any strong impression, since I had not, as they say, enough ‘power of observation’ to isolate the sense of their colour, for a long time afterwards, whenever I thought of her, the memory of those bright eyes would at once present itself to me as a vivid azure, since her complexion was fair; so much so that, perhaps, if her eyes had not been quite so black--which was what struck one most forcibly on first meeting her--I should not have been, as I was, especially enamoured of their imagined blue. I gazed at her, at first with that gaze which is not merely a messenger from the eyes, but in whose window all the senses assemble and lean out, petrified and anxious, that gaze which would fain reach, touch, capture, bear off in triumph the body at which it is aimed, and the soul with the body […].” (Proust 2005: 155)

29

See footnotes 28, from Chapter 1, Part I, and 5, from Chapter 1, Part II.

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The spectacle presented by a certain profile of the living body Gilberte with red hair, light complexion and fair eyes captured all the living body Marcel’s senses. Its gaze intertwined with a vivid blue colour of that profile.30 The living body Marcel experienced the instant of gazing as an interval of time in which the beginning and the end of a mode of enchantment or love unfolded. The beginning and the end of this internal experience took place in the way of being enchanted by the gaze of vivid blue (i.e. this mode is temporarily the instant when the action “enchanting oneself” became through the gaze the feeling-object “enchantment”). The living body Marcel was enchanted (or fell in love) by an atmosphere or a background, in which certain sensations took over it. Synergistically all its senses converged in its gaze at a certain spectacle. Another subject did not take possession of the living body Marcel and made it an object. A certain gaze at (the vivid blue eyes) a profile of the living body Gilberte Swann, which made the living body Marcel enchanted by the enchantment of that gaze, faded when that gaze unfolded other perspectives of gazing (i.e. from afar, from near, on the left, on the right, etc.) at the living body Gilbert. The living body Marcel had therefore other perspectives of the mode of appearance in multiplicity of the living body Gilberte – Gilberte Swann became Gilberte de Forcheville, then Gilberte de Saint Loup and, finally, Duchesse de Guermantes – which made it renounce that way of loving. Therefore, the living body Marcel co-existed with other profiles of the living body Gilberte that made it suffer because they were no longer that certain profile of that instant of being enchanted. To put it another way, the beginning of the action of being enchanted and the end of it had already occurred within the timespan “during”. The living body Marcel was, in short, unable to live within the “duration” of time flow. But as Beckett comments: “[...] Gilberte is to Albertine what the Sonata is to the Septuor – an experiment” (Beckett 1978: 42). The first time the living body Marcel saw the living body Albertine, this was “absorbed in the radiance of the ‘little band’ at Balbec, pushing a bicycle [...] She has no individuality” (Beckett 1978: 31). It was

30

I refer to a passage of my short story when Emilia describes the feelings of the living body Marcos Abreu when it saw Mariana for the first time. I quote: “With his fork poised between his plate and his mouth, he followed her movements at an art school friend’s party. Between one greeting and another, her gaze wandered among the guests to meet his. The piece of cake fell from the fork, slipped off the paper plate and hit the floor. Right then he must have frowned and shrugged slightly, as he returned the gaze and saw her smile. A certain configuration makes us fall in love, a movement, a line, a colour, a curve, a cavity, an extremity, the play of light and shade on these fragments. An aesthetic perspective takes hold of us all of a sudden, in an instant, and makes the other a living body in our thoughts.” The living body Marcos Abreu’s enchantment (or love) manifested in the mode “enchanted by the pictorial spectacle of the living body Mariana’s profile”.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

precisely the mystery that involved the living body Albertine’s individuality dissolved in the band that enchanted the narrator (Beckett 1978: 38). In Marcel’s words: “Left by myself, I was simply hanging about in front of the Grand Hotel until it was time for me to join my grandmother, when, still almost at the far end of the paved ‘front’ along which they projected in a discordant spot of colour, I saw coming towards me five or six young girls, as different in appearance and manner from all the people whom one was accustomed to see at Balbec as could have been, landed there none knew whence, a flight of gulls which performed with measured steps upon the sands—the dawdlers using their wings to overtake the rest—a movement the purpose of which seems as obscure to the human bathers, whom they do not appear to see, as it is clearly determined in their own birdish minds. One of these strangers was pushing as she came, with one hand, her bicycle; two others carried golf-clubs; and their attire generally was in contrast to that of the other girls at Balbec, some of whom, it was true, went in for games, but without adopting any special outfit.” (Proust 1924: 541) The living body Marcel’s agony resides in desiring to remain unsuccessfully in the mode of mysterious enchantment, in which the living body Albertine was mingled with the other living bodies girls, among which a diffuse profile of the living body Albertine appeared.31 It was for not being able to remain in this mode, in which being enchanted became enchantment (or love), that the living body Marcel suffered. Since the living

31

Leo Bersani translates this diffuse enchantment by Albertine’s mysterious identity, I argue here, into désir premier: “[…] the lover pursues a hidden self, an unknown being pointed to by, but not identical with, his désir premier.” (Bersani 2013: xviii) With an interpretation in line with Freudian psychoanalysis, which I do not follow, Stephen Gilbert Brown, translates this same enchantment as the narrator’s desire to merge with the maternal figure, which was frustrated. His frustration awakens consequently the desire to merge with himself (Brown 2004: 40). Despite all adjustments and counterbalances, ie. neuroses and anxieties, that this Recherche aroused in him, this merger did not take place either with Gilberte (frustrated merger with his mother or separation from his mother) or, above all, with Albertine (frustrated merger with his mother transformed into frustrated merger with himself), nor, finally, with Saint Loup and Charlus (merger frustrated with himself). I quote: “The profane desire to ‘merge’ with the maternal sublime that is thwarted here enervates the “merger hunger” that is futilely displaced onto the opposite sex (Gilberte, Albertine), and then onto same-sex relationships (Saint Loup, Charlus). The a priori desire that governs the self of The Search is a desire to surmount its own sexual differentiation: a desire repeatedly thwarted in reality until fulfilled on the illusory plane in art. The narrator’s deepest neurotic fears are associated with the ‘drame coucher’: a fear grounded in Absence, an anxiety associated with separation from the beloved, and which establishes the pattern of separation anxiety for every love affair in the novel.” (Brown 2004: 23)

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body Albertine was hidden under the living bodies girls’ shadows, its agony deepened. The living body Marcel suffered then because it was unable to remain in the spell of mystery. However, it tried to remain under the spell by breaking it through the total possession of Albertine’s body: “I knew that I should never possess this young cyclist...” (Proust 1924: 550). It locked then Albertine’s body in its house in Paris and its affliction intensified. Beckett describes Marcel’s life with Albertine’s body and expands the sensations and emotions felt by the narrator: “His life in common with Albertine is volcanic, his mind torn by a series of eruptions: Fury, Jealousy, Envy, Curiosity, Suffering, Pride, Honour and Love. The four of this last is pre-established by the arbitrary images of memory and imagination, an artificial fiction to which, and for his suffering, he forces the woman to conform. The person of Albertine counts for nothing.” (Beckett 1978: 37) While in captivity, a static body of Albertine arises and “would soon be compared to all the other possible conquests that [her] possession excludes…” (Beckett 1978: 39). However, there is a new plot twist in The Sweet Cheat Gone (2020). The reader faces this first sentence of Marcel’s housemaid Françoise in shock and addressed to him: “Mademoiselle Albertine has gone!” (Proust 2020: 4). From that moment on, the living body Marcel’s calvary comes on the scene. Life with Albertine’s body shattered over time the initial enchantment experienced on the beach in Balbec and gave rise to the suspicion (or jealousy, interchangeable here) that was shown through a palette of emotional eruptions, as laid out by Beckett, and specifically by the imprisonment of her body. The living body Marcel suspected that she was only interested in obtaining social benefits from being in its companionship and, above all, that she had sexual relationships with other women – Albertine revealed herself to be a friend of the lesbian Mlle. Vinteuil – and lied to him all the time they were together. The narrator says: “Now this love, born first and foremost of a need to prevent Albertine from doing wrong, this love had preserved in the sequel the marks of its origin. Being with her mattered little to me so long as I could prevent her from ʻbeing on the runʼ, from going to this place or to that.” (Proust 2020: 19) Without Albertine’s body, however, the living body Marcel’s sexual love was erased, but not before experiencing internal sensations that erupted from its obsessive Recherche to finally discover the mystery that had enveloped her identity since Balbec and the escapades that she undertook from captivity during their life together. The living body Marcel describes the beginning of enchantment and its desire to remain in that diffuse and mysterious way of feeling32 , but unsuccessful, as the enchantment turned into mistrust and, consequently, a desire to own Sapphic 32

Compare previous footnote.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

Albertine’s body, until the relationship came to an end, with the living body Marcel’s mourning for the death of both Albertine’s body and the living body Albertine. The living body Marcel narrates the sensations that involved love – enchantment, agony, distrust, jealousy, possession and mourning felt by it throughout Chapter 1, entitled Grief and Oblivion. I highlight two passages: “But no doubt the difference between our respective impressions of the same person was equally great. The time was past when I had timidly begun at Balbec by adding to my visual sensations when I gazed at Albertine sensations of taste, of smell, of touch. Since then, other more profound, more pleasant, more indefinable sensations had been added to them, and afterwards painful sensations.” (Proust 2020: 23) “The bond that unites another person to ourselves exists only in our mind. Memory as it grows fainter relaxes them, and notwithstanding the illusion by which we would fain be cheated and with which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we cheat other people, we exist alone. Man is the creature that cannot emerge from himself, that knows his fellows only in himself; when he asserts the contrary, he is lying.” (Proust 2020: 35) The experience of enchantment (or love) is for Proust an internal and lonely experience incompatible with any external and sociable one limited by a “conventional framework”33 , which the enchantment of the first gaze does not survive. 34 The way of feeling “being enchanted” and the desire for that way of romantic feeling also arose in the living body Marcos Abreu: first and above all in its relationship with C. I quote: “I met C… We slept together about three times, before I, at the same speed, tired of her and her sensitivity. She phoned me a number of times in the coming months. The answering machine recorded her number. I didn’t return the calls. Five months later, she left a message: ʻIt was a boy...ʼ […] As for C., I never saw her again or heard her voice. Her absence and her silence are, nevertheless, with me to this day.”

33

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Leo Bersani offers a similar interpretation: “[…] he stops believing that his desires can exist outside of himself, are shared by other people; they are only ‘the purely subjective, impotent, illusory creatures of my temperament.’ They seem no longer connected to nature, and external reality becomes only the ‘conventional framework’ in which he can create these novels of desire.” (Bersani 2013: 31) Keith Whitmoyer says: “Love makes visible that which cannot be possessed, precisely in its ungraspability. It allows us to see the one with whom we cannot coincide and at the same time allows us to see the impossibility of that contact and fusion.” (Whitmoyer 2016: 9)

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I remember that it met her at an exhibition at the São Paulo Museum of Art. Because of three elements (exceptionality, short duration and uniqueness), this liaison has become – to paraphrase Beckett “a source of enchantment” for the living body Marcos Abreu35 . The experience of the living body Marcos Abreu’s enchantment occurred in a pictorial field. Since it was immersed in that atmosphere, a mosaic of affective sensations awoke inside it. In that affective pictorial field, it gazed at a certain aesthetic profile of the living body C. Its grace possibly attracted the living body Marcos Abreu. The living body C. became then a source of enchantment not only due to its grace, but also because it appeared to the living body Marcos Abreu to already be involved in another kind of affection, which meant painting. Experience as a certain way of feeling – “being enchanted by that spectacle of the living body C’s graceful pictorial profile” – had the instant of gazing at the living body C. as its duration. This instant was unfolded into three further encounters. As other emotional profiles of it probably revealed themselves after those encounters (the living body C. called the living body Marcos Abreu a number of times in the following months), it became challenging for the living body Marcos Abreu to remain in that way of being enchanted or of loving at first sight. Its way of feeling erupted from it inside out not by the desire for C.’s body and its possession (i.e. sexual love)36 , but rather by the possibility of experiencing a certain aesthetic feeling that emerged when it came across a profile of the living body C. in that atmosphere, in the Museum. The living body Marcos Abreu understood that, in order to remain in the timespan “during” of the first experience, it had to renounce concrete life with C’s static profiles. Its particular way of loving thus continued to be experienced throughout its life – unlike Proustian characters. And that way of loving at first sight that certain graceful pictorial profile of the living body C. became absence (i.e. remote presence), which raised that way of loving to the level of exceptionality for having been only one event and outside a habitual relationship. Likewise, that way of loving was raised to the level of the extraordinary

35 36

Compare Beckett 1978: 11. As described in the introduction to this chapter and in the previous topic, I mean the adjective “sexual” and the noun “sexuality” in another sense than that tied exclusively to the genitalia and the behaviour that leads to sexual intercourse. “Sexual” and “sexuality” in Merleau-Pontian phenomenology mean a general relationship – like any other possible human relationships – between the subject and the other as two living bodies (i.e. as two subjects). Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 182–183 and with Merleau-Ponty’s broad psychoanalytic proposal grounded in phenomenology developed by him in Child Psychology and Pedagogy (2010). However, I attribute a more specific meaning to these two words in this research than that proposed by Merleau-Ponty. I understand them in a broad sense as “the subject’s power over the other’s body” and, in a restricted sense, as “the act of taking possession of the other’s body” and “the possession itself of the other’s body as an object” (i.e. subject-action-object). Such ways of signifying sexual experience are interchangeable in this work.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

for it happened outside an ordinary, a usual or regular relationship. Moreover, that way of loving was unique because it happened outside any conventional framework. The living body Marcos Abreu also experienced love to a certain profile of the living body Emilia, by describing it kissing its forehead and moving around in the studio as follows: “ʻDid you sleep here?ʼ The question wakes me to the deep brown of Emilia’s eyes. She crouches. The tip of her nose delicately rubs my stubble and a kiss wettens my forehead. I open my eyes. She walks around the studio and takes a look at last month’s paintings. I can smell the sun coming off her skin, the matt of her colour entering my mouth, the waves of her hair brushing against my ear and I reply half-asleep: ʻYes...ʼ.” In this fragment of the above quotation: “The question wakes me to the deep brown of Emilia’s eyes. She crouches. The tip of her nose delicately rubs my stubble and a kiss wettens my forehead.”, it is not known (a) whether the living body Marcos Abreu was awake and with its eyes open when its daughter kissed him, (b) or it was sleeping and dreamed, (c) or it was awake and imagined, (d) or it was awake and troubled by Alzheimer’s, it experienced the kiss with its eyes closed and then opened them, (e) or its perception occurs in two overlapping timespans – in the excerpt above, it wakes up by the living body Emilia’s deep brown eyes and sees it crouching. However, this next passage begins with the living body Marcos Abreu opening its eyes and following a certain profile of the living body Emilia: “I open my eyes. She walks around the studio and takes a look at last month’s paintings. I can smell the sun coming off her skin, the matt of her colour entering my mouth, the waves of her hair brushing against my ear”. (f) It is also unknown whether this particular experience of feeling was meant by the living body Marcos Abreu as enchantment or romantic love. It may have felt enchantment towards a certain flawless pictorial profile of the living body Emilia or confused it with the living body C’s graceful profile. The living body Marcos Abreu says: “What came close to perfection? My relationship with Emilia.” Likewise, this experience may have been mixed or not with fatherly love or it may have been exclusively a particular way of fatherly loving for Emilia’s body.37 37

The living body Marcos Abreu also experienced sexual love for Emilia’s body in the last paragraph of the narrative when it says the two were one and the same. I quote: “You, more than anyone, ‘are flesh of my flesh’”. This quotation is about parental love (i.e. sexual love, see

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In view of those six ways of being enchanted by the painting and plasticity of gazing at, smelling, tasting, hearing and touching a certain profile of Emilia’s perfection in its multiplicity, I could make the mistake of jumping to such a conclusion in accordance with Husserl’s understanding: the ego Marcos Abreu is not reliable insofar as its ways of

previous footnote). It is also a paraphrase of Genesis, the moment when Eve is born from Adam’s rib. On the biblical and philosophical meaning of the term “flesh”, Emmanuel de Saint Aubert comments: “It is particularly impossible to explain the meanings and uses of ‘flesh’ in the French language without addressing its considerable biblical heritage, where Hebrew bâsâr and Greek sarx open up a web of meanings that largely anticipate the modern potentialities of this notion. Far from the sôma sêma that regularly appears in Greek thought (the body is a tomb), biblical anthropology does not dissociate the body from its animation: ‘bâsâr’ is the flesh as a concrete manifestation of the ‘nefèsh’ (soul), and they are not separated. ‘Bâsâr’, therefore, often designates every human being taken back to his bodily presence – it is said that man is flesh, not that he has flesh – but it also points to two aspects of our condition: the kinship that integrates us into a common body (the ‘flesh of my flesh’), and the fragility of the human being faced with internal and external contingencies and adversities. ‘Sarx’ in the New Testament takes on these meanings while emphasizing more the use of some of them. Firstly, because of the very radical nature of the Incarnation (the Word ‘became flesh’) and the Eucharistic gift of Christ (‘my flesh is truly eaten’), as formulated by John. But also because of the almost misleading use the Pauline epistles makes of ‘sarx’, on the one hand, taking up the various meanings of the Hebrew ‘basar’. On the other hand, the use of ‘sarx’ develops an opposition between life ‘according to the flesh’ and life ‘according to the spirit’. Not only under the effect of this misunderstood opposition (‘flesh’ here does not designate the body, but the psychic man who is lost in himself by depriving himself of divine life), but also due to a piece of late Greek literature of Platonic inspiration, which openly despises ‘the pleasures of the flesh’ (Philon of Alexandria, Plutarch). Accordingly, a derogatory moral usage has been perpetuated in various ways (Gnostic currents, Jansenist or Puritan derivations of a Christian morality), and still haunts our language: that of an associated flesh, if not reduced to the supposed impurity of sexual desire” (Saint Aubert 2018, translation and emphasis are mine). Psychoanalytically, the meaning of “flesh”, specifically the quotation “flesh of my flesh”, resides in Adam-Eve’s love as either the experience of one and only one subject (self-love) or of two subjects belonging to the same family, who, living in symbiosis, experienced incestuous love. It is, nevertheless, beyond the scope of this work to discuss sexual love based on the moment when Eve eats the forbidden fruit and offers it to Adam and both are expelled from the Garden of Eden. In other words, I will not turn to Freudian psychoanalysis in order to interpret how tenuous the line that separates self-love and incestuous love from sexual love can be. Compare with Freud’s The Psychology of Love (2010) and Sarah Kofman’s The Enigma of Woman (1985). Nor will I go into the reading and analysis carried out by Lacan influenced by Kierkegaard on original sin as angst, dread and anxiety based on the symbolism of the Garden of Eden. Compare with Lacan’s “The Psychoses” (1993), “The Ethics of Psychoanalysis” (1992) and “The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis” (1977). Compare also with Moshe Halevi Spero’s “Origi nal Sin, the Symbolization of Desire, and the Development of the Mind: A Psychoanalytic Gloss on the Garden of Eden” (1996), Pedro Castilho’s “Sobre a Transmissão na Psicanálise: o Legado de Kierkegaard” (2010).

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

experiencing love are misaligned by Alzheimer’s.38 Yet, I follow the Merleau-Pontian interpretation befitting the living body Marcos Abreu as intentional motor consciousness, whether troubled or not, it experienced enchantment (or romantic love) through the senses towards a perfect pictorial profile of the living body Emilia.39

3. Henry Ordinarily, we have the perspective that the subject with severe Alzheimer’s almost does not touch himself and the experience of enchantment (i.e. love) has lost its meaning. He can no longer project a world of enchantment before himself. His reactions are strictly local and do not start without the touch of another subject40 . According to such a perspective, is – through the evidence given by a particular experience – the loving world neutral for him? Can the living body with Alzheimer’s no longer direct itself to a situation of enchantment? In the documentary “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory” (2014) (USA, D: Michel Rossato-Bennett)41 , Michael Rossato-Bennett and his team accompany a

38

39 40 41

In line with the fictional narratives in which the main character is a subject with Alzheimer’s, Samantha Harvey tells in her novel The Wilderness (2009) Jake’s story. Although the perspective adopted by the author is not that of Jake, speaking in the first person, the omniscient narrator, in the third person, understands what is going on inside Jake and experiences the sensations and feelings that Jake may be experiencing internally. By adopting this narrative positioning, Harvey removes the “unreliable narrator” and “troubled narrator” slant from Jake’s shoulders (i.e. “Did Jake really feel this or that?”; “Did Jake really know what he was feeling?”), because he is not the one who describes his condition, but the narrator, who does not have Alzheimer’s, does. Jake’s experiences are thus confirmed through the intervention of an omniscient narrator. In my view, they would not, however, need any confirmation from a third person due to the understanding, which I have been tackling throughout this research, that “troubled consciousness is intentional consciousness”. I quote some passages of Jake’s experiences told by the omniscient narrator: “In amongst a sea of events and names that have been forgotten, there are a number of episodes that float with striking buoyancy to the surface. There is no sensible order to them, nor connection between them. He keeps his eye on the ground below him, strange since once he would have turned his attention to the horizon or the sky above, relishing the sheer size of it all.” (Harvey 2009: 1). “Some might say this is not a happy memory, but he would object that it is not the happiness of a memory that he is looking for, it is the memory itself; the taste and touch of it, and the proof it brings of himself.” (Harvey 2009: 3). “He looks at his watch. For a moment he fails to understand what the watch hands are doing, where they are going or what for. He studies them like a child. Twenty to three, twenty to four, something like this” (Harvey 2009: 10). See also pages 21, 45, 47, 48, 49, 69, 72, 73, 83, etc. Compare Part I, Chapter 2, Section II, topic 2. and also Merleau-Ponty 2002: 143. Compare with Schneider’s case in Merleau-Ponty 2002: 179. Full documentary is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Osj6-W9hs4. See also www.musicandmemory.org.

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day visit by social worker Dan Cohen to a nursing home. Cohen has a non-profit organization called “Music and Memory – IpodProject”. During that visit, Cohen talks to the geriatricians, caregivers, therapists and relatives of subjects with severe Alzheimer’s and they tell him that these subjects have one thing in common: they are all closed or isolated, inert, depressive and almost lifeless. They survive, that is all. This is Henry’s case. He has been at the nursing home for approximately 10 years suffering from Alzheimer’s. According to Oliver Sacks, who comments on this part of the documentary, Henry’s behaviour “is normally mute, unable to answer a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question”. He also remains in his wheelchair in the same position: hunched over his belly, hands clasped and placed over each other. How then can I assert, despite severe Alzheimer’s, that this subject is a living body? It is during the experience of listening to music, of being internally touched by it that the living body Henry manifests itself (i.e. one or some of its profiles) as intentional motor consciousness.42 The recreation therapist reports that gospel is its favourite music. She puts the headset on it and turns on the IPod. Immediately, its eyes light up, it starts to move its legs and arms and starts singing.43 “[He]’s excited by the music”, says Oliver Sacks. The therapist removes its headphones a little later. Dan Cohen asks it some questions:

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Subjects with Alzheimer’s can indeed present episodes of lucidity, in which they show emotional expressions of various types, such as joy, sadness, disappointment even having lost all linguistic ability. I refer here to the case study carried out by Hans K. Normann et. al. entitled “People with Severe Dementia exhibit Episodes of Lucidity. A Population-Based Study” (2006: 1413–1417). See also Magai et al. 1996: 383–395; Summa/Fuchs 2015. Finally, compare with French philosopher Michel Malherbe’s essay and short story of his experience with Alzheimer’s. His wife Annie lives in a nursing home. Although Annie spends most of her time inert and listless, she is present at one instant or another when he visits her only to immediately disconnect from him and the world around them (Malherbe 2015). I will return to this later on. A similar case is that of the living body John, a former World War II soldier and dancer. Listening to its favourite song “Oh, Johnny, oh!”, it also starts moving its hands and arms, moving its feet and dancing in the wheelchair. It sings, gets emotional and cries, and it says it loves everyone there, its gang. In addition to Henry’s and John’s cases, reported in the documentary, there are others I researched. Among them I quote the memoir written by Brazilian journalist Fernando Aguzzoli, Nilva Aguzzoli’s grandson, about how music sedimented in his grandmother despite Alzheimer’s: “The CDs by Roberto Carlos or Julio Iglesias were great instruments to calm her down in those moments [...] Now you won’t believe it. When the CD starts playing, granny sings all the songs. Can you believe it? She forgot me – and look, I took care of her – but Roberto Carlos and Pavarotti’s songs were there in her memory, intact!” (Aguzzoli 2015: 56, translation is mine). Lastly, I mention Marta González’s case, a former ballet dancer with Alzheimer’s, who, when listening to “Swan Lake”, recalls the choreography and movements. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXNOloPxIH0.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

“DC: ʻDo you like music?ʼ Living body H: ʻI’m crazy about music. You played a beautiful music, beautiful sound.ʼ DC: ʻDid you like music when you were young?ʼ Living body H: ʻYe, ye… went to big dances and things…ʼ DC: ʻHenry?ʼ Living body H: ʻYe..ʼ DC: ʻWhat’s your favourite music when you were young?ʼ Living body H: ʻUhhm… I guess so... Cab Calloway …. I liked.” – And then it starts imitating Cab Calloway’s voice. DC: ʻWhat is your favourite Cab Calloway song?ʼ Living body H: ʻOhhh…ʼ – It starts singing a long stretch of a song and gets emotional. DC: ʻHenry?ʼ Living body H: ʻYe…ʼ [...] DC: ʻWhat’s music do to you?ʼ Living body H: ʻGimme the feeling of love, romance… I figure right now the world needs to come to into music, singing… you’ve got beautiful music here. Beautiful. Oh... lovely. I feel a band of love, of dream. The Lord came to me, made me holy. I’m a holy man. So, He gave me these sounds...ʼ – And it begins to sing again.” For the living body Henry, the touch of gospel music is a way of enchantment by a certain profile of God. For the living body Henry, gospel musical experience is vital, as it is not only inherent to its existence as a human being, but also because it identifies the living body Henry as a music lover. The living body Henry is intentional motor consciousness. Sitting on the chair, it dances to the rhythm of the sound. Music touches (or affects) it as it has affected it since its youth.44

44

Regarding this part of the sentence, “[...] it has affected it since its youth”, I will deal with it in detail when I address the meaning of “living body memory” a little later.

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II.

A Way of Loving: Carrying a Burden of Guilt The man who has a conscience suffers whilst acknowledging his sin. That is his punishment – as well as prison. Fyodor Dostoevsky

1. Thomas DeBaggio Being affected by love, i.e. a way of feeling that manifests itself inside out through the senses is not limited to romantic experiences. The living body Thomas DeBaggio reports the experience of love in the way it describes how Alzheimer’s could be affecting Joyce and Francesco, that is, it describes this feeling in “the way of worrying about the burden of grief, pain and anger that Alzheimer’s would be imposing on its family.” It says: “They are holding their emotions in the secret places of their hearts where silence becomes comfort. Of course, they are angry at me. I am screwing up their lives and dreams. Joyce deferred so many dreams in deference to me. She has in this decade alone suffered through screaming nights of pain and confusion with her taciturn mother. And then had to deal with the chaotic aftermath with secret tears. And just when things were looking better Ol’ Alzheimer’s hit me. No wonder her creativity has gone sour and her desire to create beauty is crippled. Francesco, a bright man with a rich mind, is approaching his forties, and is bowled over with secret anxiety over whether he carries the genes for Alzheimer’s inherited from me. This is not the way any of us dreamed our lives.” (DeBaggio 2002: 120–121) And through sensations it describes: “I look around inside myself and find Alzheimer’s: I am not alone. My disease touches others […]” (DeBaggio 2002: 120). And it finally reveals that, despite attempts to appear rational, the disease is fragmenting it physically and psychically and leading it to death, just as Alzheimer’s is doing the same to family members: “We try to block our fears and sorrow, hiding them in places we never go, hoping they are sequestered well enough to keep them from eating us alive. No matter how carefully we handle all this, when I die, part of them will die too.” (DeBaggio 2002: 121) Love directed to its family is presented in the passages above through companionship and longevity for Joyce as well through parental love for Francesco. The way of loving is experienced in the repetition of the bodily narrative of everyday life. The

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

living body Thomas DeBaggio’s way of loving is, therefore, experienced as a burden for it loves Joyce’s and Francesco’s bodies. The way of loving someone’s body is interchangeable with other of its ways, as analysed previously. One of these ways is “carrying a burden”, which is a part of another feeling, i.e. a whole, namely “guilt”. To signify the “carrying a burden of guilt” experience I will turn to Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus (1991), in which he describes old Sisyphus as the anti-hero conscious both of his condemnation and the burden of his tragedy, which is to go up and down a mountain pushing a rock in a repetitive and eternal movement. In Camus’s view, he cannot run away from his tragedy, that is, commit suicide as a way of getting free from life. This action would not be legitimate45 , insofar as it would be senseless. For Camus, absurdity presents itself when a human being realizes in the experience that to live is insignificant, but in spite of that he keeps on living. Absurdity also manifests itself when a human being commits suicide to run away from life, which is itself a meaningless experience. Suicide would thus be an absurdity of absurdity. Sisyphus is a conscious anti-hero, insofar as he experienced on the life path that to live is to be aware of the absurdity of living an insignificant life.46 In tune with Camus in dialogue with Merleau-Ponty, I interpret Sisyphus’s actions of going up and down tied to the limitation of corporal space, which is the path to the top and to the bottom of the mountain. They make him not only intentional motor consciousness but also make him give meaning to an experience which has no meaning at all, i.e. the experience of resistance to repetition, burden, tiredness and pain that the life path imposes on him. Therefore, my reading is that Sisyphus is intentional consciousness of the movement of resistance to life. The living body Thomas DeBaggio is also intentional motor consciousness towards family members when it expresses a mosaic of feelings in the field of Alzheimer’s disease. Through the experiences of feeling guilt, being tormented and feeling pain, it signifies, in my view, its life path as a tragedy. The spectacle of the tragedy has as its plot the condemnation to live through its own fault (i.e. Alzheimer’s). In other words, guilt is the condition of life. Over the condemnation that it is to live to atone for the illness itself, the living body Thomas DeBaggio has no chance to free itself. As intentional motor consciousness, it resists tragedy by keeping on living despite Alzheimer’s. The living body Thomas DeBaggio is not only intentional motor consciousness, since it moves on the life path, but it is also intentional consciousness of the movement of resistance to life, so far as it bears the burden of the disease that life

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On the illegitimacy of suicide, Camus explains: “The fundamental subject of ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’ is this: it is legitimate and necessary to wonder whether life has a meaning; therefore it is legitimate to meet the problem of suicide face to face. The answer, underlying and appearing through the paradoxes which cover it, is this: even if one does not believe in God, suicide is not legitimate.” (Camus 1991: 3) Compare Camus 1991: 37.

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imposed on it. It does not opt for suicide, since this act would be an absurdity of absurdity, that is, it would be a tragedy of tragedy, i.e. the suicide of life. According to the living body Thomas DeBaggio’s fragments of narrative, the burden of guilt (i.e. being condemned by life to an illness) that afflicts it has also been placed on the shoulders of its wife and son. From its perspective, they have also been condemned by tragedy (i.e. life) to the same penalty (i.e. Alzheimer’s). As I read it, for the living body Thomas DeBaggio, it is an irrationality to commit suicide as an act of liberation from tragedy. As a result, it also has no way of freeing its family members from experiencing the same tragedy and the burden that it places on them. Therefore, the living body Thomas DeBaggio bears not only the burden of condemnation that life has imposed on it (i.e. the disease), but also the burden of guilt of seeing its wife and its son bear the same burden.47 However, the experience of carrying that burden of guilt does not change – as I interpret Merleau-Ponty at this point – the quality (content) of love felt by the living body Thomas DeBaggio, so far as the experience of feeling guilt is already love. Thus, just as jealousy and possession are love, since they are meant as a particular way of experiencing love, so is a burden of guilt as well.

2. Bob Some reports that express the meaning of experiencing love as a burden are also recounted by clinical social worker Lisa Snyder.48 The living body Bob, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 70, worked as an engineer all its life. It lives with its wife Erika and they both have an adult son, whose name is Tom. The living body Bob says: “Poor Erika has to do all of the driving, thinking, and putting things together [...] I wish that I could do more so that the burden wouldn’t be on her shoulders. She has to be burdened with all of the things she does.” (Snyder 2009: 85). And further: “My tightest friendship is with Erika. I think we’re growing more tightly together. I give her a hard time. [...] I’m lucky to have her. There aren’t too many Erikas” (Snyder 2009: 86). In another part of the interview, the living body Bob reveals: “I’m hopefully still tender with Erika. I would like to be able to help take care of her. She has always been a brick. She is a brilliant lady. Thank goodness she is levelheaded – no odd ups and downs. I know that what she does is going to be right and is going to be of benefit to me and to her.” (Snyder 2009: 94)

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I will come back to this in the next part. She interviewed Bea, Bill, Jean, Bob, Booker, Betty and Consuelo, seven subjects with Alzheimer’s (Snyder 2009). I will stick to some fragments of Bob’s, Booker’s and Betty’s narratives.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

From this fragment of speech, it is evident that the living body Bob’s way of loving is through friendship for Erika: “My tightest friendship is with Erika.” Its way of loving is also tender: “I’m hopefully still tender with Erika.” Its way of loving is above all manifested through its concern that Erika is feeling overwhelmed by its illness: “Poor Erika has to do all... She has to be burdened with all of the things she does.” And still: “I wish that I could do more so that the burden wouldn’t be on her shoulders.” Its affliction about the burden that its wife may be experiencing is relativized by its trust in Erika’s strength and stability, which can withstand sudden changes in its mood and is a characteristic of Alzheimer’s: “Thank goodness she is levelheaded – no odd ups and downs. I know that what she does is going to be right and is going to be of benefit to me and to her.” Furthermore, the living body Bob expresses love for Tom in the following fragment: “On the way home, Tom was driving. But I really wasn’t sure who this guy was who was driving me. It took me some time [...] But as I turned to look at him, I suddenly realized by the profile that it was Tom.” (Snyder 2009: 95). Further: “Maybe the whole incident was good because it reinforced that I have a son [...] When I was working in aerospace, I was in the office a lot, and there were times when we were separated. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to see him more often now. That would be nice.” (Snyder 2009: 95) The living body Bob means implicitly the experience of love through mea culpa for having been absent from its son’s life and being able to repair it now through his visits.49 The way of feeling love is carrying a burden of guilt. Both in the love directed towards Erika and Tom, the way of experiencing that feeling in those fragments of the living body Bob’s account is charged implicitly with suffering and contrition. If it were not guilt, the living body Bob would not report, especially in relation to its son, that it wished to repair its absence throughout its son’s life: “When I was working in aerospace, I was in the office a lot, and there were times when we were separated. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to see him more often now. That would be nice.” Similar to the living body Thomas DeBaggio’s narration, it is conscious of its guilt (i.e. illness) and condemned by the tragedy of life to atone for its illness. The living body Bob can be described as intentional consciousness of the movement (i.e. feeling) of resistance to life, 49

In fiction, similar guilt is felt by the living body Marcos Abreu, which, at the end of the narrative, asks Marcelo for forgiveness for a number of absences in his life and explicitly declares, unlike Bob, love to him as follows: “What definitely could have been better? My relationship with Marcelo. I should have told him more often I love him and how brilliant his sculptures are. Sorry, my son, for the constant trips during your first years of life, for my not being there when the pediatrician said you had lymphatic cancer when you were seven and for being drunk and not trying to save you from a near-drowning when you were twelve. You are greater than I’ve been at any time.”

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since it chooses to keep on living despite Alzheimer’s. By choosing to resist tragedy, it can finally be present in its son’s life. In other words, I consider the living body Bob’s resistance to living with Alzheimer’s as a chance it thinks it still has to express its way of loving (ie. regret) towards Tom’s body. Regarding Erika’s body, my reading is also similar to what I did in the previous topic. From the perspective of the living body Bob, its wife is as it is ill and condemned by tragedy to carry the rock of Alzheimer’s. Erika is the same intentional motor consciousness of resistance as it is. This fragment “[s] he has always been a brick”, narrated by the living body Bob, reveals how it sees its wife’s body and, above all, how it means love as a way of feeling that condemns both to the same life path and the same illness.

3. Betty The living body Betty, a social worker, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 78. In its family, it is not only it which has Alzheimer’s; its younger sister also suffers from the same disease (Snyder 2009: 115). The living body Betty has a 55-year-old marriage with Kurt. It feels love in this way: “It helps that I’m not alone in this. [...] as long as Kurt can stay one step ahead of me, I’m not going to worry. We’ve been a team for a long time [...] I’m more dependent now, and I’ve never been particularly dependent. [...] I think it’s sad that there isn’t any history of teamwork in the marital or family relationships of a lot of people with Alzheimer’s disease. [...] There has to be a lot of trust.” (Snyder 2009: 117) And further: “We love each other. We have for 55 years, and we’re not going to change. That in itself is so consistent and relaxing. I’m comfortable with Kurt because I feel he takes into account whatever deficiencies I have […] He understands and he’s helpful. […] If I’m in a conversation with others and I lose something, he fills in unobtrusively. He’s loving and caring. That’s the important thing. [...] I’m lucky to have him. I’m luckier than most in my position. [...] I think that at the point when I feel like I’m really a burden to Kurt, I’ll suggest that I go into a home. It would be too much of a burden to me to be a burden to him.” (Snyder 2009: 126–127) How do I interpret the living body Betty’s words?

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

“Our story is a team’s one. This team has been together for 55 years and, because of longevity, it worked. Therefore, we will remain united until my end. Although we are a team, I have acted throughout my life with independence within the relationship. Now with Alzheimer’s, I am learning not to be in control of all my decisions. I am learning to let Kurt make certain decisions in my place, but I am comfortable with that, as I trust him as a team partner. Kurt is a helpful, kind and dedicated partner, that is, he takes good care of me and will continue to care until my death. I am lucky to have him at my side, because I am afraid of being abused by others and suffering any kind of violence due to the dependence that the disease entails. Yet, my husband takes me into consideration, that is, Kurt respects me as a subject50 . Therefore, I project my future as follows: I don’t want to be a burden to my husband when Alzheimer’s advances. As I have always taken my independence in the relationship into consideration, I will somehow know the right moment to suggest to Kurt that I join a nursing home. In short, because I love Kurt’s body, I do not want that my way of loving him be interpreted as a burden of pain and suffering.” Similar to the living bodies Thomas DeBaggio’s and Bob’s narratives, the living body Betty experiences the fear of being a burden as a way of loving. It is therefore intentional consciousness of the movement (i.e. the way of feeling) of resistance to life. That is because it is conscious of the tragedy of life with Alzheimer’s. Despite that tragedy, the living body Betty intends to keep on moving and not to succumb to another tragedy, which would be to run away from life. It is aware that the suffering of living will fall as a burden on its husband’s shoulders. In order to alleviate the guilt that this perspective of the disease imposes on itself, the living body Betty believes that it will know the moment it will ask Kurt to let it go to a nursing home. The 55-year-old marriage of the living body Betty is the field in which the tragic spectacle narrated by the fragments of living body Betty’s voice takes place. It shows different aspects or profiles of that marriage after the onset of Alzheimer’s. I will

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It is beyond the scope of this research to go into detail on the meaning of “respect” based on Merleau-Ponty’s writings that involve his ethics, as he argues in Sense and Non-Sense (1964a), Parts II: Ideas and III: Politics; in Humanism and Terror (1969a) and Adventures of the Dialectic (1973). Yet, quite succinctly, Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of respect is linked to two other meanings, which are “autonomy” and “violence”. He means “respect” as “respect for human beings as ends in themselves”, which is, on the one hand, associated with autonomy (human beings as ends in themselves), as thought by Kant. On the other hand, respect is, nevertheless, dissociated from the Kantian formulation of the human person as self-regulating consciousness. Like autonomy, violence is signified during the experience, i.e. grounded in the actions of the State that deviate from the ideal of “respect” and that lower the human being to an instrument for a certain purpose. In this regard, compare with Hamrick 1987: 70–75.

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stick to a fragment of Betty’s narrative and interpret it based on Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1954)51 . But before that I will digress on how I interpret intentional motor consciousness from Beckett’s dramaturgical perspective in dialogue with what I have already proposed and argued about the intentional motor consciousness of Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology and the intentional motor consciousness of resistance to life based on Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus (1991). In Waiting for Godot (1954), I highlight some scenes. In the first act, Estragon suggests to Vladimir that they could hang themselves on the branch of the only tree in the scene to kill time while waiting for Godot: “VLADIMIR: … What do we do now? ESTRAGON: Wait. VLADIMIR: Yes, but while waiting. ESTRAGON: What about hanging ourselves? VLADIMIR: Hmm. It'd give us an erection. ESTRAGON: (highly excited). An erection! VLADIMIR: With all that follows. Where it falls mandrakes grow. That's why they shriek when you pull them up. Did you not know that? ESTRAGON: Let's hang ourselves immediately! VLADIMIR: From a bough? (They go towards the tree.) I wouldn’t trust it. ESTRAGON: We can always try. VLADIMIR: Go ahead. ESTRAGON: After you. VLADIMIR: No no, you first. ESTRAGON: Why me?” (Beckett 1954: 17–18) At the end of the second act, which is a repetition of the first, and concluding the play, they both return to discuss how they will hang themselves. Godot did not appear, but he may appear the next day at that location. Afraid of the punishment that Godot would subject them to, they contradictorily decide not to leave. Thus, the only possibility of leaving, but waiting for Godot and not escaping his punishment, is that of hanging themselves. Yet, they fail to do that as follows: “ESTRAGON: Oh yes, let’s go far away from here. VLADIMIR: We can’t. ESTRAGON: Why not? VLADIMIR: We have to come back tomorrow. ESTRAGON: What for? VLADIMIR: To wait for Godot.

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The original En attendant Godot was published in 1952.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

ESTRAGON: Ah! (Silence.) He didn’t come? VLADIMIR: No. ESTRAGON: And now it’s too late. VLADIMIR: Yes, now it’s night. ESTRAGON: And if we dropped him? (Pause.) If we dropped him? VLADIMIR: He’d punish us. (Silence. He looks at the tree.) Everything’s dead but the tree. ESTRAGON: (looking at the tree). What is it? VLADIMIR: It’s the tree. ESTRAGON: Yes, but what kind? VLADIMIR: I don’t know. A willow. Estragon draws Vladimir towards the tree. They stand motionless before it. Silence. ESTRAGON: Why don't we hang ourselves? VLADIMIR: With what? ESTRAGON: You haven't got a bit of rope? VLADIMIR: No. ESTRAGON: Then we can’t. Silence. VLADIMIR: Let’s go. ESTRAGON: Wait, there's my belt. VLADIMIR: It’s too short. ESTRAGON: You could hang onto my legs. VLADIMIR: And who’d hang onto mine? ESTRAGON: True. VLADIMIR: Show me all the same. (Estragon loosens the cord that holds up his trousers which, much too big for him, fall about his ankles. They look at the cord.) It might do in a pinch. But is it strong enough? ESTRAGON: We’ll soon see. Here. They each take an end of the cord and pull. It breaks. They almost fall.” (Beckett 1954: 163–164) According to what I argued on The Myth of Sisyphus by Camus (1991) that life is the tragedy that condemns human beings to live it in spite of it and that escaping it is not an option because it is an absurdity of absurdity, Beckett, in my interpretation, takes the absurdity of absurdity, which is the suicide of life, to another higher level.52 52

According to Beckett “[t]ragedy is not concerned with human justice. Tragedy is the statement of expiation, but not the miserable expiation of a codified breach of a local arrangement, organised by the knaves for the fools. The tragic figure represents the expiation of original sin, of the original and eternal sin of him and all his ‘soci malorum’, the sin of having been born.” (Beckett 1978: 49). My understanding of this statement is that tragedy is

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In the first act, the possibility of Vladimir’s and Estragon’s suicide is a reason for the spectator to be sad and cry for the expectation of the action and at the same time laugh, with even more tears in his eyes, for the reason found by the two clochards to execute the action over there. In the second act, although the possibility of suicide causes some crying and still causes laughter, mockery or derision, Beckett’s purposeful repetition makes the spectator get used not only to the expectation that that act will sooner or later be committed, but also with crying and laughing at that absurdity of absurdity53 . The repetition, in other words, trivializes not only the two clochards’ actions of wanting to take their own lives but also the spectator’s actions of crying and scorning, making the absurdity of absurdity not so senseless and irrational as one might think. For the one, who watches the scene repeating in the second act, opens up another possibility of meaning their suicide: the discomfort that he, the viewer, may feel, in reviewing the characters repeating that action, concurring with that. Indeed the repetition of the scene opens up the possibility of finding in the non-meaning of the suicide of life meaning for that action. In dialogue with Beckett and, at the same time, with Camus and Merleau-Ponty, I argue then that the two clochards are intentional motor consciousness of non-resistance to life. Estragon’s own phrase – “Nothing to be done” (Beckett 1954: 2) –, which opens the play, shows that non-resistance to life. The same phrase is repeated by Estragon (Beckett 1954: 28) and Vladimir (Beckett 1954: 5, 7). Since there is nothing to be done, it makes sense that Estragon and Vladimir do not intend to resist life. I also remember that in this play both characters are on a road waiting for Godot. Estragon is sat on a low mound. They do not know where to go and when to go where they do not know. During the play both walk back and forth, stop in the middle of the stage, start walking towards the left or right side of the aisle and stop suddenly to start the same bewildered movements again. These movements, which are directed to a non-place of a path that they do not know, are in my understanding intentional, since for the two characters to be directed to a certain path and to a certain place of that certain path, the action of walking bewilderedly presents itself as an intentional movement that occurs in a field of possibility of meanings and senses, which is the path. In other words, Vladimir and Estragon are only able to find a certain path and a certain place on that certain path if they keep on walking, albeit bewilderedly, on the path.

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already birth itself, which human beings atone for throughout their lives. Tragedy is being born to atone. Whereas for Camus, tragedy is living to atone for the condemnation that is life itself, as I have already explored. Tragedy is to live to atone. In Beckett, the atonement is due to an original sin. It has a religious hue. However, for Camus, atonement is for an infraction committed by human beings, who are judged according to the justice of the natural cosmological law, i.e. the law of the Gods. Compare also Andrade 2017: 124.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

Likewise, their movements are directed either to another subject (to look at another or one another, to embrace each other), or to an object (bone, boot, hat, belt), or to an action (dancing, talking, putting on their hats, eating bones, trying to hang themselves, being silent), or to the repetition of all these movements. Both have no claim to resist life; in other words, they do not wish to revolt against it and continue to live despite it. On the contrary, they assume that escaping from life is a possibility that was opened to them along the way as a field of possibilities for the meaning of life. By taking Vladimir and Estragon’s actions to the extreme limit of tragedy, Beckett asks the spectator to reflect on the absurdity of absurdity, which is the suicide of life (or tragedy) as an affirmation of the meaning of life (or tragedy). I will resume this argument in Section IV of this chapter as well as in the next part. I will now turn to other parts of the play, which describe Pozzo and Lucky’s relationship, two secondary characters in the narrative of Waiting for Godot. Pozzo and Lucky’s relationship consists of a slave-master opposition. I quote: “Enter Pozzo and Lucky. Pozzo drives Lucky by means of a rope passed round his neck, so that Lucky is the first to enter, followed by the rope which is long enough to let him reach the middle of the stage before Pozzo appears. Lucky carries a heavy bag, a folding stool, a picnic basket and a greatcoat, Pozzo a whip. POZZO: (off). On! (Crack of whip. Pozzo appears. They cross the stage. Lucky passes before Vladimir and Estragon and exit. Pozzo at the sight of Vladimir and Estragon stops short. The rope tautens. Pozzo jerks at it violently.) Back!” (Beckett 1954: 28) And: “POZZO: Stand back! (Vladimir and Estragon move away from Lucky. Pozzo jerks the rope. Lucky looks at Pozzo.) Think, pig! (Pause. Lucky begins to dance.) Stop! (Lucky stops.) Forward! (Lucky advances.) Stop! (Lucky stops.) Think! Silence. LUCKY: On the other hand with regard to— POZZO: Stop! (Lucky stops.) Back! (Lucky moves back.) Stop! (Lucky stops.) Turn! (Lucky turns towards auditorium.) Think! [...] LUCKY: Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it will fire the firmament that is to say blast hell to heaven so blue still and calm so calm with a calm which

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even though intermittent is better than nothing but not so fast and considering what is more that as a result of the labors left unfinished crowned by the Acacacacademy of Anthropopopometry of Essy-in-Possy of Testew and Cunard it is established beyond all doubt all other doubt than that which clings to the labors of men that as a result of the labors unfinished of Testew and Cunnard it is established as hereinafter but not so fast for reasons unknown that as a result of the public works of Puncher and Wattmann it is established beyond all doubt that in view of the labors of Fartov and Belcher left unfinished for reasons unknown of Testew and Cunard left unfinished it is established what many deny that man in Possy of Testew and Cunard that man in Essy that man in short that man in brief in spite of the strides of alimentation and defecation wastes and pines wastes and pines and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the strides of physical culture the practice of sports such as tennis football running cycling swimming flying floating riding gliding conating camogie skating tennis of all kinds dying flying sports of all sorts autumn summer winter winter tennis of all kinds hockey of all sorts penicillin and succedanea in a word I resume flying gliding golf over nine and eighteen holes tennis of all sorts in a word for reasons unknown in Feckham Peckham Fulham Clapham namely concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown but time will tell fades away I resume Fulham Clapham in a word the dead loss per head since the death of Bishop Berkeley being to the tune of one inch four ounce per head approximately by and large more or less to the nearest decimal good measure round figures stark naked in the stockinged feet in Connemara in a word for reasons unknown no matter what matter the facts are there and considering what is more much more grave that in the light of the labors lost of Steinweg and Peterman it appears what is more much more grave that in the light the light the light of the labors lost of Steinweg and Peterman that in the plains in the mountains by the seas by the rivers running water running fire the air is the same and then the earth namely the air and then the earth in the great cold the great dark the air and the earth abode of stones in the great cold alas alas in the year of their Lord six hundred and something the air the earth the sea the earth abode of stones in the great deeps the great cold on sea on land and in the air I resume for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis the facts are there but time will tell I resume alas alas on on in short in fine on on abode of stones who can doubt it I resume but not so fast I resume the skull fading fading fading and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis on on the beard the flames the tears the stones so blue so calm alas alas on on the skull the skull the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the labors abandoned left unfinished graver still abode of stones in a word I resume alas alas abandoned unfinished the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the skull alas

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

the stones Cunard (mêlée, final vociferations) tennis . . . the stones .. . so calm . . . Cunard . . . unfinished . . .” (Beckett 1954: 64–66) These two excerpts, among many others, reveal that Pozzo depends on Lucky and Lucky having no choice also depends on Pozzo. Pozzo is the one who guides the rope tied around Lucky’s neck. Pozzo likewise says what Lucky is and what he is not as well as what he is allowed, or not, to do, how to follow this or that path, stop on the path, sit or stand, sleep or be awake, be pulled to retrace the path, go in this or in that direction and perform this or that task. Besides, Pozzo determines whether or not Lucky can think and whether or not he can express what he thinks. Thus, when Lucky is coerced into thinking, he expresses himself in a disconnected and incoherent way as in the monologue above, the words seem to have no meaning and no sense. In other words, they do not obey a formal language structure and are not systematically organized so that the words can constitute a narrative. His monologue is illogical and irrational. Although the other characters and the spectator cannot understand what Lucky says, this does not mean that he does not communicate anything. In fact, Lucky’s monologue communicates several things under the guise of non-communication, non-meaning and non-sense. It shows for instance that Lucky does not think alone, i.e. without Pozzo. In other words, Lucky does not think (i.e. thinks), inasmuch as Pozzo does not think (i.e. thinks). As static body-object and sexual possession of the living body Pozzo, Lucky is an extension of his domain. As such, Lucky may not show who he is and which identity he has. His identity is dictated and shown by his owner. The living body Pozzo ultimately determines whether the life of Lucky’s body has any meaning. The living body Pozzo in turn needs Lucky’s body to carry its belongings and itself along the life path. The living body Pozzo puts all that weight on Lucky’s body and flattens it as far as it can towards the ground. It does not annihilate its slave for it depends on him as a means to keep on walking and get where it wants to go. Now I move on to the following fragment of the living body Betty’s narrative: “I think that at the point when I feel like I’m really a burden to Kurt, I’ll suggest that I go into a home. It would be too much of a burden to me to be a burden to him.” Bearing in mind that Beckett’s dramaturgy radicalizes human experiences in order to make the spectator reflect on the (non-)meaning of life and human relationships, what kind of approximation between that dramaturgical experience and the concrete experience of a subject with Alzheimer’s could I then make? In other words, how can I interpret the living body Betty’s fragment of speech based on my description and reflection of Waiting for Godot? First, I will stick to the meaning that the living body Betty intends to give to its way of loving (or feeling guilty) in the future. It maintains a long-lived marriage with Kurt. Like Pozzo it took over Kurt’s body. As an extension of it, Kurt is also condemned to the same disease and in spite of that he must continue living.

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It is certain that the living body Betty intends to go to a nursing home in the future in order not to feel guilty for being a burden to Kurt’s body. Still, if its way of loving is to feel guilt – as I signified its narrative at the beginning of this topic – then it will stop loving its husband when it goes into a nursing home. With that action, it intends, however, the opposite: to keep on loving its husband without guilt, which sounds like a contradiction. I recall what I argued at the beginning of this topic: “… because I love Kurt’s body, I do not want that my way of loving him be interpreted as a burden of pain and suffering.” How will the living body Betty continue to love without guilt, if for 55 years it has loved its husband otherwise? It makes, therefore, no sense that, as the disease progresses, the living body Betty will ask Kurt’s body to go to a nursing home. Likewise, it supposes that with the advancement of the disease it will continue to have control of its life and its own decisions. For example, it says it will know when it will tell Kurt’s body that it wants to go to a nursing home. It is evident though that the living body Betty, which has a sister with Alzheimer’s and which knows that disease well, knows that controlling and deciding are two actions that cannot be performed by itself with cognitive deterioration caused by the advancement of Alzheimer’s. The living body Betty will need Kurt’s body as an extension of its domain to make any decision, including leaving it in a nursing home. As a result, Kurt’s body must in the future carry out the living body Betty’s will as a meaningful one. The living body Betty assumes that its husband will understand its request, even though Kurt’s body is and continues to be as ill as it is. In other words, its husband will fulfil the living body Betty’s wish because he has been in its possession for over 50 years, even though he experiences the disease as it does. Wrapped in the darkness of dementia, Kurt’s body will possibly mean and make sense of the living body Betty’s fragment of speech by not meaning it and not making sense of it54 .

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I turn to Merleau-Ponty to point out that his description of subjects with amnesia is close to my description of the couple with Alzheimer’s, and as a result, it is also very close to Beckett’s view, since what is said seems to be devoid of meaning regardless of whether both subjects babble, stammer, express loose words, half words and unexpected and incoherent half phrases, are silent and self-absorbed. Specifically, Merleau-Ponty describes cases of amnesia in which a certain thought and a certain language have been cut from their meanings: “[...] when the word loses its meaning, it is modified down to its sensible aspect, it is emptied. The patient suffering from amnesia, to whom a colour name is given, and who is asked to choose a corresponding sample, repeats the name as if he expected something to come of it. But the name is now useless to him, it tells him nothing more, it is alien and absurd, as are for us names which we go on repeating for too long a time”. (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 224). This positioning by Merleau-Ponty does not show coherence in relation to how he approaches language and gestures as a language not only in Phenomenology of Perception (2002), but also in a later essay entitled Indirect Language and the Voices of the Silence (1964b). In Chapter 3, I will address this issue (emphasis is mine).

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

III. A Way of Loving: Touching 1. Booker The living body Booker was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 82. It lives with its daughter Brenda and her husband. Its account expresses, on several occasions, how much it loves its daughter and how much it feels her love. It speaks “I’m blessed to have a wonderful daughter. She’s very good to me. She looks after me. I love her and she loves me” (Snyder 2009: 103). The love for the living body Booker is expressed by the way its daughter takes care of it and how much it trusts her to the point that it depends on her as a son does on his mother. It feels comfortable with its condition. The living body Booker also recognizes how much its daughter’s husband loves it. Its loving expression is shown as follows: “[...] I depend upon her. I’m in her hands. I’m in my baby phase now, so to speak. So sometimes I call her ʻmy mumma.ʼ Yes, she’s my mumma now. (Booker smiled appreciatively.). I take my own bath, but sometimes she tells me what to put on that day, and I’m obedient. She sees that I’m dressed just right – makes sure my tie’s on straight. Sometimes I lose things – maybe my pocket knife. But I have my own room. That’s where I keep everything. My daughter takes care of my forgetfulness. Her husband is wonderful to me, too.” (Snyder 2009: 103) The living body Booker, unlike the other reports that make up Lisa Snyder’s book, accepted its condition of losing control of life and letting other family members take care of it. Its way of loving is therefore not a burden of guilt. It demands others to treat it with “love” and “gentleness”. It says: “If I forget something I want people to be mild with me. Do what you have to do, but you appreciate a touch of love rather than a touch of hostility. Hostility will cause you to rebel. Treat others as you would like to be treated. You wouldn’t like me to be beating on you all the time. […] My daddy never yelled at me. He was a mild man, and he taught me how to behave. [...] I can’t remember ever spanking my daughter. I just would talk to her. And that approach rubbed off on her. And now, she’s mild with me.” (Snyder 2009: 106–107) The living body Booker also tells in this excerpt how it lived the experience of love throughout its life. For it loving excludes the possibility of being harassed and mistreated by others. Although it acknowledges being dependent on them due to Alzheimer’s, it manifests how it wants to be treated in the future, i.e. in the same way that its father dealt with it and it dealt with its daughter, that is, without abuse and violence. It projects the future and anticipates it based on the way it leads

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its affective life in the present with family support. “[Y]ou appreciate a touch of love...”, it also says. The living body Booker appreciates sensorial affection: the way its daughter checks whether it is dressed correctly, for instance, the tie is not inside out, and the way that Brenda checks whether its clothes are in accordance with how it has always been dressed, not inside out or with the pieces of clothes changed. All this touches the living body Booker from the outside to the inside, as it is during the action of touching that it experiences “being appreciated” as a way of loving. The touch is not only the living body Booker’s one as intentional motor consciousness in its tie, shirt and trousers, i.e. from the inside to the outside. It is also another touch, namely its daughter’s gaze at itself from the outside to the inside. The touch of the gaze is that of Brenda at its clothes and which touches its skin. Brenda’s approving look at its dress code is a touch that it feels from the outside to the inside. I will return to this point later. The experience of love as a way of touching is also that of looking at the mirror. The living body Booker’s gaze at the mirror touches it, and that touch returns to itself as an image (or a representation). Thus, it is in the way of experiencing love as a touch that the living body Booker wishes to keep on being cared for in the future. Although dependent on others, it does not want to be seen and touched (i.e. treated) as an object (i.e. instrument), but rather to be seen and touched in the present as well as in the future as a bodysubject.

IV. Summary From the living body Iris Murdoch’s fragmented narrative, I recall what love was throughout its romantic and sexual life. The living body Iris Murdoch possibly meant it as a way of feeling enchantment and desire for that way of feeling. Both were directed to a certain profile of each of the different partners it had a relationship with. A way of loving was also experienced as friendship and companionship for its husband John Bayley. The way of experiencing friendship (or love) was for John Bayley’s body. This is evident in this excerpt from the already-quoted November 1994 letter: “[…] I am amazed that someone has suggested that John and I are parted, divorced, this is absolutely impossible. We are utterly loving and forever together and well known to be, and have always been! Not an ʻoddityʼ— a perfect marriage—if that’s odd! Please tell the crazy someone that it is a completely happy marriage.” (Meyers 2013: 81) It lived with several profiles of the living body John Bayley. The identity of that living body unfolded in the coexistence of the long-lived marriage. The biographer Peter

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

Conradi thus reported the living body Iris Murdoch’s way of loving her husband as follows: “Among the many gifts she loved John for – such as patient, good humour, and courage – practicality did not rank high.” (Conradi 2010: 615). The repetition of those same characteristics of the living body John Bayley in the course of marriage made it a body. Romantic love, as I have already formulated it in regard to Proust, does not resist the multiplicity of profiles after the first gaze at a certain profile that showed itself as a spectacle in a certain field. If at any time the living body Iris Murdoch experienced the moment of romantic love directed to a certain profile of the living body John Bayley, it became sexual love in the daily living with its husband’s body, of which she took possession and appropriated it. From the living body Marcos Abreu’s narrative, romantic love is presented in the mode “been enchanted by the enchantment of a certain graceful pictorial or plastic profile of the living body C. and perhaps of a certain flawless pictorial one of the living body Emilia”. Both women were at the instant these experiences happened surrounded by the affective field of painting (at the Museum, in the living body C’s case, and in the studio, in the living body Emilia’s one). Regarding the living body Emilia, the possible experience of romantic love was ambiguous, as romantic love was possibly fused with a parental way of loving. Furthermore, the living body Marcos Abreu expressed parental love imbued with guilt for his son Marcelo. This way of loving was experienced as guilt, which I interpret here as carrying a burden of absence (i.e. remote presence) at some crucial moments of its son’s childhood and pre-adolescence (i.e. the moment when Marcelo nearly drowned and the one when he received the lymphoma diagnosis). If the mode of loving was at any time directed towards a certain infantile profile of its son, coexistence and daily life transformed this mode of loving into love for Marcelo’s body, which the living body Marcos Abreu took over. The same happened in its relationship with the living body Emilia: the parental way of loving unfolded in daily life was for its daughter’s body, which the living body Marcos Abreu possessed. The living body Henry experienced romantic love as enchantment by a certain profile of music, i.e. sound as a touch of God’s love, which awoke him from the inside out. From the living body Thomas DeBaggio’s narrative, its way of loving was full of guilt due to the burden of pain and anger Alzheimer’s imposed on its wife Joyce and son Francesco. The experience of friendship or companionship (i.e. love) was for the static body of its wife Joyce, what the experience of parental love was also for Francesco’s body. From the fragments narrated by the living bodies Bob and Betty I interpret that they experienced friendship (or love) and the burden of guilt as ways of loving. In the case of the living body Bob, these modes were for its wife Erika’s body, and in the case of the living body Betty, for its husband Kurt’s. To the living body Betty, I add that the other’s respect towards it as a subject who appreciated independence

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also signified a way of loving. Concerning the living body Bob, I note that the way of feeling love was also for its son Tom. As in the living body Marcos Abreu’s case, the exercise of the way of loving its son was a burden of guilt due to its partial absence – due to its work – throughout the child’s ordinary and habitual life. As the way of loving was experienced as a burden of guilt, the living body Bob meant this experience as a partial possession of its son’s body, which it sought to fully take over from the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s onwards. The living body Booker experienced romantic love towards a certain profile of itself as a child. It attributed the role of motherhood to its daughter (“as if she were its mother”). Its way of loving was experienced in the mode “being enchanted by a touch of love”. Thus, the living body Booker did not signify its way of loving as a burden of guilt. In short, (1) According to the living bodies Iris Murdoch’s, Marcos Abreu’s, Thomas DeBaggio’s, Bob’s and Betty’s fragments of narratives of affection, the phenomenological description of a certain way of loving is experienced because those living bodies (a) are aimed at and, at the same time, are attracted by55 an exceptional, an extraordinary, and a unique spectacle of a certain plastic or fluid profile of the living body the other in a certain affective field and in a single instant of the internal experience of love (i.e. desire for being enchanted or desire for the feeling of enchantment). Here, romantic love presents itself as enchantment, grace and perfection. On the plane or in the field of art (i.e. literature and painting) romantic love can be opened up as a path (i.e. way) for self-experience. The relation is Body-I enchant body-self by the feeling-object enchantment. This is a subjectχactionχobject chiasmatic relation. Iris Murdoch’s and Marcos Abreu’s fragmented narratives are partly illustrative. (b) are aimed at, and at the same time, are attracted by a multiplicity of ordinary profiles of the other’s body in the same affective fields of daily living. The living body the other becomes over the course of life a static body, which the living body takes over (i.e. possesses the other’s body sexually). Moreover, love is experienced within a conventional framework. Through the repetition of sexual possessions of the static body over time love experience becomes habitual. Companionship (i.e. friendship) and parental love (i.e. the relationship between the living body

55

I will discuss the experience of love from the perspective of the living body the other directed at the subject with Alzheimer’s in Chapter 3.

Chapter 1: The Self-Experience of Love

father as active pole and child as passive pole) are grouped together. Iris Murdoch’s56 and Marcos Abreu’s fragmented stories are partly placed in here. (c) are aimed at, and at the same time, are attracted by a multiplicity of ordinary profiles of the other’s body in the same affective fields of daily living. The living body the other becomes over the course of life a static body, which the living body takes over (i.e. possesses the other’s body sexually). Moreover, love experience is signified within conventions and becomes a habit due to the repetition of sexual possessions of the static body over time. Companionship (i.e. friendship), love as a burden of guilt and parental love (i.e. the relationship between the living body father as active pole and child as passive pole) are grouped together. On the plane or in the field of art (i.e. tragedy) love can be opened up as a path (i.e. way) for self-experience. The spectacle of tragedy (or of life) occurs within family relations, where sexual love is experienced. The spectacle of tragedy (or of life) specifically has as its plot the condemnation that life imposed on the living body, which is to carry the burden of the disease. The same condemnation it imposes, by the power of sexual love, on its family. On the way to the experience of love, the living body becomes intentionally consciousness of the movement to resist tragedy, which is to keep on living despite Alzheimer’s. By imposing the disease on its family, it ends up, in its perspective, making them the same kind of consciousness. The relation is Body-I loves (interchangeable with feels guilt, pain, grief towards) other’s body. It is a subject-object opposing relation. This description comprises Thomas DeBaggio’s, Bob’s and Betty’s full fragmented narratives. (d) The living body Booker is aimed at and, at the same time, is attracted by an extraordinary profile of child love that unfolds in the internal experience as a way of feeling love or enchantment by the spectacle of touching (i.e. a touch of love). Here, romantic love presents itself on the plane or in the field of family relations, in which love can be opened up as a path (i.e. way) for self-experience. The relation is Body-I enchants body-self by the feeling-object enchantment. It is a subjectχactionχobject chiasmatic relation. (e) The living body Henry is aimed at and, at the same time, is attracted by an exceptional sound profile that unfolds in a single instant of internal experience as a way of feeling love or enchantment by the spectacle of listening to a certain piece of music (i.e. the sound of gospel music). Here, romantic love presents itself. It is on the plane or in the field of art (i.e. music) that love can be opened up as a path (i.e. way) for self-experience. The relation is Body-I enchants bodyself by the feeling-object enchantment. It is a subjectχactionχobject chiasmatic relation.

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As I will interpret in Chapter 3 of this part, Iris Murdoch and John Bayley’s marriage cannot be totally framed in generalized normative or regular social rules.

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(2) (a) I established a dialogue between Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology and Camus’s and Beckett’s existentialist and phenomenological literature. I used my interpretations on consciousness according to those three authors as a basis to reflect upon the experiences of love of the subjects with Alzheimer’s listed in this chapter. (b) I went on describing the subject with Alzheimer’s as troubled intentional motor consciousness according to my understanding of Merleau-Ponty. I group all the fragments of the reports of subjects with Alzheimer’s. (c) The subject with Alzheimer’s can also be described as absurd intentional motor consciousness according to my reading of Camus. I include the fragments of narratives of the living bodies Thomas DeBaggio, Bob and Betty. (d) The subject with Alzheimer’s can also be described as absurd intentional motor consciousness according to my considerations on Beckett’s dramaturgy. A fragment of the living body Betty’s life story is here comprised. (e) In addition, I consider that the subject with Alzheimer’s is intentional motor consciousness of resistance to life based on my interpretation of Camus. I group Thomas DeBaggio’s, Bob’s and Betty’s narratives together. (f) Last but not least, I understand that the subject with Alzheimer’s can be equally described as intentional motor consciousness of non-resistance to life based on my view on Beckett’s dramaturgy. I will address this in detail in the next chapters.

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities Habit is the ballast that chains the dog to his vomit. Samuel Beckett

In this chapter, I will reflect on habit, understood by Merleau-Ponty as sedimentation: “[…] my body and my senses are precisely that familiarity with the world born of habit, that implicit or sedimentary body of knowledge” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 2771 )2 , which forms “a whole ‘sedimentary history’” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 459). I will establish a dialogue between the Merleau-Pontian view and excerpts from Beckett’s Proust essay, as well as those from his dramaturgy, namely Waiting for Godot (1945). I will then articulate the habit as understood in both authors with fragments of fiction and non-fiction narrated by some subjects with Alzheimer’s from the previous chapter. In addition, the background of this chapter is the previous one. The experience of love by the living body with Alzheimer’s directly or indirectly manifests itself in certain sedimented abilities. This chapter is also an intermediate one, in so far as it lays the basis for the intersubjective experience of love, which I will discuss in the next chapter.

I.

Habit-Body: Living Body and Body-Object

As already extensively argued and described so far, the living body or body-subject is, in Merleau-Ponty, intentional motor consciousness. It shows itself in certain environments mingled with its own projects3 . Certain environments, in which the liv-

1 2

3

Compare also with Merleau-Ponty 2002: 150, 220, 249, 405. In this respect, Edward S. Casey comments: “Sedimentation is implied by my very beingin-the-world, which must be as continually resumptive of acquired experience as it is prosumptive of experience still to come.” (Casey 1984: 284) Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 127, 94.

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ing body experiences feelings and sensations and develops its own projects, are internalized by it and mixed with it in such a way that there is no way to draw a line between the living body and the environment of experience. Its own projects can also undergo repetitions throughout life in repetitive environments. The repetition of both the environment and the project can be so sedimented inside the living body that the intention to move in a known environment and to carry out a project in that same environment becomes a habit.4 Certain actions necessary for the realization of certain living body’s projects can also be habitual, insofar as they are no longer open to other possibilities of action and projects beyond them and different from them. A certain environment, a certain project developed in that environment and a certain action necessary for the development of that project in that environment are assimilated by the body-subject. Mingled with other parts (i.e. that certain environment, that certain project and that certain action), the body-subject, itself also a part, forms through repetition one whole. This repeating whole is no longer modelable or reconfigurable. It is not chiasmatic. In other words, the repeating whole is not open to possibilities of rearrangements of its content and consequently changes in the meaning of content. The continuous repetition of a certain environment, a certain project and a certain action makes the body-subject a body-object. Repetition exercises its domain over the body-subject insidiously. It penetrates the body-subject in such a way that it gets used to it without realizing it. And it is this “getting used to repetition” that makes the body-subject a body-object. In other words, repetition tames the body-subject over time. Yet, Merleau-Ponty does not consider the habit-body as a habit-body-object, but as a habit-living body. The living body, he says: “[...] it is my basic habit, the one which conditions all the others, and by means of which they are mutually comprehensible” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 104). Unlike Merleau-Ponty’s understanding, the living body can become a body-object. Drawing on Husserl’s lessons about the whole and the parts and applying them to habit, the latter is the whole, of which the body-object and all its movements or actions are its parts. For Merleau-Ponty, however, the body-subject is the whole, the “primordial habit” that conditions its parts, called “attachments” encompassed by the habit-body (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 104). The author argues: “[…] my clothes may become appendages of my body” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 104). There are countless other concrete examples, among which I mention the following: walking the dog at the same times. If the body-subject forgets to walk with the animal, habit reminds it, that is, the repetitive barking of the dog reminds it, insofar as the animal is an attachment or part of the body-subject and, therefore, ties the body-subject to the 4

Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 127, 94–95.

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities

same habit of walking. I also add waking up, taking the train to work, working, returning from work at the same time; the next day, again waking up, taking the train to work, working, returning from work at the same time, the following day, the same routine of waking up, taking the train, work, back from work; the following weeks and months, wake up, work, back from work; the next years, wake up, work, wake up, work in such a way that over the years the body-subject makes no more difference between waking up and working. Both become one part or attachment to the body-subject.

II.

The Meaning and Non-Meaning of Habit

In Merleau-Ponty’s view, habit acquisition is a motor apprehension of a motor meaning (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 165). Since I usually drive a car, while I drive, I see, for example, I can pass without comparing the width of the street with that of the bumpers (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 165). As I read this, the body-subject attributes content to the movement performed for the first time. In doing so, it gives this movement meaning (i.e. takes it into consideration). All subsequent movements carry the meaning of the first movement. The first time someone drives a car, he meant he can drive it along a narrow street without hitting a wall or a pole on that street. The next time he repeats that driving action and having to pass through another narrow street, he will give the action or movement the same meaning he gave it the first time. I give a second example grounded in Merleau-Ponty. A blind man, who walks the street for the first time with a cane, signifies the movement of his cane along the street: “Here, I can pass, there I must go around the hole or a pole, there I must turn the corner.” Every other time he has to repeat those movements, when passing along that street, he will signify the movements of his cane in the same way. Using the cane becomes, with repetition, an attachment (or a part) of the habit-body-subject (or a whole) of walking on that street. The cane is no more an object, since it is no longer perceived by itself. Its extremity becomes a sensitive area, it increases the extent and range of the action of movement, it becomes a part of the body-subject, it becomes touching, which is nothing more than an analogue of a blind body-subject’s vision (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 165–166). Likewise, the paintbrush is, for the healthy painter or the one with Alzheimer’s, an extension of touching a painting. The brush is an extension of the painter’s hands, as I also explained.5 Thus, for Merleau-Ponty, getting used to a car, a cane or a brush means settling in or living in them6 .

5 6

See Part I, Chapter 2, Section II, topic 3. Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 127, 166.

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In Beckett, as I already argued7 , Vladimir and Estragon’s movements in “Waiting for Godot” are repetitive, such as walking up and down (Beckett 1954: 112, 114, 115, 116), stopping (Beckett 1954: 10, 11, 15, 17, 30, 52, 74, 84, 86, 87, 88, 116, 124, 157, 160), not moving (Beckett 1954: 165), moving (Beckett 1954: 9, 11, 68, 70, 77, 85, 86, 87, 111, 120, 122, 126, 141, 147, 151, 153), Vladimir takes off his hat, looks inside it, feels about inside it, shakes it, puts it on again. (Beckett 1954: 5, 6, 56, 67, 103, 118, 164) and Vladimir and Estragon take, put on and adjust their hats several times, exchange their hats with each other and repeat the same movements (Beckett 1954: 117–118). Estragon removes his boots – I do not know how many times –, he looks inside them, takes them, throws them away, takes a pair of boots that do not belong him, tries them on, fights against them, removes them, walks with them in his hands and leaves them in the centre of the stage (Beckett 1954: 2, 4, 5, 6, 11, 28, 54, 78, 82, 86, 107, 108, 112, 113, 151, 156, 157, 160). Both wake up, sleep, wake up, sleep and they do not know in this repetition whether they are awake or asleep: “VLADIMIR: Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today? That with Estragon my friend, at this place, until the fall of night, I waited for Godot? That Pozzo passed, with his carrier, and that he spoke to us? Probably. But in all that what truth will there be? (Estragon, having struggled with his boots in vain, is dozing off again. Vladimir looks at him.) He’ll know nothing. He’ll tell me about the blows he received and I'll give him a carrot. (Pause.) Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. (He listens.) But habit is a great deadener. (He looks again at Estragon.) At me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, He is sleeping, he knows nothing, let him sleep on. (Pause.) I can’t go on! (Pause.) What have I said?” (Beckett 1954: 157) The reader or the spectator of the play perceives that the characters mean or do not mean their repeated actions; for example, the scene where Vladimir looks into his hat. For the character, this movement or action may or may not have meaning, that is, Vladimir provides them or not with content and takes them or not into consideration. (1) Establishing a dialogue between Merleau-Ponty and Beckett, I describe and interpret, on the one hand, this scene based on Merleau-Ponty’s view as follows: (a) Inside the hat, the gaze is apparently towards a certain object that is not there. The look directed at a certain object that is not physically there, does not mean 7

See Chapter 1, Section II, topic 3. of this part.

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities

(b) (c) (d) (e) (f)

that that object is not implicitly in that hat. The look towards the inside of it can for example be interpreted as a look in search of a fragment, a piece, a part or a moment of a memory8 , a feeling, a sensation that Vladimir experienced in time flow. It can also be a look in search of not a moment of lost time, to paraphrase Proust, but in search of escaping from ordinary life or springing out of it to experience extraordinary feelings and sensations. Ultimately, it can be a look towards an object that only Vladimir sees inside his hat, i.e. a look directed at an object of hallucination. With all these possibilities of interpreting the movement of Vladimir’s gaze, I argue following Merleau-Ponty that Vladimir is intentional motor consciousness towards his own search. As a living body or body-subject, Vladimir also means the movement of his gaze towards that search. A second, a third and other similar movements follow, which take on the meaning that was given by the first movement of the body-subject Vladimir. The hat becomes, with repetition (or sedimentation), an attachment to the bodysubject Vladimir (i.e. an attachment to that gaze). Vladimir is habitual intentional motor consciousness towards the search. The living body Vladimir’s look is a sense for the search.

(2) From Beckett’s view, I describe and interpret, on the other hand, this scene as follows: (a) Inside the hat, the look is towards an object that is not there. Vladimir is intentional motor consciousness as the gaze is directed to an emptying, i.e. an object that has been removed from there. In my reading of Waiting for Godot (1954), human life is devoid of beauty, grace and truth9 . Pozzo, for example, makes the following statement:

“But for him all my thoughts, all my feelings, would have been of common things. (Pause. With extraordinary vehemence.) Professional worries! (Calmer.) Beauty, grace, truth of the first water, I knew they were all beyond me. So I took a knook.” (Beckett 1954: 47)

8

9

The interpretation proposed coincides with the statement that habit-body-subject is a living body that sedimented implicit knowledge (compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 277). However, by stating that, Merleau-Ponty went no further. He did not deal, for instance, with the living body’s implicit memory. I agree on this point with Edward S. Casey’s finding that Merleau-Ponty did not dwell on the description of body-memory. Compare Husserl 2000: 147. Compare McDonald 2017: 136, 140–141.

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21 years before Waiting for Godot, Beckett published the essay Proust, in which the emptying and loss not only of beauty, but also of mystery, love and the sacred are shown in the narrator Marcel’s life. Beckett describes: “Driving to the Guermantes Hotel he feels that everything is lost, that his life is a succession of losses, devoid of reality because nothing survives, nothing of his love for Gilberte, for the Duchesse de Guermantes, for his grandmother, and now nothing of his love for Albertine, nothing of Combray and Balbec and Venice except the distorted images of voluntary memory10 , a life all in length, a sequence of dislocations and adjustments, where neither mystery nor beauty is sacred, where all, except the adamantine columns of his enduring boredom, has been consumed in the torrential solvent of the years, a life so protracted in the past and so meaningless in the future, so utterly bereft of any individual and permanent necessity, that his death, now or tomorrow or in a year or in ten, would be a termination but not a conclusion.” (Beckett 1978: 49–50) Emptying is also that of hope. Vladimir and Estragon await Godot during the entire play, and he does not arrive. His non-arrival is already anticipated at the beginning of the play by this speech by Vladimir: “... (musingly). The last moment . . . (He meditates.) Hope deferred maketh the something sick, who said that?” (Beckett 1954: 5). This phrase is part of a biblical proverb, which reads as follows: “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverb 13:12). Thus, emptying is not just that of hope, but of a desire that may not be realized, if Godot does not arrive. That emptying of hope and desire makes “something sick”, and that “something”, expressed by Vladimir, alludes to the term “heart” in the proverb. However, this is not just any human heart, but a certain human heart that once believed that the sacred could incarnate in the world.11 10

11

For Proust, the remembrances of voluntary memory are a distortion, insofar they are intellectual and inauthentic. This understanding is in line with the following interview given by Proust to the newspaper Le Temps on November 14, 1913: “For me, voluntary memory, which is above all a memory of intelligence and eyes, does not give us more than faces from the past without reality ... You see, I believe that it is only to involuntary memories that the artist should look for the raw material of his work. First of all, it is precisely because they are involuntary that they are form by themselves, attracted by the similarity of an identical minute, they are the only ones to have a mark of authenticity.” (Proust 2016: 511–512, translation is mine) In my viewpoint, of the four characters in Waiting for Godot, Vladimir is the one whose words make references to how “inner life” (compare Andrade 2017: 127) does not match “real life” – I mean “real” here as in Husserl, as I already analysed in Chapter 1 – or “social life” – I understand “social” as the one I have already described in Chapter 1, Section I, topic 2. as per Proust. This is due, in my view, to some elements present in the Beckettian narrative,

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities (b) As living body or body-subject, Vladimir means (i.e. takes into consideration the content that was or could be inside the hat, but that was or could be removed from it: beauty, grace, truth, mystery, love, hope, the sacred) the movement of the gaze towards these emptyings. (c) A second, a third and other similar movements follow, which take on the meaning that was given by the body-subject Vladimir’s first movement. such as incommunicability and absence of meaning and sense in human relations in real life (compare also Andrade 2001: 21, 31). Both the first and second elements are shown in this piece and in Beckett’s work as a whole and are anchored in repetitive and habitual daily actions and relationships. Among other excerpts from Waiting for Godot, which are evidence of my interpretation of this character, I highlight the following: “VLADIMIR: Boots must be taken off every day, I’m tired of telling you that. Why don't you listen to me?” (Beckett 1954: 4); “VLADIMIR: (angrily). No one ever suffers but you. I don’t count. I’d like to hear what you’d say if you had what I have.” (Beckett 1954: 5). “VLADIMIR: Ah yes, the two thieves. Do you remember the story? [...] Our Saviour. Two thieves. One is supposed to have been saved and the other . . . (he searches for the contrary of saved) . . . damned.” (Beckett 1954: 8). “VLADIMIR: Time has stopped.” (Beckett 1954: 54); “VLADIMIR: Silence! All listen, bent double. ESTRAGON: I hear something. POZZO: Where? VLADIMIR: It’s the heart.” (Beckett 1954: 69); “VLADIMIR: I missed you . . . and at the same time I was happy. Isn’t that a strange thing?” (Beckett 1954: 89); “VLADIMIR: You’re a hard man to get on with, Gogo. ESTRAGON: It’d be better if we parted. VLADIMIR: You always say that and you always come crawling back. ESTRAGON: The best thing would be to kill me, like the other. VLADIMIR: What other? (Pause.) What other? ESTRAGON: Like billions of others. VLADIMIR: (sententious). To every man his little cross. (He sighs.) Till he dies. (Afterthought.) And is forgotten.” (Beckett 1954: 95); “VLADIMIR: We’re waiting for Godot. ESTRAGON: Ah! (Pause. Despairing.) What’ll we do, what’ll we do! VLADIMIR: There’s nothing we can do.” (Beckett 1954: 109–110); “VLADIMIR: Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! (Pause. Vehemently.) Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say? (Estragon says nothing.) It is true that when with folded arms we weigh the pros and cons we are no less a credit to our species. The tiger bounds to the help of his congeners without the least reflection, or else he slinks away into the depths of the thickets. But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question. And we are blessed in this, that we happen to know the answer. Yes, in this immense confusion one thing alone is clear. We are waiting for Godot to come—” (Beckett 1954: 133–134); “VLADIMIR: All I know is that the hours are long, under these conditions, and constrain us to beguile them with proceedings which – how shall I say – which may at first sight seem reasonable, until they become a habit. You may say it is to prevent our reason from foundering. No doubt. But has it not long been straying in the night without end of the abyssal depths? That’s what I sometimes wonder. You follow my reasoning? ESTRAGON: (aphoristic for once). We are all born mad. Some remain so.” (Beckett 1954: 134–135)

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Part II: Some Ways of Signifying Experiences of Alzheimer’s (d) The hat becomes, with repetition (or sedimentation), an attachment to the bodysubject Vladimir (i.e. an attachment to the gaze). (e) Vladimir is habitual intentional motor consciousness towards emptying. (f) The living body Vladimir’s look is a sense for emptying.12

(3) I give the scene a third description and interpretation. I focus on the following fragment of Vladimir’s speech from the excerpt above: “Habit is a great deadener” (Beckett 1954: 157). Beckett made a similar statement in his essay Proust, which agrees with what later in Waiting for Godot was condensed into Pozzo’s above sentence. Beckett says in Proust: “Habit may not be dead (or as good as dead doomed to die) but sleeping.” (Beckett 1978: 9) Habit, which is, according to Beckett, alongside memory one of the attributes of time (Beckett 1978: 7), is also described by him as one of Proust’s character: “Habit is like Françoise, the immortal cook of the Proust household, who knows what has to be done, and will slave all day and all night rather than tolerate any redundant activity in the kitchen. But our current habit of living is as incapable of dealing with the mystery of a strange sky or a strange room, with any circumstance unforeseen in her curriculum, as Françoise of conceiving or realising the full horror of a Duval omelette.” (Beckett 1978: 7) When Beckett says that “[h]-abit is a great deadener”, I understand that habit dulls or anesthetizes the body-subject in such a way that there are no traces of a subject. In this regard, I call attention to the form of the movements in Waiting for Godot. (a) Vladimir looks at the oval shape of the hat. Inside the hat, the gaze is directed to emptiness. Vladimir is, therefore, intentional motor consciousness towards emptiness. (b) Vladimir does not mean the first movement of the gaze towards the void, as he is directed to the frame and it does not show him any content that can be signified or considered by him. Vladimir is a body-object. 13

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My description and reading in (2) can be extended to other characters in the Beckettian universe, such as the character Winnie from the play Happy Days (Beckett 1961). Winnie is around 50 years old and is married to Willie, who is around 60 years old. Winnie is buried to the chest in a mound in the centre of the stage. Willie is back on her right, asleep and hidden by the mound. On Winnie’s left side is a bag and on the right side an umbrella. Similarly to Vladimir and Estragon, Winnie repeats the same movements throughout the play; in her case, touching objects, such as a mirror, toothpaste and toothbrush, spectacles and a revolver inside the bag and picking them up from there (Beckett 1961: 9–13, 16). This understanding of Waiting for Godot is, in my view, evident if one analyses how the form in the staging was shown as a preponderant feature of Beckett’s dramaturgical aesthetics. I refer in particular to the structuring of the scene in Happy Days (1961), Endgame (1957) and

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities (c) There follows, however, a second, a third and other similar movements, which like the first have no meaning. (d) The hat becomes, with repetition, an attachment to the body-object Vladimir (i.e. an attachment to the gaze). (e) Vladimir is habitual intentional motor consciousness towards emptiness. (f) The body-object Vladimir’s look is a sense for emptiness.

(4) The Beckettian critique of habit in Waiting for Godot is also present in PozzoLucky’s relationship. Habit is shown in the field of the deprivation of body-subjectivity and is contradictorily signified. I quote: “POZZO: … (He jerks the rope.) Up pig! (Pause.) Every time he drops he falls asleep. (Jerks the rope.) Up hog! (Noise of Lucky getting up and picking up his baggage. Pozzo jerks the rope.) Back! (Enter Lucky backwards.) Stop! (Lucky stops.) Turn! (Lucky turns. To Vladimir and Estragon, affably.) Gentlemen, I am happy to have met you. (Before their incredulous expression.) Yes yes, sincerely happy. (He jerks the rope.) Closer! (Lucky advances.) Stop! (Lucky stops.) Yes, the road seems long when one journeys all alone for . . . (he consults his watch) . . . yes . . . (he calculates) . . . yes, six hours, that's right, six hours on end, and never a soul in sight. (To Lucky.) Coat! (Lucky puts down the bag, advances, gives the coat, goes back to his place, takes up the bag.) Hold that! (Pozzo holds out the whip. Lucky advances and, both his hands being occupied, takes the whip in his mouth, then goes back to his place. Pozzo begins to put on his coat, stops.) Coat! (Lucky puts down the bag, basket and stool, helps Pozzo on with his coat, goes back to his place and takes up bag, basket and stool.) Touch of autumn in the air this evening. (Pozzo finishes buttoning up his coat, stoops, inspects himself, straightens up.) Whip! (Lucky advances, stoops, Pozzo snatches the whip from his mouth, Lucky goes back to his place.) Yes, gentlemen, I cannot go for long without the society of my likes (he puts on his glasses and looks at the two likes) even when the likeness is an imperfect one. (He takes off his glasses.) Stool! in his late works Not I (1972) (England, D: Anthony Page), Rockaby (1981) (USA, Schneider Alan) and Quad (1981) (Germany, D. Samuel Beckett), the last being a television play. On form in the staging of Beckett, Rosemary Pountney comments: “The form expresses the content in the work of Samuel Beckett – and it is precisely this fusion of content with form that he approved of in Proust and Joyce. ‘It is the shape that matters,’ Beckett once said, expressing enthusiasm over the proportion of a sentence of St. Augustine’s, a sentence he has echoed in Waiting for Godot.” (Pountney: 237). See Not I and Rockaby, starring Billie Whitelaw, one of the actresses that Beckett collaborated with most, respectively at https:/ /www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4LDwfKxr-M&t=199s and at https://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=66iZF6SnnDU&t=329s. See also Quad (1981) (Germany, D. Samuel Beckett) at https://w ww.youtube.com/watch?v=lLbtf-zpKfU. There are several stagings of the plays Happy Days and Endgame available on Youtube. I am not going to refer particularly to any of them.

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(Lucky puts down bag and basket, advances, opens stool, puts it down, goes back to his place, takes up bag and basket.) Closer! (Lucky puts down bag and basket, advances, moves stool, goes back to his place, takes up bag and basket. Pozzo sits down, places the butt of his whip against Lucky's chest and pushes.) Back! (Lucky takes a step back.) Further! (Lucky takes another step back.) Stop! (Lucky stops. To Vladimir and Estragon.) That is why, with your permission, I propose to dally with you a moment, before I venture any further. Basket! (Lucky advances, gives the basket, goes back to his place.) The fresh air stimulates the jaded appetite. (He opens the basket, takes out a piece of chicken and a bottle of wine.) Basket! (Lucky advances, picks up the basket and goes back to his place.) Further! (Lucky takes a step back.) He stinks. Happy days!” (Beckett 1954: 33–34) As already explored in the previous chapter, Pozzo-Lucky’s relationship is of subjectobject, master-slave, which is clear in Pozzo’s statement above, but my focus will not be on Pozzo’s words, but on the following movements of Lucky’s: “Noise of Lucky getting up and picking up his baggage”; “Lucky puts down the bag, advances, gives the coat, goes back to his place, takes up the bag”; “Lucky puts down the bag, basket and stool, helps Pozzo on with his coat, goes back to his place and takes up bag, basket and stool”; “Lucky puts down bag and basket, advances, opens stool, puts it down, goes back to his place, takes up bag and basket”; “Lucky puts down bag and basket, advances, moves stool, goes back to his place, takes up bag and basket”; “Lucky advances, gives the basket, goes back to his place e Lucky advances, picks up the basket and goes back to his place.” (a) Lucky directs attention (his eyes) to the bag and his hands go to it to pick it up or take it up and put it down. He is intentional motor consciousness, as his eyes and hands move towards that certain bag. His eyes are possibly attracted by its colour, lines, size and volume. His hands move around picking the bag up or putting it on the floor. They feel the weight, the rough or soft texture of the bag and feel its volume. Both his eyes and his hands feel the shape and contents of the bag. (b) Lucky means the first movements of looking at the bag and picking it up or taking it up as well as putting it down, insofar as these movements are signified by the living body Pozzo, his master. Lucky is body-object. (c) There are, however, four more repetitive movements of picking up or taking up the bag and three more of putting the bag on the floor, which, like the first, has meaning for him. (d) The bag becomes, with repetition, an attachment to Lucky’s body-object (i.e. an attachment to the look and touch), insofar as Lucky is himself an attachment to the living body Pozzo. Lucky repeats the movement, as Pozzo tells him to repeat it.

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities (e) Lucky is, therefore, habitual intentional motor consciousness towards the bag, that is, it is habit-body-object, inasmuch as, as I argued at the beginning of this Section, he, Lucky, forms a whole with habit, of which he is a part. Habit, like the living body Pozzo, subdues him. Like a dog, that is chained to his vomit, to paraphrase Beckett, habit is the ballast that chains him to the very movements of looking at the bag, picking it up and placing it on the floor (Beckett 1978: 8). When a dog vomits for the first time, it shows its owner that it vomited in such a place. By obedience and subordination, it then shows itself to the owner licking its own vomit. The dog will remind its owner of that first time that it vomited and licked the vomit every time it vomits, even though the owner will forget the first time it happened. Similarly, if Pozzo forgets to ask Lucky for something that is in the bag, he will certainly remind his master of that, by executing the same movements at the same time the first movement took place. (f) The look and touch of the habit-body-object of Lucky are thus a sense for the bag.

III. Habit-Body with Alzheimer’s: Meaning and Non-Meaning of Skills and Abilities 1. Marcos Abreu and William Utermohlen: the Habit of Painting Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth Which is already flesh, fur and faeces, Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf. T. S. Eliot When at the end of his life, already affected by Alzheimer’s, Marcos Abreu wrote this passage in a letter addressed to his children “When this illness advances, I do not want to be absent in a present body. Like painting and nature, death is extraordinary, and the search for the extraordinary has always been my guide”, it is implicit in this fragment that the action of painting made him a living body, that is, consciousness of the intentional movement of painting. But not only that, he meant it as an extraordinary intentional movement. An opposite fact reinforces such an interpretation of his speech. When he made the act of painting work and no longer an act of creative sensitivity, his total dissatisfaction with the product of his work showed itself in the destruction of several canvases, as well as in an attempt to copy the style of the student’s brushstrokes. He had disconnected himself from his own style. He reproduced the student’s painting in an attempt to reconnect with his own sensitivity, creativity and style, which were internally repressed by a mistaken understanding that painting is

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nothing more than a product that large and well-known galleries buy and sell. I understand that the action of painting, when it becomes work, that is, repetitive, ordinary, regular and disconnected action from intentional sensory movements, closes the space of possibilities for the meaning of those movements. This is the reason why, in that period of life, the living body Marcos Abreu became habit-body-object towards the canvas. The usual movements of his fingers to pick up the brush and direct it to the blank canvas did not give it any content. In other words, they did not give meaning to each one of those movements and their concretization as a painting on the canvas. The screen full of colours was in fact empty. According to my reading of Beckett in the previous section, the living body or body-subject has become with the repetition habit-body-object, insofar as the meaning is only, as I read it, given to a content that is signified by the body-subject, which Marcos Abreu was no longer. The emptiness of the canvas is therefore form, and form, as I have already described, has no meaning. Marcos Abreu’s habit-body-object moved away from painting. He went to France and, after a few years, he reported the following “On this journey, I made my peace with painting and myself. Then I returned to Brazil.” During this period, I consider that he reoriented his way of relating to painting. He reconnected with the action of painting as an extraordinary intentional movement. The recognition he so longed for at the beginning of his career came about because, at the end of the day, he felt that the intentional movement of the brush, as an extension of his fingers, created contents and meanings on the canvas. For most of his life, unlike what his children pondered in this fragment: “For our father, taking up his paintbrush every morning after breakfast and sitting in front of his easel was more than activity, it was a habit.”, the action of painting was not a habit for the living body Marcos Abreu. As I see it, every morning, when sitting in front of its easel in the studio, when picking up the brush, soaking it in paints to mix them, the living body Marcos Abreu jumped out of the usual, regulated and ordinary life. It entered an extraordinary field, that is, an open field of possibilities to create meaningful content, for example, colouring and shading, whose hand, as intentional motor consciousness, knew how to blend and to unite and consequently form colours and shadows. Unlike the beginning of its life as a painter, the action of painting ceased to be a habitual work to become, during most of its journey, an extraordinary activity, insofar as the living body Marcos Abreu gave it meaning. With the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it made a decision as reported by it in this fragment: “When this illness advances, I do not want to be absent in a present body. Like painting and nature, death is extraordinary, and the search for the extraordinary has always been my guide”. In other words, by having already had the experience of being habit-body-object and being certain that, with the progression of the disease, not even the action of painting, although as a habit, would remain, the living body Marcos Abreu compared the meaning that painting had for it as an extraordinary activity for most of its life with death as an extraordinary sig-

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities

nificant event. Aligning this interpretation with my description of Estragon’s and Vladimir’s attempts to hang as intentional motor consciousnesses of non-resistance to life in the previous chapter, I consider the living body Marcos Abreu consciously committed suicide as an affirmation of the extraordinary life the skill and activity of painting gave it. The search for the extraordinary was its compass. It sought meaning for its path or way of life in art. Death, in its perspective, is merged to life and to this union the living body Marcos Abreu gave meaning. In this excerpt from its farewell letter, it revealed: “That death must be something like rolling around in black, soft, damp, fresh earth, and going back to six years of age and salivating at the smell of rain on the farm in Barra de Guaratiba. And that I will finally become earth. We will be the same matter, forming one single body and the circle will close.” As Eliot writes, earth is human flesh and bones, manure for vegetables and animals. The earth is a body that only gives life because it is itself alive. By fusing with it, Marcos Abreu’s corpse closes a life-death cycle to open another life-death cycle. When transformed into humus, its flesh and bones germinate human nature14 , which not only donates life to animals and plants, but also participates in their life-death cycle. William Utermohlen was a painter, born in 1933 in southern Philadelphia, where he spent part of his life. After high school, he entered The Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. In 1956, he enrolled in the Ruskin School of Art at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Two years later, he returned to the United States. In 1962, he came back to England, where he took up residence. That same year, he met his future wife art historian Patricia Utermohlen. In 1972, William Utermohlen was offered the post of ‘artist in residence’ at Amherst College Massachusetts. Patricia Utermohlen and he stayed there for two years. After that, they moved to London, where they both lived until the artist’s death in 2007.15 In 1995, William Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but the disease had already established itself years before diagnosis16 as in most cases. Encouraged by the nurse Ron Isaacs, he started to paint his portrait until the moment when he no longer recognized what a brush or a canvas were. His wife reports that he died when he could no longer paint. 17 Death itself would take another 7 years. William Utermohlen spent them in a nursing home.18 I will interpret below three late self-portraits out of around 20 painted and drawn by the living body William Utermohlen after the onset of Alzheimer’s: 14

15 16 17 18

I remember here that the etymology of the words “human” and “humus” have the same root as the proto-Indo-European dhghem, which means earth. See https://www.etymonline.com/ search?q=human. Also https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=humus. On the origin of the word “nature”, which is “literally ‘birth,’ from natus ‘born,’ past participle of nasci ‘to be born,’ from PIE root *gene- ‘give birth, beget’”, see https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=nature. See Alzheimer’s Association 2008. See Polini 2007. See GV Art London/Urban Art n.d. See AP Television 2006.

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Figure 1: Utermohlen 2008b

Figure 2: Utermohlen 2008c

These two self-portraits were painted in 1996. They show how in one year after the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, the living body artist rapidly and progressively lost basic drawing and painting techniques. Figure 1, “In the Studio”, was, as I see it, first sketched in order to be painted. Yet, the living body William Utermohlen was unable to combine certain colours in such a way that the transition from one to the other (from pink, white and blue on the face to yellow gold or light ochre on the neck) could be fluid. The colours do not integrate with each other. They do not match. However, the living body William Utermohlen’s purpose might have been to draw attention to each part of its face through the use of colours that, like the parts of its face, were losing articulation with each other. In addition, its eyes and nose are blurred or unfinished, and its ear is poorly outlined. The disconnected use of colours does not cover the sketched drawing. All in all, the living body artist seems to have intended to paint a badly finished mask of itself. It could little hide the disintegration of its own face. From the chest down, it is not clear whether it purposely chose white or left it unpainted. In one way or another, similar to the face, the white of its body also does not cover its sketch. Besides, its right arm draws special attention. Its wrist has no connection to its forearm. It seems that it saw its wrist and forearm as unconnected parts. Its wrist and hand are presented further ahead in relation to its forearm that is behind. It is evident that the living body artist already presented, one year after the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, problems of perspective, which incidentally were not only limited to the drawing of its arm and wrist, but also extended to its own face, which seems to be slipping. This description gives me grounds to interpret that the living body William Utermohlen clearly shows its body disintegrating. Its face, which is blurred and its mouth all blue and open evidence what Alzheimer’s meant to it: the approach of inexorable disappearance. In the second self-portrait, “Red”, the living body William Utermohlen painted its face and part of its chest. As in Figure 1, it made a sketch and then coloured it red, gray and some hues of brown, yellow and

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities

green. This painting draws attention, as the living body artist drew two heads or a head divided into two parts, which are outlined by a line that marks the region of its forehead well, ending around the eyes. Its eyes seem to sink in its face. It painted its forehead and its eyes gray, with a darker gray around its eyes. The wrinkles around its mouth and the mouth itself, the living body William Utermohlen stained them dark green. There is a division of these two parts of its face and its right cheek and jaw, smudged in yellow and brown. Its garment is red with a green accent on the back of the body. Both the division of the parts of its face drawn with definite lines and colours show, as in Figure 1, that its face was slowly disintegrating. In particular, its eyes seem to sink into the shadow of the dark gray. As for colours, the living body William Utermohlen made use of warm ones, such as red and green, which made its figure dense. Here, it, as I understand it, managed to somehow solve the problem of colour integration. From this description, I interpret that the living body William Utermohlen shows its face in three separate parts. Although divided, they link through the integration of colours (green and gray above all). Its chest with a red garment articulates with the colours of its face. This picture of the living body artist is undoubtedly heavy due to the choice of colours and the drawing with strong and defined limits. What draws my attention in this painting is the living body artist’s deeply sad and hopeless look.

Figure 3: Utermohlen 2008a

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Figure 3, “Head 1”, is one of the last drawings of the living body William Utermohlen. In four years, its cognitive decline worsened. In this drawing, it appears as a face with a prominent nose, a tiny mouth and a spot as an ear. The jaw is divided by a vertical line at the edge of the chin towards the ear. Also, a line starts in its nose and extends towards its jaw. Its neck was also drawn as two perpendicular lines: the first that started at the base of what I see as the right ear and the second started at the base of the left jaw. The living body artist also drew what I understand as strands of hair. This picture shows that it knew, because it was sedimented in it, what a pencil on paper meant to it, even though it could no longer master the technique. That sediment, however, was removed from the living body William Utermohlen by the progression of Alzheimer’s when, the following year, it, as an artist and as its wife declared, died. The narrative, through the self-portraits of sensations and feelings that arose during the illness, shows that William Utermohlen was an intentional motor consciousness. In this process, the living body William Utermohlen, when describing its cognitive decline (i.e. emptying) through the content and form of painting (i.e. disarticulation of the drawing lines of the body parts, non-integration of colours and hues), shows that this activity, in between 1995 and 2000 and by the incentive of its caregiver and the medical team, was a habit despite the disease. When performing this habitual activity, the living body artist was not in search of memories, sensations or lost feelings, which would fit it in the description of the habit-bodysubject according to the reading I made of Merleau-Ponty’s view in Section II. In its paintings, it evidenced not the search for which colours or hues to blend, which painting tradition to follow and whether its painting style remained the same with the advent of Alzheimer’s.19 Each stroke, each hue, disconnected from each other, exposed the hollowing out of painting skill, according to my interpretation of Beckett in the previous section. That is because the living body William Utermohlen realized or felt that with each self-portrait its drawing and painting skills were gradually being taken away from it. Each brushstroke mistaken for skill decline, the forgetting of the technique learned and the changing of a specific style of painting are the realization that these traits were once present in the living body William Utermohlen’s

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There is a fierce debate in the biomedical literature about whether the change in style due to impoverishment or improvement is a statement of how the painter’s brain can be affected by Alzheimer’s. An interesting case is that of Willem de Kooning. See for instance Ellen Greene Stewart’s “de Kooning’s Dementia” (2002); Carlos Hugo Espinel’s Memory and Creation of Art. The Syndrome, as in de Kooning, of ‘Creating in the Midst of Dementia’ (2007) and de Kooning’s Late Colours and Forms (1996). In my short story, I also referred to the change in Marcos Abreu’s painting style.

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities

pictures. Thus, the emptying of the canvas shows that this at another time was fulfilled. Emptying is nothing more than remote fulfillment or a kind of fulfillment.20

2. Iris Murdoch and Thomas DeBaggio: the Habit of Writing Writing became a lifelong habit for Iris Murdoch. The activity of writing sedimented in her youth became a habit until 1996, the year in which she could no longer write because of Alzheimer’s. She left, for example, different types of journals as reported by her biographer Peter Conradi in this excerpt: “Iris kept a journal all her life, albeit she did not write in it every day. Most journals after her marriage in 1956 read as a mixture of informal personal memoranda, observations, aphorisms, reminiscences, dreams (both hers and John Bayley’s), diaries of foreign trips, ideas for novels (marked ‘?') and for philosophy (marked ‘?’), all jostling together, often in compressed form, unselfconsciously. Here was a writer’s quarry.” (Conradi 2010: 293) In 1958, she expressed herself about the reason for writing journals: “The instinct to keep a diary: to preserve certain moments for ever” (Conradi 2010: 294). The academic books and novels left by her are further confirmation that writing was a habit for her. In 1996, at a party, she regrets the loss of writing skill: “I used to write novels.” (Conradi 2010: 613). As Peter Conradi reports “she always lived among and through her characters” (Conradi 2010: 614). The loss of skill, through which she identified herself as a body-subject in the world, was as in the case of William Utermohlen also felt by her in 1996: “I don’t have a world” (Conradi 2010: 615). In the same year, she wrote: “How I wish I could talk to Jackson.” – the hero of her final novel Jackson’s Dilemma (Conradi 2010: 614). Despite the author’s cognitive decline or hollowing out of writing, in parallel to what I argued above about William Utermohlen’s self-portraits, evidenced in her last novel published in 199521 , her words show that she was not looking for lost memory, as it could be interpreted from my reading of Merleau-Ponty in the previous section. They show that the illness took away her writing skill according to the Beckett-based explanation in Section II. Despite criticisms, such as that of Jeffrey Meyers, regarding the loss of mastery of creating certain universes of narrative content as rich as those of her previous novels, the fact is that when she was no longer able to write with the same density

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Compare Chapter 1, Section II, topic 3. I recall Jeffrey Meyers’s words about her last novel from Chapter 1, Section I, topic 1.: “Forced rather than fluent, it now seemed – with its convoluted plot, freakish characters and bizarre sexual entanglements – a tedious reprise of her earlier work.” (Meyers 2013: 25)

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of content, it does not mean that this absent density in Jackson’s Dilemma (Murdoch 1997) is not implicitly in this novel. The content, which was weakened and emptied in the course of it, I understand as present in it remotely. Emptying, as I have already pondered, is remote filling or a type of filling. In other words, what Iris Murdoch was unable to express in terms of the construction of narrative content, what was considered as poorly conceived or mistakenly formulated or even confused is filled with the contents of her previous novels, that is, the whole that is her artistic work. The living body Thomas de Baggio, as already argued, also moved throughout its life through words. With the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s at the age of 57, it reported the process of illness in two autobiographies. Excerpts from Losing my Mind (2002) have already been commented on throughout this work. From it, I highlight this fragment again “[…] After forty years of pussyfooting with words, I finally had a story of hell to tell.” (DeBaggio 2002: 1). The book as a whole is an attempt by the living body DeBaggio to rescue the memory (unlike the living bodies Iris Murdoch, William Utermohlen and Marcos Abreu). As I have already considered22 , it develops three narratives: the first in which it tells how its childhood has been up to the present, the second in which the narrative unfolds in the present, consisting of lapses, losses, uncertainties and a last one in which it reports on recent Alzheimer’s research. After the diagnosis, its relationship with writing was pragmatic, insofar as it sought memories through this activity. The meaning and the sense of the search, which I explored previously from my reading of Merleau-Ponty, apply to this case. The living body Thomas DeBaggio signifies every intentional movement of its hand on the computer keys: each missing syllable, each wrong word, each unremembered word, each suddenly remembered word tells its story. Each intentional movement of its fingers when searching for words, searching for the content of the past and its struggle not to lose its writing skill show how significant usual writing activity was for it. All of this describes the living body DeBaggio as a habit-body-subject in the search for meaning for life before and after Alzheimer’s. Moreover, it was sense for the search of life meaning when writing about its past, describing its illness and bringing information about it.

3. Henry: the Habit of Listening to Music During its youth and throughout its life, the living body Henry had a habit of listening to music. As I already described in the previous chapter, the music was inside it. Although severely affected by Alzheimer’s, the sound of its favourite songs made it wake up from the sleep that symbolizes the disease’s progress. Music has never ceased to exist within it. Body as a memory brought the music intrinsically within it. When listening to its favourite songs, it simply manifested and expressed 22

See Part I, Chapter 2, Section II, topic 2.

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities

through the body, singing, and dialogue with Dan Cohen that he, Henry, was a living body memory.23 The habit of listening to music appeared, thus, when it sang part of the lyrics, when it moved dancing on the wheelchair when listening to them. If this were a habit with no meaning for the living body Henry, it would not have literally awoken; it would not have shown himself present in those moments. Therefore, I argue that it is habit-body-subject, according to my interpretation of Merleau-Ponty in Section II.

IV. Summary In short, based on a first example of looking inside the hat: Consciousness is intentional motor habitual (or habit-body-subject) towards the search based on my reading of Merleau-Ponty. The look seeks an object that is remotely or implicitly inside the hat. The habit-body-subject gives meaning to that search.24

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This understanding is in line with Edward S. Casey’s conception of “body memory”. In my view, this expression was first and phenomenologically coined and developed by him. Accordingly, “the centrality of body memory comes home to us most vividly precisely when such memory fails us.” (Husserl 2000: 146). Further: “I speak of ‘body memory’, not of ‘memory of the body’. Body memory alludes to memory that is intrinsic to the body, to its own ways of remembering; how we remember in and by and through the body.” (Husserl 2000: 147). Following Merleau-Ponty and Edward S. Casey, I also highlight Thomas Fuchs’s position: “Body memory is the underlying carrier of our life history, and eventually of our whole being-in-the-world. It comprises not only the evolved dispositions of our perceiving and behaving, but also the memory cores that connect us most intimately with our biographical past. And even when dementia deprives a person of all of her explicit recollections, she still retains her bodily memory: The history of her life remains present in the familiar sights, smells, feel, and handling of things, even when she is no more capable of accounting for the origin of this familiarity and of telling her life history.” (Fuchs 2012: 20). Compare also with Summa/Fuchs 2015: 396–397: “Up to the later and most advanced stages, dementia patients are still familiar with certain habitual perceptual and experiential patterns, and tend to enact the schemas of behaviour they are familiar with. Moreover, they implicitly recognize those familiar faces, places, and situations, which have shaped their lives, although they are not able to give them a name or to explicitly reflect on how such an experience of familiarity relates to them as experiencing beings.” The living body Henry’s case, however, calls into question the second part of Summa & Fuchs’s argument, since, although suffering from Alzheimer’s for 10 years, it was able to explicitly express its memory through the body, when singing and engaging in dialogue. It is true that the progress of Alzheimer’s, as I have already discussed in the course of this work, varies from subject to subject affected by it. See (1) in Section II.

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Consciousness is intentional motor habitual (or habit-body-subject) towards emptying content in my interpretation of Beckett. The habit-body-subject simply verifies the emptying and is not looking for an object that may be there.25 Consciousness is intentional motor habitual (or habit-body-object) towards the shape (or emptiness) of the hat. The habit-body-object does not give meaning to the form.26 Based on a second example of looking at the bag, picking it up and putting it on the floor, consciousness is intentional motor habitual (or habit-body-object) towards the shape and content of the bag. The habit-body-object gives meaning to the content, insofar as the body-subject, which is the master of the habit-body-object, means it.27 Thus, on the one hand, a habit-body-subject28 and a habit-body-object29 signify habit; on the other hand, a habit-body-object does not signify habit30 . The living bodies Marcos Abreu’s, William Utermohlen’s, Iris Murdoch’s, Thomas DeBaggio’s and Henry’s narrative fragments according to the above interpretations grounded in Merleau Ponty and Beckett were habit-bodies. At the same time, they either signified or did not signify their movements of writing, painting and listening to music, as follows: The piece of life history of the living body Marcos Abreu, which describes its relationship with painting during its youth, shows it as a habit-body-object towards emptiness31 . During its youth, it did not mean the movement of painting. It committed suicide (intentional motor consciousnesses of non-resistance to life) so as not to face the possibility that its art, once again, would become an insignificant void. The fragments narrated by the living body William Utermohlen based on its pictorial autobiography as well as the pieces of Iris Murdoch’s life history are expressions of habit-body-subjects towards emptyings32 . By portraying and writing respectively, they found, in the course of the disease, that their sedimented skills were cracking within them. For both, the movements of painting and writing were constituted in the course of life as significant habits. Finally, the pieces narrated by the living bodies Thomas DeBaggio and Henry express respectively that writing and music were significant habits, which, with Alzheimer’s, they sought to recall. Both are habit-body-subjects towards the

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

See (2) in Section II. See (3) in Section II. See (4) in Section II. See (1) and (2) in Section II. See (4) in Section II. See (3) in Section II. See (3) in Section II. See (2) in Section II.

Chapter 2: Body Memory: The Sedimentation of Skills and Abilities

search33 . If I compare the living body Henry, in particular, to all other pieces of narratives, the habit of listening to music is evident as sediment that has not cracked with the advance of the disease.

33

See (1) in Section II.

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Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face. W. B. Yeats

In this chapter, I will describe how love and the habit of love show themselves in the intersubjective relationships that the body-self with Alzheimer’s constitutes or constituted throughout its life. Again, I will address the stories, letters, interviews analysed in Chapter 1 of this part. I will resume the concluding reflections construed in Chapter 1. But before that, I will deal with the constitution of interpersonhood in Husserl, as well as intersubjectivity in both Merleau-Ponty and Beckett. In Merleau-Ponty, I will pay special attention to the meaning of gesture. I will take my interpretation of it and test it anchored on some considerations of Beckett’s play Happy Days (1961).

I.

Interpersonhood and Intersubjectivity

1. Interpersonhood: Pairing, Empathy and Contact In Husserl, the experience of the other is constituted by pairing. In his words: “Pairing, occurrence in configuration as a pair and then as a group, a plurality, is a universal phenomenon of the transcendental sphere (and of the parallel sphere of intentional psychology)” (Husserl 1960: 112). In a pairing association, two intuitively given elements underlie a unit of similarity. If there are more than two elements, a phenomenally unitary group is formed, but plural, since singular pairings founded it (Husserl 1960). The other (alter-ego) is perceived by my ego insofar as he resembles me (likeness) (Husserl 1960: 113). Husserl calls the experience of another’s ego “empathy” (Einfüh-

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lung)1 . If a body similar to mine enters my transcendental and primordial sphere, pairing will occur, insofar as it will take from my own, animated body or soma (Leib) its sense of its own animated body or soma (Husserl 1960: 113). This intertwining of bodies at the psychic-organic level is a transcendental unitary experience. In my ego, thus, the alien ego (alter-ego) is constituted (Husserl 1960: 115–116). Kinesthetically, the Leib of the transcendental ego has the “here” mode while the Leib of the transcendental alter-ego has the “there” mode. (Husserl 1960: 116) The transcendental ego (my self or my ownness of the concrete world or monad2 ) here and the transcendental alter-ego (his self or his ownness of the concrete world) there enter into a pairing of association, “since the other body there enters into a pairing association with my body here and, being given perceptually, becomes the core of an appresentation, the core of my experience of a coexisting ego, that ego, according to the whole sense-giving course of the association, must be appresented as an ego now coexisting in the mode There, ʻsuch as I should be if I were thereʼ.” (Husserl 1960: 119) The apperception of the other’s Leib or somatic body (i.e. appresentation)3 reminds me of the perception (i.e. presentation) of my own somatic body in space, just as it reminds me of the perception of my somatic body if I were there (Husserl 1960: 119–120). Such a concordance in space produces in my somatic body co-perception by means of assimilation (Husserl 1960: 122).

1

2

3

On my ego’s experience of another’s ego, Husserl says: “...In changeable harmonious multiplicities of experience I experience others as actually existing and, on the one hand, as world Objects [...] They are in fact experienced also as governing psychically in their respective natural organisms. Thus peculiarly involved with animate organisms, as ‘psychophysical’ Objects, they are ‘in’ the world. On the other hand, I experience them at the same time as subjects for this world, as experiencing it (this same world that I experience) and, in so doing, experiencing me too, even as I experience the world and others in it.” (Husserl 1960: 91). Husserl calls “empathy” this experience of what is alien to me, of the “thereness-forme of others.” (Husserl 1960: 92, 147) On the term “monad”, Husserl argues: “From the Ego as identical pole, and as substrate of habitualities, we distinguish the ego taken in full concreteness in that we take, in addition, that without which the Ego cannot after all be concrete. (The ego, taken in full concreteness, we propose to call by the Leibnizian name: monad.) The Ego can be concrete only in the flowing multiformity of his intentional life, along with the objects meant and in some cases constituted as existent for him in that life.” (Husserl 1960: 67–68) Such apperception of the other’s somatic body is indeed an appresentation. The other’s somatic body does not present himself to me, as he is perceptually given to himself. The other’s somatic body does not present himself, because presentation to Husserl is a selfdonation (“an itself given proper”). It precedes appresentation (Compare Husserl 1960: 109–110).

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

In Chapter 2, Part I, I argued that the material body does not reflect itself without psyché. That is, between me in myself, i.e. in my mental life and my tactile sensation is the material body. Who feels is not the material body, but my psyché that commands it. The material body is not reduced to mental life by forming a single unit. Reflexivity or self-perception is not from my material body, but from my psychic ego that captures himself through the material body. It is in this sense that the psychoorganic body, as a zero point, will move and directs himself to objects.4 This reflexivity or self-perception of a psycho-organic body associates by means of pairing with the reflexivity or self-perception of another psycho-organic body. As argued above, my psycho-organic body also assimilates the experience of another psycho-organic body. For example, he can assimilate another person’s5 anger, guilt and anguish, but without feeling those feelings and sensations produced by those feelings as his own experiences. My psycho-organic body associated with another person’s psycho-organic body co-experiences (i.e. co-perceives, co-feels) through empathy6 those feelings and sensations without merging my own feelings or sensations with those of the other. How I read Husserl on this matter, a relationship between two psychoorganic bodies (interpersonhood7 ) is not constituted on the grounds of “fusion”. I have already addressed the experience of touch in Husserl in Chapter 2, Part I. I recollect some points to reflect upon the meaning of contact grounded in Husserl. Accordingly, my body appears twice, when my right hand touches my left hand. My hands are active and passive at the same time. My right hand is active when it makes my left hand feel the contact produced by it. My left hand becomes the object of my right hand. I consider, therefore, that the other’s Leib appears to him in a reflexive movement of the hand. This assumption that the other’s Leib can experience the perception of his hand similar to mine comes from the argumentation that every Leib is a vehicle of the transcendental ego, as already explored. Thus, if a Leib can make or actually makes a movement with one hand, another psycho-organic body, as a

4

5 6

7

As I discussed in Part I, Chapter 2, Section I, I recall that the transcendental ego unfolds into two others, namely the psychic ego (ie. Leib, soma or psycho-organic body or even “mental” life) and the empirical ego – “Ich-Mensch”). The material body (Körper) is a vehicle for the experiences of the psychic ego and these psychic experiences are “how” the transcendental ego lives. Consequently, the body is ultimately a vehicle for the transcendental ego to live the experiences of the psychic ego. I refer to my interpretation of person, taking Husserl as a starting point, in Chapter 2, Part I. In Husserl’s words: “... when I feel empathy with your anger, I am myself not angry, not at all. Just as I am not angry when I imagine anger or merely recall it – unless, in the latter case, I become angry once again” (Husserl 2006: 83). See also Søren Overgaard’s What’s Empathy (2019: 180). In my view, this terminology is most appropriate when it comes to Husserl, considering that two “persons” establish a relationship. I use “subject” and “intersubjectivity” based on the Merleau-Pontian construction of the living body as a body-subject.

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vehicle for the transcendental ego, also has the same possibility of making it or he actually makes it. Contact is the experience of touch that my psycho-organic body has when associating by pairing with another psycho-organic body (and vice-versa). In the same way that my psycho-organic body co-perceives, co-feels, he also contacts another psycho-organic body, either having the possibility of touching him, or actually touching him. It is interesting that the other and I, as persons, having our bodies as vehicles, think, decide, act, evaluate whether, when, how, why we are going to touch each other with our eyes or hands to enjoy or to reject psychophysical experiences. As I read Husserl, because contact depends on reason it is devoid of spontaneity. In Husserl,“abnormal” individuals8 are not intentional consciousnesses because they are not endowed with rational attributes, as interpreted earlier in this chapter. They are devoid of self-reflection or self-consciousness. As a result, at the interpersonal level, they do not have either the possibility of co-perceiving, co-feeling through pairing or associating with the experience of the psycho-organic body of another normal person (or the other way round). Insofar as abnormal individuals do not associate with normal persons (and vice-versa), the possibility of contacting them by touching their bodies or looking at them is excluded.

2. Intersubjectivity: Communicating through Intentional Gestural Movement Words fail, there are times when even they fail. Samuel Beckett

2.1 Gestures in Communion Gesture is a way of intentional communication. Merleau-Ponty claims: “I do not see anger or a threatening attitude as a psychic fact hidden behind gesture, I read anger in it. Gesture does not make me think of anger, it is anger itself” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 214). Thus, this mode of communication is not an intellectual operation. Gesture implies reciprocity between my gestural intentions and those of the other or between my gestures and the intentions I read in the other’s conduct (i.e. emotions). It is as if my intentions inhabit the living body the other and vice versa. Gesture, argues MerleauPonty, draws an intentional stippling, an intentional path (i.e. way or mode) between me as a living body and the living body the other. Communication happens when, on this path, intentional gestural movement finds its own path. This means that intentional gestural communication between me (active pole) and the other (passive pole) or between him (active pole) and me (passive pole) is not based on the common sense of my experiences and his. It is on the path of intentional communication that the

8

Compare Husserl 1960: 120–128.

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

movement of my gesture and that of the other’s gesture grounds respectively my experience and his experience. They match (or pair) and recognize one another by confirming a common experience. I do not think about the movement of my gesture towards the other. The other and I simply make ourselves available, we give in to the spectacle of gestural experience or we blindly enter this path of reciprocal recognition9 . As I read Merleau-Ponty on this point, my gesture and the other’s gestures have already paired along the path that leads my gesture to his gesture and the other way round. Gestural movements do not require completeness for the one living body and the other living body to experience respective gestures (i.e. emotions, conduct) as a common experience or a communion10 . Communion does not mean that one living body and the other living body have a sole experience of gesture with identical contents and constituting completeness. Communion is perspectival. Communion means that one living body has a perspective on the experience of gesture and the other living body has its own perspective. What they experience through respective gestures is relatively independent. The gesture of one living body does not merge with that of the other (i.e. fusion). Therefore, communion means not only sharing, but also implies a blending between one living body’s gesture and the other living body’s gesture.11 In The Visible and the Invisible (1969b), this blending is, as I interpret it, interchangeable with “chiasma”. As already discussed, a chiasmatic relation allows for rearrangements of appearances due to its plasticity. Therefore, the “confirmation” of my gesture by the other or his by me is nothing less than a blending that occurs along the path. “Confirmation” of one another’s gestures (i.e. recognition) is in the end perspectival, i.e. incomplete.

9 10

11

Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 215–216. The term “communion”, as I use it, is not interchangeable with empathy as developed by Husserl. I understand that “communion” includes psycho-organic bodies as subjects. For Husserl, empathy, as I interpret it, occurs through pairing between normal persons who have bodies. The word “communion” has several etymological meanings, ia. sharing. Compare with “communion – sharing, participation; spiritual fellowship xiv; sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, participation in this xv (in religious uses earlier than communing). – (O)F. communion or L com- munio, on-, f. communis common; see -ion.” (Hoad 1996: 87). Compare also with “communion (n.) late 14c., communioun, ʻparticipation in something; that which is common to all; union in religious worship, doctrine, or discipline,ʼ from Old French comunion ʻcommunity, communionʼ (12c.), from Latin communionem (nominative communio) ʻfellowship, mutual participation, a sharing,ʼ used in Late Latin ecclesiastical language for ʻparticipation in the sacrament,ʼ from communis ʻcommon, generalʼ (see common (adj.). Used by Augustine, in the belief that the word was derived from com – ʻwith, togetherʼ + unus ʻoneness, union.ʼ In English, from mid-15c. as ʻthe sacrament of the Eucharist,ʼ from c. 1500 as ʻact of partaking in the sacrament of the Eucharist.ʼ From 1610s, as ʻintercourse between two or moreʼ.” See https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=communion.

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Regarding the living body with dementia, I recall that, according to MerleauPonty, for the body there are countless ways of being a body and for consciousness several ways of being consciousness (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 143). As my interpretation of this passage in Section 2 of this chapter, Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception (2002) opens up to the inclusion of other modes of consciousness. Merleau-Pontian living body or body-subject is an “I can”. To that extent, body-subjects with dementia or other disabilities can communicate intersubjectively through intentional gestural movement. Here, I make a point of explaining Merleau-Ponty’s view on hallucinations. I quote: “When the victim of hallucinations declares that he sees and hears, we must not believe him, since he also declares the opposite; what we must do is understand him.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 392–393). Further: “Moreover there is no experience without speech, as the purely lived-through has no part in the discursive life of man. The fact, remains, however, that the primary meaning of discourse is to be found in that text of experience which it is trying to communicate. What is being sought is not a fictitious coincidence of myself and others, of my present self with its past, of the doctor with the patient; we cannot take over another person’s situation, relive the past in its reality, or illness as it is lived through by the patient.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 393) […] “There is, then, no privileged self-knowledge, and other people are no more closed systems than I am myself. What is given is not myself as opposed to others, my present as opposed to my past, sane consciousness with its cogito as opposed to consciousness afflicted with hallucinations, the former being sole judge of the latter and limited, in relation to it, to its internal conjectures—it is the doctor with the patient, myself with others […].” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 393–394) I interpret those three excerpts as follows: when the living body with Alzheimer’s hallucinates, its babbling, incomplete word or inarticulate sentence12 directed to other 12

Interpreting Saussure, Merleau-Ponty understands speech and words as already containing the whole of a sentence. The sentence does not need to be fully communicated. The whole, which is the sentence, is already contained in a phoneme and in a word. As an illustration, he takes the example of child’s speech learning. I refer to the following passages: “Language is learned, and in this sense one is certainly obliged to go from part to whole. The prior whole which Saussure is talking about cannot be the explicit and articulated whole of complete language as it is recorded in grammars and dictionaries. Nor does he have in mind a logical totality like that of a philosophical system, all of whose elements can (in principle) be deduced from a single idea. […] The unity he is talking about is a unity of coexistence, like that of the sections of an arch which shoulder one another” (Merleau-Ponty 1964b: 39). Further: “In a unified whole of this kind, the learned parts of a language have

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

living bodies imply a speech, i.e. a language unfolding between it and other living bodies, such as geriatricians, caregivers and therapists. Merleau-Ponty goes further and argues that the use of a standardized language is not necessary in order to state that there is communication between me and the other. Gesture by itself is already a language that makes communication appear. I quote: “And was not the communication of the elements of language between the ʻfirst man to speakʼ and the second necessarily of an entirely different kind from communication through gesture? This is what is commonly expressed by saying that gesture or emotional pantomime are ʻnatural signsʼ, and the word a ʻnatural conventionʼ. But conventions are a late form of relationship between men; they presuppose an earlier means of communication, and language must be put back into this current of intercourse.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 217) Also: “The words, lines, and colors which express me come out of me as gestures. They are torn from me by what I want to say as my gestures are by what I want to do” (Merleau-Ponty 1964b: 75). When the living body caregiver observes anguish, fear, anger, loneliness appearing on the face of a living body with Alzheimer’s, and it moves guideless or standing still and purposeless or even encapsulated in itself in a position similar to the uterine, the living body caregiver understands those emotions (i.e. gestures) with it.13 By this, I do not mean that the living body caregiver

13

an immediate value as a whole, and progress is made less by addition and juxtaposition than by the internal articulation of a function which is in its own way already complete” (Merleau-Ponty 1964b: 39–40). And: “It has long been known that for the child the word first functions as a sentence, and perhaps even certain phonemes as words” (Merleau-Ponty 1964b: 40). Finally: “The important point is that the phonemes are from the beginning variations of a unique speech apparatus, and that with then the child seems to have ‘caught’ the principle of a mutual differentiation of signs and at the same time to have acquired the meaning of the sign. […] It can be said that beginning with the first phonemic oppositions the child speaks, and that only afterwards will he learn to apply the principle of speech in diverse ways.” (Merleau-Ponty 1964b: 40) In addition to Merleau-Ponty, I refer to Totality and Infinity (1969) and Ethics and Infinity (1985) by Emmanuel Levinas. In the first, he describes at length the face as it appears; in the second, he claims that phenomenology lays on the (ethical) responsibility that the other’s face shows me when I turn to him for the first time. On the issue of responsibility for the appeal of alterity in Levinas, see Marcelo Fabri’s Ética e Dessacralização: A Questão da Subjetividade em Emmanuel Levinas (1995: 160–161). I underline that Levinas and Merleau-Ponty focus on the intentionality of gestures: in Levinas, gestures girt to the face; in Merleau-Ponty, the living body’s gestures move in corporeal space. Undoubtedly, Levinas, especially in Totality and Infinity (1969), lingers far more on the theme of the intentionality of the face than Merleau-Ponty does throughout Phenomenology of Perception (2002).

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fuses its emotions with those of the living body with Alzheimer’s. As already argued, the living body caregiver shares with it those experiences. The living body caregiver welcomes the living body with Alzheimer’s experiences freely and without having to identify with their contents; in other words, it does not make them its own experiences. The living body caregiver confirms (i.e. recognizes) the living body with Alzheimer’s gestural language by pantomiming, for example, its gestures. It is through the living body that the caregiver understands them14 . I also argue that the living body caregiver does not need to fit the emotions of the living body with dementia into a previously coded language structure to decode it in order to recode it again within a linguistic system structured in concepts, such as sign, signifiersignified, metaphor, metonymy, to understand it. The living body with Alzheimer’s gesture (i.e. emotion) is already a language15 that delineates a meaning. As I have covered in depth throughout this chapter, I understand “signification” or “meaning” as a description of a mode of intentional movement that the subject takes into consideration. Gesture shows how emotion is experienced by the living body with Alzheimer’s; in short, emotion becomes emotion through body movement. During this experience, the living body caregiver projects itself onto it by making the gestures of the living body with Alzheimer’s as if they were its own in order to share with it their meanings. The living body caregiver understands with the living body with Alzheimer’s how that facial gesture and body movement are meant (i.e. signified or estimated or taken into consideration) by it. The living body caregiver does not fit the gestures of the living body with dementia into a systematic, standardized and coded structure of language, like a medical-psychiatric one, into a classification in which gestures find their definitions in the symptom.

2.2 Gestures as Emptyings and Emptinesses Similar to Vladimir’s and Estragon’s movements and gestures in Waiting for Godot (Beckett, 1954) are Winnie’s and Willie’s in Happy Days (Beckett, 1961).16 Winnie is around 50 years old and is married to Willie, who is around 60 years old. Winnie is buried to the chest in a mound at the centre of the stage. Willie is back on her right, asleep and hidden by the mound. On Winnie’s left side is a bag and on the right side, an umbrella. Winnie repeats the same movements and gestures throughout the play. She touches objects, such as a mirror, toothpaste and toothbrush, and spectacles inside the bag and picks them up (Beckett 1961: 9–13), to verify that what she is looking for is not inside that bag. Every time she repeats the intentional movement of looking into it, she removes the same utensils, which with repetition become attachments

14 15 16

Compare Merleau-Ponty 2002: 216. Compare Merleau-Ponty 1964b: 75. See footnote 12 of Chapter 2, Part II.

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

to her body and replacements for what she cannot find inside it. Winnie is habitual intentional motor consciousness towards emptyings or habit-body-subject towards emptyings. Willie spends most of the play hidden behind the mound. When he is not sleeping, the viewer sees that he has a newspaper in his hands. On the one hand, it may appear to the viewer that Willie reads the contents of a newspaper, but, on the other hand, it may also appear to the viewer that he is not reading any content. In this second perspective, he holds the newspaper in his hands and flips it back and forth, from there to here, just as Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot (Beckett 1954) put on and take off their hats and look inside them. The newspaper is a form without content. No content identifies it as a certain newspaper. From another perspective, Willie is habitual intentional motor consciousness or habitbody, since he reads a newspaper, picks it up and leafs through it as an activity he repeats along his life. If, on the one hand, one interprets that the habit-body Willie reads the contents of the newspaper and as he reads, he searches for news, he is intentional motor consciousness towards that search.17 If, on the other hand, the habit-body Willie leafs through the newspaper like an automaton, with no inner motivation, it is habitual intentional motor consciousness towards emptiness, as I developed in Chapter 2. In one or the other perspective, the newspaper is attached to the habit-body Willie. In the first interpretation, the habit-body is a habit-body-subject, while in the second one, it is a habit-body-object. As I see it, Beckettian dramaturgy stresses, on the one hand, the importance of the form of staging and, on the other hand, it either empties the contents of repetitive movements and shows this emptying, or it contradictorily shows that their contents are already emptinesses. With that in mind, I argue that Willie is intentional motor consciousness towards emptiness or simply the habit-body-object towards emptiness. He is not intentional motor consciousness towards the search of news that appears in a certain newspaper, because if I so interpreted Willie’s movements and gestures, I would have to understand Willie as a habit-body-subject according to my interpretation of Merleau-Ponty’s view (compare the example of the blind man’s cane). In other words, with each movement, each gesture, Willie would give them the same meaning given to the first movement, the first gesture towards the content of the newspaper. Now I move on to interpret how intersubjectivity is portrayed by Beckett in Happy Days (1961). As I described in Chapter 1 of this part, companionship (i.e. friendship) is a way of loving in a long-lived marriage. One living body is aimed at, and at the same time, is attracted by a multiplicity of ordinary profiles of the other’s body in the same affective fields of daily living. The living body the other becomes over the course of habitual life a static body, which the living body takes over (i.e. 17

This is not the same kind of “search for memories, feelings and sensations” I addressed in Chapter 2.

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possesses the other’s body sexually). Still, I consider that the argumentation I draw on in Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1924; 2005; 2016; 2020) and in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1954) cannot be generalized and applied to minimalist dialogs and silences between both characters in Happy Days (1961). In Beckett’s dramaturgy, relationships built upon oppositions are one of the ways – and I emphasize this – to describe how one character associates with another. It seems that Winnie and Willie are in a long-term marriage. Through gestures18 and speech, both relate to each other. I quote: “Winnie [gazing front, hat in hand, tone of fervent reminiscence] Charlie Hunter! [Pause.] I close my eyes [she takes off spectacles and does so, hat in one hand, spectacles in other, Willie turns page] and am sitting on his knees again, in the back garden at Borough Green, under the horse-beech. [Pause. She opens eyes, puts on spectacles, fiddles with hat.]. Oh the happy memories! [Pause. She raises hat towards head, arrests gesture as Willie reads.] Willie Opening for smart youth.” (Beckett 1961: 18) In this dialogue, Winnie removes her glasses and hat and closes her eyes to remember a love affair. It is not known during the play whether Charlie Hunter is someone that belongs to her inner life or whether he is actually part of her past and social life. She opens her eyes then, puts on her glasses and exclaims: “Oh the happy memories!” She arrests the gesture of raising her hat towards her head – a sign of anticipation of Willie’s reaction. Willie did not react to Winnie’s observation. It does not show either that he shares with Winnie her memories or that he means (i.e. estimates or takes into account) her words. He just makes a dissonant, disparaging comment on what Winnie expressed. The following statement by Willie “Opening for a smart youth” is meaningless because without content. When making a comment without content (i.e. emptiness), he does not either confirm what Winnie recalled or oppose it. He does not confirm then the body-subject Winnie’s sexual power over him or oppose that power. The relationship from the perspective of Willie’s fragment of speech is therefore not sexual. Through a disjointed and contradictory comment, he ends up making the following statement: “I am a living body (or body-subject)”. From the living body Willie’s perspective, the relationship is not one of opposition, but rather dissonant, in which one spouse says something, whose sound is not reverberated in the other’s response. For the body-subject Willie, Winnie is a body-subject. The irony of this dialogue is that it shows a marriage between two living bodies centred on disconnected communication.

18

Compare with my interpretation of gesture as speech grounded in Merleau-Ponty in the previous topic.

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

Winnie continues her recollection. During some moments, Willie puts his head and arms out of his hole. He flips through the newspaper and ignores what she is saying. I quote: “Winnie My first ball! [Long Pause.] My second ball! [Long pause. Closes eyes.] My first kiss! [Pause. Willie turns page. Winnie opens eyes.] A Mr. Johnson, or Johnston, or perhaps I should say Johnstone. Very bushy moustache, very tawny. [Reverently.] Almost ginger! [Pause.] Within a toolshed, though whose I cannot conceive. We had no toolshed and he most certainly had no toolshed. [Closes eyes.] I see the piles of pots. [Pause.] The tangles of bast. [Pause.] The shadows deepening among the rafters. [Pause. She opens eyes, puts on spectacles, raises hat towards head, arrests gesture as Willie reads.].” (Beckett 1961: 18–19) Or he answers her monosyllabically after some insistence made by her, as follows: “Winnie [Pause. Turning a little towards Willie.] What would you say, Willie? [Pause. Turning a little further.] What would you say, Willie, speaking of your hair, them or it? [Pause.] The hair on your head, I mean. [Pause. Turning a little further.] The hair on your head, Willie, what would you say speaking of the hair on your head, them or it? [Long pause.] Willie It. Winnie [turning back front, joyful] Oh you are going to talk to me today, this is going to be a happy day! [Pause. Joy off.] Another happy day. [Pause.].” (Beckett 1961: 25) Winnie simply finds that words fail. After realizing that the conversation has emptied, she understands that what remains for her from the relationship is to keep on living with Willie in a habitual way. I quote: “Winnie That day. [Pause. Do.] What day? [Pause. Head up. Normal voice.] What now? [Pause.] Words fail, there are times when even they fail. [Turning a little towards Willie.] Is that not so, Willie? Is not that so, Willie, that even words fail, at times? [Pause. Back front.] What is one to do then, until they come again? Brush and comb the hair, if it has not been done, or if there is some doubt, trim the nails if they are in need of trimming, these things tide one over. [Pause.] That is what I mean. [Pause.] That is all I mean. [Pause.].” (Beckett 1961: 26–27) Finally, Winnie concludes that the emptied dialogue has become an emptiness by telling her husband to go to his hole. And that is what Willie ends up doing. I quote: “[...] Go back into your hole now, Willie, you’ve exposed yourself enough. [Pause.] Do as I say, Willie, don’t lie sprawling there in this hellish sun, go back into your

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hole. [Pause.] Go on now, Willie. [Willie invisible starts crawling left towards hole.] That’s the man.” (Beckett 1961: 26–27) In these four moments of the play, the relationship from Winnie’s perspective progresses from emptying to emptiness. When looking back at past love events, she seeks to arouse Willie’s reaction, perhaps jealousy. However, Willie responds tersely to Winnie’s comments and after much insistence from her. It is then evident that Winnie’s past is indifferent for him. It is also clear that he does not feel jealous (interchangeable here with a way of loving) of her19 . Therefore, he does not share her memories with her. The question “What would you say, Willie?”, in which Winnie’s hope for some emotional reaction is implied, was answered with laconism. The implicit content of this question is intentionally modified by referring to a banality such as “Is the word ‘hair’ singular or plural?” Nor does Willie oppose that question. He simply informs her: “It.” Willie’s information shows how habitual and trivialized the dialogue between them has become over the years. He could indeed give anyone else the same answer. Willie relates to Winnie as habitual intentional motor consciousness towards emptiness. As a habitual intentional motor consciousness, Willie is a bodysubject, as it did not react to the question since it neither confirmed nor denied it. It simply stated or declared something. Although it is body-subject, contradictorily (or absurdly), it did not mean (i.e. estimated or took into consideration) the content either expressed or implied in the living body Winnie’s account of the past. Nor did it mean the trivial question that followed and was directed to it. Willie, therefore, is a habitual body-subject towards emptiness. The body-subject Willie does not notice an emptying in the content of the relationship, it – if at any time it went through this phase – has already overcome it. The living body Willie merely presents with gestures and speech that it formally relates to the body-subject Winnie. From its perspective, marriage is, in short, a form, to which it is bound by habit. As I see it, the bodysubject Winnie understands thus that words failed throughout life in common with its husband, that words can no longer put together what they have worn out or by confrontation split. The few words exchanged are, for the body-subject Winnie, evidence of the emptying of their relationship. Ironically, it exclaims then facing the inescapable tragedy, which is the path of that marriage, one or other words lost in several moments of mutually agreed silence. Silence approaches indifference in relation to what the other said or how he behaved, or resignation about it or even complying with it. I quote: “Oh you are going to talk to me today, this is going to be a happy day! [Pause. Joy off.] Another happy day. [Pause.]” Immediately after this meaningless and senseless joy, the living body Winnie reports what remains of their relationship: brushing and combing hair, cutting nails, i.e. habits. So it sends Willie back to the hole. Willie goes back to his hole, not because of her order or his own

19

Compare also with Beckett 1961: 33.

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

resignation, but out of indifference insofar as he would go there with or without the body-subject Winnie’s command. He thus asserts himself by indifference, as a habit-body-subject. The living body Winnie finds that words no longer touch the living body Willie. The periods of silence extend and make their days drag on. The living body Winnie’s recollection of memories and the ironic accent it places at the end of the dialogues corroborate the emptying of that relationship. In the end, the living body Winnie resigned itself to the fate (i.e. tragedy) of their marriage, which sedimented over the years the connection of two subjects in a set of small regular and daily activities of little or no signification and repetitive tasks, i.e. routine, with no meaning as well.

II.

Ways of Loving through Gesture, Language and Habit Silence may be as variously shaded as speech. Edith Wharton

To interpret the fragments narrated by family members of the living bodies with Alzheimer’s in this section, I will refer to what I described and meant by sexual love in Chapter 1 and to what I explored in the previous section on gesture, its intentionality and meaning. As I said in Chapter 1 of this part, the path of sexual love is constructed based on the repetition of certain ordinary profiles. In daily living, one of the living bodies becomes a static body-object. The profiles of the body-object are the same, i.e. they are fixed, in such a way that there are no more profiles of the other to be unravelled. Sexual love is love by opposition, as I also argued in Chapter 1 based on Proust and Beckett. In Beckett’s Happy Days (1961), for instance, I can no longer speak of “sexual love” or “love by opposition”, still less of “love”. The language of gestures and speeches are flawed and dissonant. The voice of silence, which resonates the dissonance of the characters’ relationship, speaks between Winnie’s and Willie’s meaningless and senseless usual gestures and speech on daily living. The experience of the two characters in Happy Days (1961) on love was along the path of routine, daily life and habits, which tame marital relationship, emptied until it became empty. It is thus along the way that the experience of love became, for Winnie, a dying one and, for Willie, a dead one. Both, as already explored, are, as I see it, living bodies. With Proust, Camus, Beckett and Merleau-Ponty as a background, I will try to interpret the relationships between Maria, Emilia and Marcelo with Marcos Abreu; Brenda with Booker; John Bayley with Iris Murdoch; Michel Malherbe with Annie; Fernando Aguzzoli with Nilva Aguzzoli and Sylvia Molloy with M. L. I will draw on the experience of family love through gestural language, speech and habits, which make up what I call “sexual love”. I will also unpack “romantic love”.

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1. Maria, Emilia and Marcelo According to Marcos Abreu’s narration, Maria has been working at his house for 20 years. In these 20 years, Maria has become familiar with and internalized all his habits and, as he says, all of his “dirtiness”. Maria is a “rosewood tree”, he asserts. It means that, for Marcos Abreu, his housekeeper is someone who can withstand whatever may come. This “enduring all the problems that may arise”, including that of the degeneration of his health, is reflected in the following dialogue between Maria and Marcos Abreu and after between Maria and Emilia, in which she reports to Emilia what happened on a certain day: “ʻWho are you?ʼ ʻMaria, I’m Maria, Marcos.ʼ ʻWhat happened?ʼ ʻWhat hap...? ... help...?ʼ Maria followed his gaze at the wet trousers: ʻOf course it was, Marcos. Let’s go to the bathroomʼ.” Further: “In the evening, Emilia came across Maria, looking downcast and bleary-eyed, as soon as she opened the door. ʻHow was your day, Maria? Are you OK?ʼ ʻYour father called me a witch, slapped me twice in the face and hit me on the arm. He broke my glasses! Just look, Emilia! All because I was helping him to wash himself. He was all wet with his own pee!ʼ Emilia comforted her with a hug. ʻI’m so sorry, Maria! Let’s hire a caregiver, what do you reckon? And as for your glasses, I’ll take them tomorrow to an optician’s. Let me see now your bruise...ʼ ʻCaregiver? No, Emilia! I’ve taken care of Marcos since the divorce. It was a tough time for him and I stood the test. Why wouldn’t I manage now?ʼ” Maria is not only a housekeeper at Marcos Abreu’s, she has also become his friend over the years. With the disease, she also assumed the role of his caregiver. In other words, she bears the burden of caring, which also implies subjecting herself to the sudden changes of Marcos Abreu’s humour resulting from dementia. The dialogues between her and Marcos Abreu and her and Emilia are illustrative. After washing him, he slapped her twice in the face and gave her a punch in the arm. Even so, she expresses the will to keep on taking care of him, even though Emilia tells her that the family can hire a professional to perform that function. Maria’s gesture is one of self-sacrifice. The living body Maria loves Marcos Abreu’s body. From its perspective love is sexual. In the course of habitual daily living, it took over that body. This way of loving is shown in dialogues about daily life, by establishing a fixed routine of activi-

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

ties, going to the supermarket, feeding him, giving him medicine, washing him and cleaning his dirty clothes From the angle of the living body Maria’s gestural language and speeches, Marcos Abreu is a body-object. It plans and controls his routine. The living body Maria is not only intentional motor consciousness towards the body-object of Marcos Abreu, it is also intentional motor consciousness of resistance to life (i.e. tragedy)20 , which is shown by its self-sacrifice of carrying the burden of caring for its friend’s disease. Self-sacrifice as a way of loving covers a certain religious feeling or demeanour and a goal, which I translate as the salvation of Marcos Abreu’s body-object.21 As in other fragments of narratives described and interpreted in Chapter 1 of this part, both are, in the living body Maria’s perspective, condemned to the same tragedy that is living despite Alzheimer’s. Nevertheless, if it in the name of God saves that body from Alzheimer’s, it saves itself too. Life is no longer a tragedy. Since tragedy is over, life is also over. The living body Maria’s religious way of loving towards Marcos Abreu’s body-object shows from another perspective that it is intentional motor consciousness of nonresistance to life.22 Marcos Abreu’s daughter Emilia is grown-up and lives in her father’s house. To start describing the relationship of the two from her perspective, I highlight three fragments. The first is a dialogue with Maria: “It’s up to you. The tendency is for him to become more and more aggressive. And it may be really complicated dealing with his reactions, though he was always a sensitive, peaceful man.” The second is a description made by her of a dawn spent with her father when he recalled a certain experience: “With his fork poised between his plate and his mouth, he followed her movements at an art school friend’s party. [...] My father unravelled these stories after getting back from the Federal University of Rio Art School Class reunion. It was the early hours. I couldn’t sleep and he was feeling nostalgic. We lay down on the lawn. It was a hot night. We watched the sun rise. Life was good and Alzheimer’s hadn’t barged into our lives yet to tear him apart.” The third fragment is her reaction to her father’s last letter: “I don’t know how many times I’ve reread these passages and heard his voice in confession. Meanwhile, in the Coroner’s Office, my brother sorted out the procedures to have the body released.” What catches my attention in these three fragments are the phrases “[...] he was always a sensitive, peaceful man” and “We lay down on the lawn. It was a hot night. We watched the sun rise. Life was good and Alzheimer’s hadn’t barged into our lives 20 21 22

Compare my interpretation on Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus (1991) in Chapter 1 of this part. Compare biblical passages Matthew, 5:39, 40; Luke 6:29. Compare my interpretation on Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1954) in Chapter 1 of this part.

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yet to tear him apart.” And also: “[…] and heard his voice in confession.” Emilia shows that she had an intimate relationship with her father. She was his confidant. She was the one who read Marcos Abreu’s last letter and other confidences came her way, such as his relations with painting, death, his wife, a woman he had loved in the past. That intimacy is also perceived in how they interacted, for example, when he arrived at home from an event, she was waiting for him and they both lay down on the grass to watch the sun come up. Emilia refers to this moment as “Life was good [...]”. With the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, the father, who entrusted her with his life stories, died: “[...] Alzheimer’s hadn’t barged into our lives yet to tear him apart.” And also: “[...] he was always a sensitive, peaceful man”. Her use of the verb shows the traits she most appreciated in her father, with which she lived in the past. Due to Emilia’s sensitivity in listening to her father’s secrets and mentioning aspects of his profile that she most took into consideration in their dialogues, she presented herself in these three fragments as a living body. For the living body Emilia, its father was a mysterious subject to be unveiled despite years of living together. There were profiles that it – until the final moment of Marcos Abreu’s death – did not know. This plasticity of the unfolding of paternal identity that was reconfigured in each dialogue did not become cast in a static profile fixed by daily family life. These passages narrated by the living body Emilia show that their relationship, in the intimacy of the confidences exchanged in conversations in the shadow of dawn, was between two living bodies. They also show that the living body Emilia felt romantic love towards certain mysterious profiles of the living body Marcos Abreu. The living body Emilia connected with its mysteriousness through sensitive, passive and listening gestures. In other words, the living body Emilia meant or took into consideration, through the passive gestural language of listening, the living body Marcos Abreu’s memories. This free disposition to feel with23 , to commune with it that characterizes the living body Emilia’s way of loving undoubtedly reverberated in the living body Marcos Abreu throughout its life. This is evident in the final paragraph of its letter, which here I refer to: “What came close to perfection? My relationship with Emilia. We shared, my daughter, the same sensibility and temperament, we were on many occasions in heaven and hell, we experienced both countless joys and as much pain. We enjoyed together, then, the high times of elation and the low ones of depression. You, more than anyone, ʻare flesh of my fleshʼ.” For the living body Marcos Abreu, Emilia was in part a living body. It experienced romantic love towards a certain profile of perfection of the living body Emilia. Furthermore, it nurtured sexual love for Emilia’s body insofar as it considered both as one and the same, which I have already covered at length in Chapter 1 of this part.

23

Compare Nóbrega 2018: 16.

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

However, the verb “share with” reveals that the living body Marcos Abreu also listened to the living body Emilia’s secrets. This verb shows that it unveiled the living body Emilia’s hidden ways of feeling. From that perspective, the living body Marcos Abreu experienced romantic love towards its mysterious profiles while listening passively and silently to what the living body Emilia wanted to share with it. From this perspective, both living bodies were in communion.24 As far as Emilia’s perspective is concerned, it is undeniable, however, that she depended on her father for she lived with him even though she was an adult. The short story does not reveal in which way she depended on him. Hence, I cannot affirm that Emilia related to her father on the same level. On the contrary, dependence shows that in part her love for him was sexual and this way of loving was so deep that she continued to live with him until his death. From this perspective, Emilia is body-object. Marcelo arrives from a long trip to his father’s house and has the following dialogue with him: “ʻHow are you, Dad?ʼ ʻWell. How was your trip?ʼ ʻMy agent said that the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is interested in exhibiting two of my works two years from now. They’re beginning to organize an exhibition of Latin-American artists’ work.ʼ ʻGreat news! Which works? Have you decided yet?ʼ ʻNot yet.ʼ ʻBut you have to make up your mind soon, Marcelo. It’s an opportunity and a half!ʼ ʻSure...ʼ ʻIf I can have my say, a marble sculpture you made... When was it? Last year? Superb... What’s it called? I can’t remember.ʼ ʻHades and Persephone. I finished it five years ago. I’m pleased you remembered it. It was my third attempt with marble, after breaking Hades’ left foot in the first and Persephone’s right hand in the second. It was frustrating. I almost gave up.ʼ ʻBut in the end... what a result! This one you should...ʼ ʻIt isn’t the right one for the exhibition... I’ll think of another one, Dad, but thanks for the suggestion.ʼ He went on: ʻShall we have lunch? I’ve got a commitment at 2.30pm in the city centre. I’m a bit pressed for timeʼ.” I cannot assume that Marcelo still lives with his father, which could speak to his dependence on him. That dialogue shows, however, another kind of dependence: that of the father’s approval. Marcelo is on the way to achieving notoriety with his sculptures similar to the one Marcos Abreu achieved with painting. He needs paternal 24

Compare what I call “gestures in communion” in the previous section.

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approval to follow his path in the field of art. Although dependent on paternal approval, it is undeniable that Marcelo wants to build his own way. That dialogue shows his reaction to his father’s suggestion to send a particular sculpture to an exhibition in Barcelona. This reaction (i.e. opposition) expresses that he relates to his father as a living body. It is the living body Marcelo, which has sexual power to make its own choices regardless of the suggestion of Marcos Abreu’s body-object. Therefore, both in relation to the need of parental confirmation, which presents Marcelo as a body-object, and in relation to the opposition to his father’s suggestion, which presents Marcelo as a living body, the way of loving is sexual. In this last excerpt, Marcelo also shows how he saw his father as an artist and the evolution of his painting from the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s onwards: “Specialized reviewers, two critics actually, and this is public knowledge because the papers went out of their way to make a big deal about it, protested about the incoherence and inconsistency of his works in the three final years of his life. Without mentioning names, these same critics said that a picture with an undeniable tendency towards expressionism couldn’t become idyllic drawings or dreamlike images. Many old drawings and pictures, he himself made a point of destroying in the last two years. Those that survived are being restored by the Villela Foundation, who we are grateful to for their generous support. In the end, he often couldn’t remember what a paintbrush was doing in his hand and, on other occasions, albeit rarely, what it was used for. For our father, taking up his paintbrush every morning after breakfast and sitting in front of his easel was more than activity, it was a habit. This habit made his painting a national institution and it was also because of it that our father recounted some important events from his life, before and after the onset of Alzheimer’s, and which served as a source for this book.” Marcelo’s way of loving his father is displayed through respecting his father’s work and how he saw him as a man of habits. In Marcelo’s view, painting was for Marcos Abreu a habitual activity, which he performed “every morning after breakfast”. This perspective is intriguing, insofar as in Marcos Abreu’s final letter he spelt out that painting for him meant an encounter with the extraordinary. Perhaps Marcelo would have changed his perspective if he had read the letter. Perhaps he has read it, but he simply tells the audience what it wants to hear. Perhaps, in the end, he read it, but he did not understand how unique the act of painting in Marcos Abreu’s life was. What is evident however from this piece of Marcelo’s narrative is that, understanding his father as a painter who signified painting as a habitual activity, Marcos Abreu was seen as living body or habit-body-subject even after the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. In other words, Marcelo considered that habit-body-subject Marcos Abreu meant the action of painting as an intentional movement of searching for memories and feelings from the past. This search is evident in the fact that the three paintings, which depicted

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

landscapes of Occitania, are strongly imbued with an appeal to onirism by using naive, childlike strokes. For a painter, whose work was known for the weight of his lines, the use of warm intense colours and colourings loaded with shadows and the figurative motifs rooted in Brazilian culture and its discontents, the three paintings are, in Marcelo’s view, a search for the past, for the meaning of the first movement of brush or pencil on the canvas. The living body Marcelo’s perspective of its father as a habit-body-subject painter contrasts with its perspective of its father as bodyobject in the family sphere.

2. Brenda Brenda is Booker’s daughter. He was interviewed by Lisa Snyder. The only fragment of Brenda’s speech25 that appears in the book is the following: “It’s a little rough, but now it’s better since we’re dealing with one illness instead of two26 . When they diagnosed my dad, I thought someone had punched me in the stomach. But then I moved through the stages of acceptance very quickly because we needed to know what to do.” (Snyder 2009: 104) Brenda is Booker’s caregiver. As I have already described, the living body Booker sees its daughter Brenda “as if she were its mother”. Its way of loving towards it is expressed by a touch of love. The living body Booker also hopes that it will be treated with the same affection when the disease progresses. It trusts Brenda. It does not feel the disease as a burden just as it does not feel that it can be a burden for the daughter. From Brenda’s perspective, love is experienced as “[i]t’s a little rough… had punched me in the stomach. But then I moved through the stages of acceptance very quickly”. “Rough”, “punch”, “acceptance” are the three keywords that describe Brenda’s experience as caregiver. Brenda means her way of loving her father as a pain and acceptance of that pain. In other words, her way of loving is pain doubled in intensity. As in other reports of subjects with Alzheimer’s (Thomas DeBaggio, Bob and Betty) in Chapter 1 and especially that of Maria in this chapter, Brenda is living body, as it is intentional motor consciousness of resistance to life. Its way of loving its father is by carrying the burden of pain of caring. Taking care of Booker means resisting the tragedy, which is life with Alzheimer’s. According to the living body Brenda’s view, Booker is body-object and its way of loving his body is sexual. In the course of daily

25

26

I did not find fragments of narratives of the caregivers (i.e. family members) of the subjects with Alzheimer’s in Lisa Snyder’s book that expressed what care experience was like for them. I consider that the author’s goal was precisely to publish interviews with the subjects themselves, not intermediated by family members. Brenda’s account of her experience was an exception, even though her voice is heard in that single excerpt. Brenda’s husband fell ill at the same time her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

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living, it took possession of its father’s body, controlling routine and habits, for example, by telling Booker’s body-object which clothes are appropriate to wear, checking if those clothes are inside out or not, as Booker himself describes in his account in Chapter 1.

3. John Bayley I was much further out than you thought And not waving but drowning. Stevie Smith In one of his three books on life with Iris Murdoch27 , John Bayley presents several perspectives on their relationship. I will describe and interpret fragments of those that show how he meant love towards and for her at the beginning of the relationship, over the years and after the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. I quote: “Through a bewitching miasma of hock I was conscious of Iris as a kind sister, fond of both her brothers, equally close to them.” (Bayley 2012: 11). Further: “It was typical of my relations with Iris at that time that I had very little idea of the other people in her life, or what they might mean to her. That was probably due to the ecstatic egoism of falling in love for the first time. For me it was the first time, though I was not exactly young. Iris was thirty-four... I was twentyeight. […] But, as I say, I still had very little idea of the other people in Iris’s life, or what they meant to her. That was instinctive on her part, I think, rather than deliberate.” (Bayley 2012: 12) “I saw clearly and without dismay that Iris was not in the least in love with me… We had become friends: that was all. […] Friendship meant a great deal to her.” (Bayley 2012: 21) However, in the early days of their relationship, John Bayley tells that his feelings for her were “like living in a fairy story […] a young man loves a beautiful maiden who returns his love but is always disappearing into some unknown and mysterious world, about which she will reveal nothing.” (Bayley 2012: 34)

27

John Bayley wrote a trilogy, namely Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (2012), Iris and the Friends (2000), Widower’s House (2000). I will stick to the first book.

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

Long afterwards, he found this entry in her diary dated June 3 1954: “‘St Antony’s Dance. Fell down the steps, and seem to have fallen in love with J. We didn’t dance much.’” (Bayley 2012: 27) John Bayley was 28 and Iris 34 when they met. From the beginning, it was evident to him that Iris Murdoch expressed her way of loving through friendship. The terms “sister”, “brother” and the explicit reference to the friendship that she dedicated to him illustrate this. Much later, in 1954, he read that “[…] seem to have fallen in love with J.” They met around 1953.28 I quote: “I remember the first time we did it, nearly forty-five years ago” (Bayley 2012: 9). “Friendship meant a lot to her.” John Bayley was at the beginning of the relationship a kin intellect. Iris Murdoch, in his words, was “pure spirit”. And John Bayley considered that trait of hers remarkable. I quote: “Like so much to do with our emotions the egoism of love has something absurd about it, though something touching as well. It was certainly absurd that I should have taken for granted in those days that Iris was, so to speak, pure spirit, devoted to philosophy and to her job, leading a nun-like existence in her little room in college, devoid of all the dissimulations and wonderings and plottings and plannings that I took for granted in myself. She was a superior being, and I knew that superior beings just did not have the kind of mind that I had.” (Bayley 2012: 13) Nevertheless, if from John Bayley’s perspective she found a friend in him at the beginning of their relationship, months or a year later, she, in his view, fell in love with him (“[…] seem to have fallen in love with J.”). John Bayley’s way of loving towards her was “like living in a fairy story”. As I read those fragments, Iris Murdoch’s way of loving was not towards a certain profile of the living body John Bayley in a certain field. The living body Iris Murdoch thought about its feelings for him. It “seems that I have fallen in love with J.” indicates, a year after they met, that the living body Iris Murdoch’s way of loving towards John Bayley’s body lacked spontaneity, openness, vitality29 to the feelings and sensations that precede all rational thinking about the same feelings and sensations. Its way of loving was experienced as friendship, which unites in their case two kin intellects. Therefore, from the beginning onwards it loved John Bayley sexually with all characteristics of this way of loving already described and that make a living body associate to the bodyobject of the other.

28 29

The first edition of this book is from 1998. Iris Murdoch died one year later. I employ the term “vitality” following Merleau-Ponty. For more on this, see the beginning of this part.

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From his perspective, the beginning of the relationship was experienced as a “fairy tale”.30 The living body John Bayley’s way of loving was towards a certain profile of the living body Iris Murdoch as a “beautiful and mysterious maiden”: “[…] a young man loves a beautiful maiden who returns his love but is always disappearing into some unknown and mysterious world.” Wrapped in an atmosphere of mystery, it was not possible to grasp and decipher that beautiful profile and get hold of it. The way of loving towards a certain profile “beautiful and mysterious maiden” of the living body Iris Murdoch shows that the living body John Bayley went through a romantic experience of love. From its perspective too, a year after they met, it could finally get hold of the living body Iris Murdoch’s profile “beautiful and mysterious maiden” by reading, in its diary, its statement that it seemed to be in love with the living body John Bayley. Romantic love may have come to an end since the living body John Bayley deciphered the mystery that covered the living body Iris Murdoch’s way of loving it. As I interpret this, from that point on the living body John Bayley moved from a romantic way of loving to a sexual one. This way of loving received the seal of confirmation of norms and conventions with marriage in 1956, three years after they met. Iris was 37 and John Bayley was 31. The ways in which the living body John Bayley lived the experience of marriage over the years presented through various perspectives. Among them, I will focus on the language used by it in the fragments and the communication between the couple. I quote: “One of the truest pleasures of marriage is solitude” (Bayley 2012: 31). Further: “Normally it was something which by then I took for granted in our marriage, like air or water. Already we were beginning that strange and beneficent process in marriage by which a couple can, in the words of A.D. Hope the Australian poet, ʻmove closer and closer apartʼ. The apartness is a part of the closeness, perhaps a recognition of it: certainly a pledge of complete understanding.” (Bayley 2012: 33) “Still less is such apartness at all like what the French call solitude à deux, the inward self-isolation of a couple from anything outside their marriage. The solitude I have enjoyed in marriage, and I think Iris too, is a little like having a walk by oneself, and knowing that tomorrow, or soon, one will be sharing it with the other, or equally perhaps again having it alone. It is a solitude, too, 30

This other passage corroborates the atmosphere (i.e. field) of fantasy, in which the living body John Bayley fell in love: “I noted the lady on the bicycle (she seemed at once to me more of a lady than a girl) and wondered who she was and whether I would ever meet her. Perhaps I fell in love. Certainly it was in the innocence of love that I indulged the momentary fantasy that nothing had ever happened to her: that she was simply bicycling about, waiting for me to arrive. She was not a woman with a past, and an unknown present.” (Bayley 2012: 12)

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

that precludes nothing outside the marriage, and sharpens the sense of possible intimacy with things or people in the outside world.” (Bayley 2012: 13) Finally: “So married life began. And the joys of solitude. No contradiction was involved. The one went perfectly with the other. To feel oneself held and cherished and accompanied, and yet to be alone. To be closely and physically entwined, and yet feel solitude’s friendly presence, as warm and undesolating as contiguity itself.” (Bayley 2012: 78) This way of experiencing relationship contrasts with the way Beckett in Happy Days (1961) explores the marriage of two characters. As I read it, conversation between the living body John Bayley and Iris Murdoch’s body-object was so fluid that they dispensed with spoken language in order to communicate in silence.31 The living body John Bayley uses the following phrase by the poet A. D. Hope “move closer and closer apart” to express that they cultivated the apparent loneliness that silence implies in order to be more and more spiritually united. From this perspective of the living body John Bayley, the silence that fell between them throughout their marriage was, as I interpret it, an indirect language that showed they were united spiritually, i.e. by friendship (they were kin intellects), through complicity, i.e. mutual, implicit understanding. As a mode of communication appreciated by both, silence strengthened the bonds between them over the years. Although the experience was a way of loving sexually and the one was seen by the other as a body-object and each one saw itself in that relationship as a living body, the sexual oppositional power of one over the other was mitigated by that friendship that showed itself through complicity shared in silent communication.32 . Conversely, Winnie and Willie’s silence in Happy Days (1961) has another meaning. Minimalist dialogues are tersely and abruptly cut by it. Nothing would need to be told, even though the spectator would have through the gestural language of one and the other the perception that a wall has been built over the years between them in order to defend themselves from the excess of intentionally destructive words. Each in their own way threw them at each other.33 As the spectator can interpret it, the words thrown became over the years banal, habitual, meaningless and senseless. 31

32 33

Compare with my reading of Husserl on the experience of silence in music and its meaning in Chapter 1 of Part I. Compare also with the meaning of indirect communication in Merleau-Ponty in the previous section. I evoke what I have already interpreted in Chapter 1 of this part on friendship and complicity as sexual ways of loving. Compare with the relationship between Marcos Abreu and Joana, specifically this excerpt: “Two failures: the first, my marriage to Joana. I never understood how she ticked, nor she me. The attacks were many and mutual. I wanted the glory and so did she. No marriage resists the fires of fierce competition. Though, no doubt, we had good moments and two things in common: art school, which bound us together, and you, our children, who united

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The repetitive gestures of one and the other, encapsulated in themselves, reinforce the spectator’s perception that the bonds that united them once, broke. On the one hand, Winnie realizes the emotional emptying of their relationship. The play shows her internally processing it. Willie, on the other hand, has already experienced that same emptying. Inside, he has already broken up with Winnie. The moment experienced by Willie is that of feeling emptiness. Despite the deterioration of their relationship, the spectator witnesses that the habit and the emptying of love contradictorily continues to unite Winnie to Willie and the habit and the emptiness of love still unite Willie to Winnie. The spiritual bond or friendship based on the complicity shared through the living body John Bayley’s silent communication with Iris Murdoch’s body-object was, however, tested with the diagnosis and progress of Alzheimer’s. I quote: “Now we are together for the first time. We have actually become, as is often said of a happy married couple, inseparable, in a way like Ovid’s Baucis and Philemon, to whom the gods gave the gift of growing old together like entwined trees. It is a way of life that is unfamiliar. The closeness of apartness has necessarily become the closeness of closeness. And we know nothing of it; we have never had any practice.” (Bayley 2012: 80) Further: “An Alzheimer sufferer begins many sentences, usually with an anxious repetitive query, but they remain unfinished, the want unexpressed. Usually it is predictable and easily satisfied, but Iris produces every day many such queries, involving ʻyou know, that personʼ, or simply ʻthatʼ, which take time and effort to unravel. Often they remain totally enigmatic, related to some unidentifiable man or woman in the past who has swum up to the surface of her mind as if encountered yesterday.” (Bayley 2012: 37) Finally: “Our mode of communication seems like underwater sonar, each bouncing pulsations off the other, and listening for an echo” (Bayley 2012: 37). Through those three fragments, narrated by the living body John Bayley, with the onset of Alzheimer’s, closeness between them intensified and showed what is conventionally expected from a married couple, i.e. inseparability “in a way like Ovid’s Baucis and Philemon, to whom the gods gave the gift of growing old together like entwined trees”. That kind of fusion was unwanted by the living body John Bayley. Yet, closeness became inevitable with the advancement of Alzheimer’s. It was translated into the verbal, but mutilated, direct communication of Iris Murdoch’s body-object, of which the living body John Bayley could only apprehend an echo or struggled against us. I have no regrets for having separated while there was still time for us not to hate each other.”

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echoes34 in order to interpret what she might be trying to say: “The closeness of closeness” of “a happy married couple” shook the foundations of that unconventional marriage, which had been grounded until the diagnostic of her illness in “the joys of solitude” as interpreted above. In addition, the living body John Bayley was reticent about caring for her illness.35 Contradictorily, it became suspicious of whether it was Iris Murdoch’s bodyobject who in fact wanted to take care of it although along their life together she behaved the other way round. In specific terms, the living body John Bayley did not want to change their married lifestyle. As a reaffirmation of that, the disease did not make the living body John Bayley change, for instance, shared non-habits. For instance, it kept giving little or no importance to what it and Iris Murdoch’s bodyobject wore, as well as their respective day-to-day hygiene. I quote: “Iris’s own lack of a sense of identity seemed to float her more gently into its world of preoccupied emptiness. Placidly every night she insists on laying out quantities of her clothing on my side of the bed, and when I quietly remove them, back they come again. She wants to look after me? Is that it? It may be a simpler sort of confusion, for when we go to bed she often asks me which side she should be on. Or is it something deeper and fuller, less conscious and less ʻcaringʼ than that far too self-conscious adjective suggests. She has never wanted to look after me in the past, thank goodness; indeed one of the pleasures of living with Iris was her serenely benevolent unawareness of one’s daily welfare. So restful.” (Bayley 2012: 45–46) Further: “Dressing most days is a reasonably happy and comic business. I am myself still far from sure which way round her underpants are supposed to go: we usually decide between us that it doesn’t matter. Trousers are simpler: hers have a grubby white label on the inside at the back. I ought to give her a bath, or rather a wash of some sort since baths are tricky, but I tend to postpone it from day to day. For some reason it is easier to do the job in cold blood, as it were, at an idle moment 34

35

Compare also the following: “An Alzheimer sufferer begins many sentences, usually with an anxious repetitive query, but they remain unfinished, the want unexpressed. Usually it is predictable and easily satisfied, but Iris produces every day many such queries, involving ‘you know, that person’, or simply ‘that’, which take time and effort to unravel. Often they remain totally enigmatic, related to some unidentifiable man or woman in the past who has swum up to the surface of her mind as if encountered yesterday.” (Bayley 2012: 37) Accordingly, I do not consider that the living body John Bayley could have been the caregiver of Iris Murdoch’s body-object. Due to the relative independence of how they both experienced marriage, the way the living body John Bayley guided their married life was consistent with their lifestyle, as it continued in the same direction agreed upon in the beginning of marriage, even after Alzheimer’s until Iris Murdoch’s death.

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later in the day. Iris never objects to this; she seems in a curious way to accept it as both quite normal and wholly exceptional, as if the two concepts had become identified for her. Perhaps that is why she seems to accept her daily state as if none other had ever existed: assuming too that no one else would find her changed in any way; just as my own memory only works with her now as she is, and so, as my memory seems to assume, must always have been. […] It seems normal that the old routines of washing and dressing have vanished as if they too had never existed. If she remembered them, which she doesn’t, I can imagine her saying to herself, did one really go through all those unnecessary rituals every day?” (Bayley 2012: 50–51) Finally: “15 April 1997 Not that I care about her trousers. Our habits have never been exactly hygienic; and yet distinguishing day from night now seems vital to our saving routines. Twice in the day, at ten in the morning and five in the evening, panic and emptiness descend, not because there is something we have to do but because there isn’t. Routine has no suggestions to make. All I can do then is to promise the next thing soon. A drink. Lunch, or supper.” (Bayley 2012: 146) If there was no change in their body non-habits, there was no change either in the non-routine of cleaning the house. I quote: “Neither of us ever attempted, from our earliest married days, to do much about the house. A routine of chores never existed. Neither of us felt any need to keep it clean, and we were bothered by the notion of somebody coming in to do it for us. Now I suppose the house has reached what seems a comfortable point of no return. Once nothing seemed to need to be done, or so we took it all for granted, and now nothing can be done. If friends notice the state the place is in – a perfectly cosy one really – they don’t say anything. None the less I feel from time to time that if we had ever developed a habit of working together on the chores we might be able to continue with it now. Self-discipline. And a way of passing the time. But somehow, as the tramp more or less says in Waiting for Godot, the time seems to pass anyway.” (Bayley 2012: 54) Despite the onset and progress of Alzheimer’s, I consider that the living body John Bayley reiterated in all those fragments the lifestyle shared with Iris Murdoch’s bodyobject along the years together. It did not change their way of living to adapt to the disease’s demands for body hygiene and a house cleaning routine. The disease, in other words, had to adapt to their lifestyle. Its way of loving sexually was non-habitual. In other words, its sexual power over its wife’s body did not present itself in daily liv-

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

ing as a power to impose habits on Iris Murdoch’s body-object and a house cleaning routine on itself due to her illness.36 Nevertheless, it began to relate to Iris Murdoch’s body-object similar to how it would relate to a child. Long after they were married, they acquired a television. As the disease developed, it switched on the device to watch together children’s programmes. The living body John Bayley was interested in calming its wife down, according to it, during the most difficult part of the day (between 10 and 11) by imposing contradictorily a routine on Iris Murdoch’s body-object, which it criticized during their life together. In other words, it was in favour of a routine to calm her body down, although the living body John Bayley was reticent about that when it came to household chores. I quote: “At the same time she will watch the animated cartoons on children’s TV with something approaching glee. They can be a great stand-by at ten or so – the trickiest time – till eleven in the morning. I usually watch the Teletubbies with her, and become absorbed myself in their odd little sunlit world, peopled with real rabbits, real sky, real grass. Or so it seems. Is some human agency inside the creatures, some actual and cunning little mannikin? It certainly looks like it, and the illusion, if such it is, continues to hold both our attentions.” (Bayley 2012: 53) Further: “20 February 1997 Teletubbies. They are part of the morning ritual, as I try to make it. I have to insist a bit, as Alzheimer’s now seems to have grown inimical to routines. Perhaps we all know by instinct that an adopted routine preserves sanity? Just after ten, as part of the BBC 2 children’s programme, the Teletubbies come on. One of the few

36

If, on the one hand, the living body John Bayley remained faithful to their marriage lifestyle with non-habits and non-routines of cleaning their house despite the disease of Iris Murdoch’s body-object, its decision raises, on the other hand, some doubt whether or why the living body John Bayley could not really have allowed a professional or even one of her friends to take care of her illness. About that possibility, the living body John Bayley was very reticent due, in its view, to the confusion and embarrassment Iris Murdoch’s bodyobject would feel by having someone else taking care of her disease other than the living body John Bayley. In this regard, it says: “Jackson came out in 1995: Iris’s condition has deteriorated steadily over the past eighteen months. Like someone who knows he cannot for much longer avoid going out into the cold I still shrink from the need for professional care – helpers, the friendly callers of Age Concern, even the efforts of kind friends. All that is to come, but let us postpone it while we can: Iris becomes troubled as well as embarrassed if she feels a visit is to keep her company, or to look after her if I have to be absent. In fact I am never absent, so helpers are not now needed. We are lucky to be able to go on living in the state to which we have always been accustomed; Iris can still go out to lunch alone with such an old friend as Philippa Foot.” (Bayley 2012: 133)

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things we can really watch together, in the same spirit. ʻThere are the rabbits!ʼ I say quite excitedly. One of the charms of this extraordinary programme is the virtual reality landscape supplied.” (Bayley 2012: 137) More on this: “I sit at the kitchen table, and make desperate efforts to keep it as my own preserve, as it has always been. Iris seems to understand this, and when prompted goes obediently into the sitting-room where the TV is switched on. In less than a minute she is back again […].” (Bayley 2012: 80) The living body John Bayley watched the children’s programme “Teletubbies” with curiosity and, in its perspective, it and Iris Murdoch’s body-object watched it “in the same spirit”. It says: “She never showed any interest in children before. Now she loves them, on television or in real life. It seems almost too appropriate. I tell her she is nearly four years old now – isn’t that wonderful?” (Bayley 2012: 161). Based on those fragments narrated by the living body John Bayley, the way of loving sexually when it came to “watching television as an all-morning ritual” showed itself through the living body John Bayley’s power to impose that routine on Iris Murdoch’s body-object. However, did the body-subject Iris Murdoch (not the body-object of Iris Murdoch) really enjoy that kind of joint activity “in the same spirit”? The living body John Bayley itself asserts: “They are part of the morning ritual, as I try to make it. I have to insist a bit, as Alzheimer’s now seems to have grown inimical to routines.” Watching children’s cartoons and the “Teletubbies” was part of its strategy, which it “insist[ed] a bit” to impose on Iris Murdoch’s body-object as a routine to manage to be alone at the kitchen table, as it always did throughout their life together.37 In order to preserve its sanity – “Perhaps we all know by instinct that an adopted routine preserves sanity?” – the living body John Bayley left the television on during the morning so that the body-object of Iris Murdoch could stay in the living room watching children’s programmes. Notwithstanding, the living body Iris Murdoch went to the sitting room, possibly sat on the sofa, but some minutes later returned to the kitchen. The intentional movement of leaving the sitting-room towards the kitchen was not out of need of dependence on its husband – as it stated above, they never experienced marriage as two intertwined trees –, but, as I interpret it, because no interest in such programmes was sedimented in itself. Although the living body John Bayley even acknowledged that “[s]he never showed any interest in children before”, it coped with Iris Murdoch’ body-object as if she were a little 37

Another perspective of the living body John Bayley’s attitude is the following: it was consistent with the lifestyle adopted by both of them. “The closeness of apartness” was the way they lived over the years. As it reports, living with Alzheimer’s “[...] is a way of life that is unfamiliar. The closeness of apartness has necessarily become the closeness of closeness. And we know nothing of it; we have never had any practice.”

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

child. This is an interpretation of the living body John Bayley’s sexual love for Iris Murdoch’s body-object. Another interpretation is possible. I recall some of the fragments above that describe the living body John Bayley’s feelings and sensations when watching the children’s programme: “[…] I usually watch the Teletubbies with her, and become absorbed myself in their odd little sunlit world, peopled with real rabbits, real sky, real grass. Or so it seems. Is some human agency inside the creatures, some actual and cunning little mannikin? It certainly looks like it, and the illusion, if such it is, continues to hold both our attentions.” (Bayley 2012: 53) Further: “[…] ‘There are the rabbits!’ I say quite excitedly. One of the charms of this extraordinary programme is the virtual reality landscape supplied.” Lastly: “She never showed any interest in children before. Now she loves them, on television or in real life. It seems almost too appropriate. I tell her she is nearly four years old now – isn’t that wonderful.” I understand that that experience of sexual love was fusional in the sense that, for the living body John Bayley, Iris Murdoch’s body-object felt what it felt, and the experience of one and the other was identical. The living body John Bayley was absorbed by the programme, by its mixtures of living beings, like rabbits, and virtual puppets, which talked like small children, under a strange sun, which illuminated the scene. For it considered that entertainment “exciting”, “charming” and “extraordinary”, and assumed that Iris Murdoch’s body-object felt the same, that is, she watched that programme “in the same spirit”. However, traces of romantic love can be perceived in their sexual relationship. The living body John Bayley was attracted by the childlike enchantment of that programme. It assumed that Iris Murdoch watched it with identical childlike enchantment. I emphasize that the romantic love, i.e. childlike enchantment, felt by the living body John Bayley was directed to that television programme. By presupposing that Iris Murdoch experienced an identical feeling while watching the “Teletubbies”, it actually continued to relate sexually to her body-object. Moreover, by declaring that “I tell her she is nearly four years old now – isn’t that wonderful?” it was saying, in other words, that it was as if she were approximately 4 years old. Insofar as the living body John Bayley was fused sentimentally and sensorially with its wife, it was the same age as she was. Finally, I recall this fragment of the living body John Bayley’s speech that corroborates what I said above regarding watching the “Teletubbies”: “One of the few things we can really watch together, in the same spirit.” Iris Murdoch, who watched the programme, did so in John Bayley’s view as a living body, insofar as it was enchanted by the childlike enchantment produced by that programme. Notwithstanding, they “watched [it] together” and “in the same spirit”. These expressions make evident that its love was for that body and all along fusional, sexual. The living body John Bayley dealt with Iris Murdoch as a body-object.

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4. Michel Malherbe Only people exist and around them is silence – that is what the earth is! Fyodor Dostoevsky In 2015, Michel Malherbe wrote the book Alzheimer. La vie, la mort, la reconnaissance, which is a philosophical essay and a chronicle on his relationship with his wife Annie.38 Annie lives in a nursing home and receives periodic visits from her husband. Annie’s voice is almost not heard explicitly. She spends her time sitting on an armchair, smoothing the fringes of her scarf and occasionally she awakes when her husband touches her to get her attention. She looks at him, perhaps a spark of recognition appears in her eyes to almost immediately go out, and she disconnects thus from her husband and the world around her. At other times, she is momentarily present when listening to a piece of classical music with her husband or on a walk together in the garden, the noise of the street seems to attract her attention only instantly. Unlike fragments previously narrated by subjects with Alzheimer’s and family members, Michel Malherbe’s philosophical essay raises numerous questions that lead him to transient answers about what Alzheimer’s is and how the disturbing experience is of having a loved one in the family with that disease. His book is traversed by a plethora of philosophers with whom he dialogues39 . Nevertheless, in my interpretation, Michel Malherbe shows in his essay that Alzheimer’s challenges all those philosophers since they give him too broad or flawed answers to the innumerable questions arising from the development of that disease. In this topic, I will not articulate with any of the philosophers, with whom the author discusses. I will stick to my Merleau-Pontian philosophical basis and Beckettian philosophical literature. I will also limit myself to specific fragments of Michel Malherbe’s narrative, namely those that deal with gesture as a way of loving. At first, I quote three fragments: “[...] sensitivity is a shared relationship and a certain mode of co-recognition is attached to it. And, in fact, by touching reciprocity is required: one cannot touch without being touched nor be touched without touching” (Malherbe 2015: 253, translation is mine). This is what Malherbe calls “co-sensitivity” (Malherbe 2015: 253). A co-sensitive relationship is without calculation. I in-

38 39

In 2019, he also published the following book Alzheimer. De l’humanité des hommes (2019). I will not dwell on it, however. I list the following: Kant and Levinas (Chapter 1); Kant (Chapter 2); Kant, Husserl and Max Scheler (Chapter 3); Descartes, Hume, Husserl, Malebranche and Donald Davidson (Chapter 4); Condillac, Locke, Leibniz, Hume and Ricoeur (Chapter 5); his own reflections, Aristotle, Adam Smith and Hume (Chapter 6).

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

terpret it in the following sense: the sensation produced by contact is not deliberate, such as “I will feel exactly that, if he touches my arm.” Moreover: “So, if I can touch Annie’s arm to clinically check if she is reacting to the pressure of my hand, I can also simply stand in contact with her in the same solidarity of life. And if I do not get a response from her, my disappointment will not have the same meaning in the second case as in the previous one.” (Malherbe 2015: 254, translation is mine) Finally: “But here I am getting closer to this woman who is pulling on the fringes of a scarf. I speak to her. No reaction. I place myself in her visual field. She ends up raising her head. I entered the space which is proper to it, a space which has as its limit the reach of her gazes, her gestures, her words. Indeed, each body has its world, more or less extended; to penetrate there, it is to tie a pulsating link or less tense, more or less loose, which is not enslaved only by psychic contact. She finally sees me, her gaze lights up and she smiles. Now here again the gaze is fixed and the smile freezes. If a relation existed during an instant, this relation has not been preserved in time. Hence my disappointments, because I expected reciprocity, an essential condition for true communication. Hence my sadness, because I do not then say quietly: ‘it is she’: I only have a present body inhabited by absence. To make sure of her presence I touch her arm but I do not get a reaction. Hence my dismay: I see a body, I touch a body, but a body which is alive and poorly exemplifies human nature [...].” (Malherbe 2015: 259, translation is mine) As already argued by having Merleau-Ponty as a starting point, to touch is to communicate with the other through gesture. The living body Michel Malherbe expects reciprocity by touching the arm of Annie’s body-object. It expects that she feels touched on her arm and through that touch she presents herself in that environment. It expects her to touch herself in the place where it touched her. The living body Michel Malherbe expects her to touch it either with her hand or by gazing at it. Annie’s body-object reacts to its touch and momentarily gazes at it. The living body Michel Malherbe feels that they matched (or paired) and recognize one another by confirming a common experience (i.e. reciprocity). However, it does not get regularly that reaction from Annie’s body-object. Many times Annie’s body-object is not present and does not show reciprocity. In short, the living body Michel Malherbe is not sure that Annie’s body-object felt his touch and that its touch on her arm could make her touch herself. From the living body Michel Malherbe’s perspective, contact between them is sporadic and fraught with uncertainty. It is unclear whether it effectively communicates through gestures with its wife; in short, whether it actually finds reciprocity in the gestures of Annie’s body-object so that both can have a common experience.

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On the occasions when Annie’s body-object does not react to the living body Michel Malherbe’s touch, its gesture of touching Annie’s body does not encounter confirmation or reciprocity in its wife’s body-object. In other words, a communal experience of touching is not possible between the living body Michel Malherbe’s gestural intentions and the ones of Annie’s body-object or between its gestures and the intentions it reads in its wife’s emotions. She does not confirm (i.e. show reciprocity) the living body Michel Malherbe’s gesture of touching her. Hence, it does not recognize on those occasions Annie’s body-object as its wife. Those fragments can also be interpreted on the grounds of interactions between Merleau-Ponty’s, Camus’s and Beckett’s views. The living body Michel Malherbe and Annie’s body-object are united by a longlived marriage. Still, the living body Michel Malherbe seems not to fuse with its wife’s body-object in such a way that her illness is its illness. It seems that the tragedy of Annie’s body, which is – as explored in this part grounded in Camus’s view – carrying a burden of guilt imposed by life, i.e. to live with Alzheimer’s is not the living body Michel Malherbe’s tragedy. It takes a certain emotional distance from that body by seeking to intellectually understand its illness. It observes its wife’s illness. It thinks about that illness. It considers that philosophy can give it some answers. By maintaining a certain distance from Annie’s body, this does not though imply that the living body Michel Malherbe is not affected by that illness. On the contrary, in order to observe it, the living body Michel Malherbe feels beforehand affected by it to the point it needs a certain distance to reflect on that experience. In the beginning of this part, I argued that for Merleau-Ponty any intellectual reflection on sexual love is posterior to the vital experience (i.e. sex) of that feeling (i.e. love). The living body Michel Malherbe is sexually tied through marriage to Annie’s body-object. The fact that it wants to understand that disease does not mean that that search for understanding is not infused with sexual love. As I see it, it is exactly the sexual love it feels for its wife’s body-object that leads it to reflect on Alzheimer’s. In that sense, the living body Michel Malherbe first had to fuse with Annie’s body-object through sexual love in order to understand that disease. In other words, to seek to understand Annie’s illness is to seek to understand its own illness; in short, to seek to understand her tragedy is to seek to understand its own tragedy. Dissonance brings the fragments narrated by the living body Michel Malherbe closer to the plot of Beckett’s Happy Days (1961). Dissonance between the living body Michel Malherbe and Annie does not, however, result from years of intentionally destructive words thrown at each other that led, as I interpret it, Willie, in the play, into emotional emptiness and Winnie into affective emptying. Dissonance results from the apathy or non-affectivity of Annie’s body-object, which makes her most of the time not react to the living body Michel Malherbe’s touch. On several occasions, its touch – whether by presenting itself in the field of vision of Annie’s body-object, thus seeking to touch that body with its eyes, or touching her arm – does not reverberate in that body-object. Despite not reverberating that attempt of communication

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

in her own body, insofar as she does not either return its gaze or she does not touch its arm or hand, Annie is body-object, unlike Willie in the play. By not communicating with the living body Michel Malherbe through intentional gesture or movement, she ends up contradictorily communicating with it through dissonance. Unlike Willie in the play, ie. he ignores Winnie’s words or is indifferent to them, dissonance is not deliberate. If Annie’s body-object were healthy, she would certainly react to the living body Michel Malherbe’s intentional movement of gestural communication. Annie’s body-object did not decide for non-communication. Non-communication is simply the only possibility that opens up for her to communicate and relate to her husband. Due to undeliberate dissonance, Annie’s body-object keeps on loving sexually the living body Michel Malherbe. In this case, undeliberate dissonance sets up a particular communication that is not confused with a certain reaction to what the other one says or how he behaves. Yet, the living body Michel Malherbe does not regard that as the only possibility she has to communicate. It actually spends the entire narrative, as already explored, trying to recognize her as its wife through the intentional gesture of touching.

5. Fernando Aguzzoli Fernando Aguzzoli, a Brazilian journalist, wrote a book of memoirs on the life story of his grandmother Nilva Aguzzoli, who died at eighty-years old on December 19, 2013 (Aguzzoli 2015: 78). She died five years after the diagnosis in 2008 (Aguzzoli 2015: 29). Fernando Aguzzoli, 24 years old, wrote that book, in which he not only narrates parts of her life, but also presents fragments of dialogues with her, as well as numerous photos of moments of her life, including some other pictures lived with him and his parents. This narrative is steeped in emotion and good humour40 . But is good humour an aspect or a way of suffering? According to the living body Fernando Aguzzoli’s words: “[...] there were only two paths to follow: that of good humour or that of severity” (Aguzzoli 2015: 39, translation is mine). In my interpretation, this memoir is, however, not about two paths, but only one. As I understand it, the way (or path) was that of the burden of the disease. By seeking to get rid of the burden (i.e. suffering, pain or severity, as the living body Fernando Aguzzoli expresses that feeling) through the manifestation of good humour, i.e. moments of smiles and experiences with her, can indeed make coexistence with suffering, which is the disease, less arduous. As I have already discussed throughout this work, grounded partly in Camus and Beckett, this narrative is also about the suffering of two individuals who become one based on family relationships. Due to fusional suffering, they were both affected by the same disease, which is living life with the burden of Alzheimer’s. In

40

See among others Aguzzoli 2015: 39–43.

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other words, good humour does make the burden of illness fade away, which continues to be experienced under a guise of smiles and laughter. Love experienced as good humour, i.e. as a burden, is sexual love. Such an understanding is in accordance with what I have already interpreted and signified centred on Thomas DeBaggio’s, Bob’s, Betty’s, Brenda’s, John Bayley’s and Michel Malherbe’s narrative fragments. Besides, the living body grandson’s love relationship for its grandmother was also that of a father for a daughter. The living body Fernando Aguzzoli devotes a chapter of the memoir to describing this relationship as an as if one. It says: “That’s exactly what you read: suddenly I became my grandmother’s father”. (Aguzzoli 2015: 61, translation is mine). In a letter addressed to her at a time when she was bedridden due to a urinary infection, the living body Fernando Aguzzoli describes itself: “I went from grandson to father in one leap! I experienced a different, difficult and rewarding life. That’s how I see myself today, like your father, look at that.” (Aguzzoli 2015: 63, translation is mine). Further up: “When you wake up I need to be there again, after all I’m not the father of a teenager; you are still a baby. How will you know the colour of the toothbrush? What if you don't remember where the bathroom is? I need to help you walk, you are (un)learning to deal with these movements. To get up, lie down, walk [...].” (Aguzzoli 2015: 63, translation is mine) Furthermore: “When I look at you with the plate in front of you, I see that you are thinking – as if you were an engineer on a difficult construction site– how to cut that piece of meat. Daddy cuts for you, brings you to the table and even puts on a bib so as not to let the food fall over your clothes. And if you drop a little rice, no problem; daddy cleans it.” (Aguzzoli 2015: 63, translation is mine) Lastly: “[...] one thing will never be transformed: the look! And every time this father inside me looks into your eyes, I see a little girl trapped in an adult body, tired, and this little girl, my daughter, always looks at me with the same look, the same passionate and contented, satisfied look. Thank you for allowing me to repay everything you’ve given us. I speak on behalf of the whole family when I say: I love you, my daughter.” (Aguzzoli 2015: 66, translation is mine) In addition to dealing with her as if Nilva Aguzzoli’s body-object were its daughter, the living body Fernando Aguzzoli imagines her in its letter as if the living body Nilva Aguzzoli were a princess. I quote:

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

“On that eternal Sunday you decided to live in, there is always room for fanciful beings and imaginary friends. It’s like a princess in a castle which is all yours. Inside, unicorns gallop alongside Arabian horses, dwarves dance around your throne and monkeys converse while you try to sleep. Delirium? Maybe just a little old lady living the childhood she couldn’t have.” (Aguzzoli 2015: 64, translation is mine) The living body Fernando Aguzzoli developed a fusional sexual love relationship with its grandmother Nilva Aguzzoli, in which it behaved like the father of a baby or a little girl, according to the fragments narrated above. Therefore, Nilva Aguzzoli, from the perspective of sexual relations, presented herself as a body-object. For the phrase “as if she were my daughter” has that meaning, “as if it were a princess” in a castle with fantastic animals presents though another meaning. As already discussed on Proust, I interpret that phrase as an expression of romantic love, in which the grandmother presented itself as a body-subject or living body. My interpretation is justified inasmuch as, according to the living body author’s narrative, the correct way to deal with the elderly with Alzheimer’s is “[…] to enter the fictional reality of the elderly” (Aguzzoli 2015: 40, translation is mine). Furthermore, it is a piece of evidence that Nilva Aguzzoli lived with several animals in childhood, which she loved (Aguzzoli 2015: 13–20) and, in the living body Fernando Aguzzoli’s narrative, animals lived with the living body grandmother especially during the advance of Alzheimer’s in the form of pet’s plush41 . Wrapped in a certain atmosphere (ie. field) of onirism, the living body Fernando Aguzzoli saw a certain living body princess Nilva Aguzzoli among fantastic animals. The “delirium”, as the living body author expresses itself about that particular moment (Aguzzoli 2015: 64), was, as I interpret it, experienced by both. Although having this aspect of romantic love, in which the living body Fernando Aguzzoli saw a certain living body grandmother as a princess, their relationship was concretely one of sexual, oppositional love (grandson-grandmother or father-daughter) between a body-subject (Fernando Aguzzoli) and a body-object (Nilva Aguzzoli), as already argued.

6. Sylvia Molloy Sylvia Molloy is an Argentine writer and literary critic based in the United States. In 2010, she published Desarticulaciones, a biographical novel on her relationship with M.L., her friend or life partner, whom she often visits and who is only referred to by her initials. M.L. has a caregiver, who is called L. The text reveals, through its form, the de-structuring caused by Alzheimer’s that affects her friend. It is an 80-page book, made up of fragments, each with a title. There is no indication whether these

41

See pictures Aguzzoli 2015: 85, 87.

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fragments follow a timeline. There is no reference to dates, months or years. The narrative construction is of memory flow. To paraphrase Proust, it is only possible to remember or have memory of what is forgettable. From Sylvia Molloy’s perspective, this narrative shows exactly that her friend has memory. In addition, the author participates in the narrative in the first person, making the reader think whether it is really her friend who is falling apart with the progress of the disease or it is she, the author, who is being shattered. From the text form, it also becomes evident that the relationship between the author and her friend is symbiotic. From Sylvia Molloy’s view, the form of the text reveals that the feeling of love (i.e. friendship, companionship) between them is sexual, in which Sylvia Molloy is the living body and M.L. the body-object. The description and meaning of a sexual relationship I have already discussed throughout this work. In terms of content, several excerpts show how sexual love was experienced by the living body Sylvia Molloy: “I have to write these texts while she is alive, and there is no death or closure, to try to understand this being / not being of a person who falls apart before my eyes. I have to do it like this to move on, to make a relationship last despite the ruin, which goes on though only words remain.” (Molloy 2010: 9, translation is mine) Further: “Remembrance More than once I find myself telling her ʻdo you remember this and that?ʼ, when it is obvious that the answer will be negative, and I am impatient with myself for having asked the question, not so much because of her, for whom not remembering does not mean anything, but because of me. I keep throwing out these confirmation questions like water to the wind. [...] I can’t get used to not saying ʻdo you remember?ʼ because I try to maintain, in those bits of shared past, the complicit ties that bind me to her. And because to maintain a conversation – to maintain a relationship – it is necessary to make memory together or pretend to do so, even when she – that is, her memory – has already left mine alone.” (Molloy 2010: 33, translation is mine) “Tastes of the body For years she refused to eat certain things, I think both out of personal taste and bourgeois prejudice. [...] Now, like a hundred little children who suddenly learn to walk, she eats everything, that is, they feed her everything. She doesn’t know what she eats [...] and she provokes huge pity in me. Sometimes she doesn’t even know what eating is: they tell me that she forgets when she has to chew.” (Molloy 2010: 50–51, translation is mine)

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

Lastly: “Interruption I feel that to not keep on writing this story is to leave her, that by not recording my meetings anymore, I am denying her something, a continuity of which only I, in these visits, can bear witness to.” (Molloy 2010: 76, translation is mine) These fragments show that it is a long relationship, that they both built joint memories, that they both knew their respective body’s tastes and habits, that the living body Sylvia Molloy found in literature a way to record the past and continue the history of their lives together. It is a relationship of friendship and companionship of the living body Sylvia Molloy for M.L.’s body-object. From the perspective of the first and according to the first fragment above, the love relationship, from Alzheimer’s on, showed the disintegration of the body-object of M.L. and the imminence of loss, of death in each line written by the living body author. Alzheimer’s is the burden (i.e. the suffering) that has made them both ill through their long coexistence. Clinging to the account of this suffering (“I feel that to not keep on writing this story is to leave her”) is the living body Sylvia Molloy’s way of showing how it loved its companion M.L.’s body-object and because it loved her, it did not intend to run away from life. Using Camus, I interpret that to register the burden of the disease is to resist the tragedy that is to live despite Alzheimer’s (“[...] that by not recording my meetings anymore, I am denying her something, a continuity of which only I, in these visits, can bear witness to.”). Sylvia Molloy is therefore intentional consciousness of the movement of writing as an action of resistance to life with Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, this relationship shows fictional traits inasmuch as the living body Sylvia Molloy invents curious and amusing events about the past and tells them to L., the caregiver, who knows little or nothing about their past, and to M.L. Both believe in those anecdotes. The living body Sylvia Molloy also leaves the reader in doubt as to whether the fragments being recounted are not fiction. I quote: “Narrative Freedom There are no witnesses to a part of my life, the one that her memory took with it. That loss that could anguish me curiously frees me: there is no one to correct me if I decide to invent. In her presence I tell L. some anecdote of mine, who knows little about her past and nothing about mine, and to improve the story I invent some details, various details. L. laughs and she also celebrates, neither of them doubts the veracity of what I say, even when it has not happened. Perhaps I am making up what I write. No one, after all, could contradict me.” (Molloy 2010: 22, translation is mine) Like the living bodies John Bayley and Fernando Aguzzoli, the aspect of romantic love experienced in the way “as if the other one were”, thus making it a living body, is also evident in this narrative. By inventing anecdotes about their lives, the living body

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Sylvia Molloy creates new events, making M.L. a living body in the way “as if it had participated in those curious, funny events”. Thus, from Sylvia Molloy’s perspective, her way of loving M.L. manifested itself in two dimensions: (a) in the life she actually had with her partner (Sylvia Molloy is a living body and M.L. is a body-object. The relationship is sexual, fusional and does not differ from all other affective family relationships interpreted and signified throughout this text). (b) in romantic life, as argued above, with a certain living body M.L. in the way “as if it had shared certain anecdotes in the past”. Here, the romantic relationship does not differ from that told by the living bodies John Bayley and Fernando Aguzzoli (in the first case: “as if a certain living body Iris Murdoch were a maiden in a fairy tale”; in the second case: “as if the living body Nilva Aguzzoli were a princess in a castle”). (b.1) in her romantic life with M.L., the author also actively participates in past events invented by her. I interpret that a second living body Sylvia Molloy is shown (in addition to the one presented in [a]), who would have had a second love experience based on events created in the past with a certain living body M.L. (the same as [b]). It is a romantic relationship, in which creation and invention set the tone. The author invents herself, creates herself, by actively participating in the narrative in the mode: as if I Sylvia Molloy were a second living body and as if M. L. were a certain living body.

III. Summary (1) In Husserl, one Leib joins another by pairing. He calls the Leib’s experience of the other “empathy”. But this does not mean that my Leib feels what the other Leib feels and senses as my own experiences. I cannot therefore speak of “fusion of feelings and sensations” between two psycho-organic bodies. Contact is the experience of touch that my psycho-organic body has when associating by pairing with another psycho-organic body. In Husserl, contact lacks spontaneity insofar as it depends on my ego’s rational evaluation to touch or not an alter ego. “Abnormals” cannot contact the normal and vice-versa, since “abnormals” are not endowed with self-reflection. (2) Gestures are a way of intentional communication. It implies reciprocity between my intentional gestures towards another living body and vice-versa. Gestural movements do not require completeness for the one living body and the other living body to experience respective gestures as a common experience or a communion. Communion is perspectival. It means sharing and implies blending not fusion of gestures. Confirmation or recognition of one another’s gestures is also perspectival and incomplete. Body-subjects

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

with Alzheimer’s can communicate intersubjectively through intentional gestural movement. Gesture is a language that makes communication appear. By gestures, caregivers, psychiatrists, therapists and geriatricians can understand with or share with the living bodies with Alzheimer’s their emotions. (3) As in Waiting for Godot (1954), Beckett’s Happy Days (1961) either empties the contents of repetitive movements and shows this emptying, or it contradictorily shows that their contents are already emptinesses. Therefore, two bodies, who are married, interact and affirm their subjectivities in it over the years through dissonance, indifference and resignation. (4) The living body Maria’s way of loving was sexual towards the body-object of Marcos Abreu. It carried the burden of caring for his disease. At first glance, it is then intentional motor consciousness of resistance to life. At second glance, it arrogated a religious power, which was to save the life of Marcos Abreu’s body-object. It is therefore intentional motor consciousness of non-resistance to life. (5) The living body Emilia’s way of loving was ambiguous. On the one hand, it felt romantic love towards the multiple mysterious profiles of the living body Marcos Abreu. They shared the same sensibility and temperament. They were confidants. On the other hand, Emilia’s way of loving was sexual. As a body-object, she depended on the living body father inasmuch she, as an adult, lived with it until its death. (6) Marcelo’s way of loving Marcos Abreu was sexual. Marcelo shows two perspectives on their relationship: the first in the private sphere and the second in the public sphere. The first manifests as a certain need for his father’s approval of his artistic career. Marcelo presents himself as a living body and sees Marcos Abreu as a body-object. The second makes evident that Marcelo sees his father as a painter as a habit-bodysubject even after Alzheimer’s. (7) Brenda means her way of loving Booker as carrying a burden of pain, which is caring for the illness of her father. She is intentional motor consciousness of resistance to life. The way of loving him is sexually. Her view is that Booker is habit-body-object. (8) At the beginning of their relationship, John Bayley’s way of loving towards a beautiful maiden profile of the living body Iris Murdoch was romantically. It was “like living in a fairy story”. Still, Iris Murdoch’s way of loving him was sexually and through friendship. They were kin intellects. From the living body John Bayley’s perspective, as soon as it read in Iris Murdoch’s journal that she was in love with it, it moved its way of loving from a romantic to a sexual one. During their marriage, sexual love was experienced as “spiritual bond” (i.e. friendship) and “mutual understand-

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ing” (i.e. complicity) shared in silence. Yet, with Alzheimer’s Iris Murdoch demanded closeness and caring, both unfamiliar ways of relating for them during their life together. The living body John Bayley remained, however, faithful to the principles of their marriage, which consisted of having non-habits and non-routines. Nevertheless, it began to cope with Iris Murdoch as if she were a child by subjecting her to a routine of watching the “Teletubbies” on television in order to preserve its own sanity. The living body John Bayley considered that children’s programme “charming” and by sexual fusion assumed that Iris Murdoch’s body-object watched it “in the same spirit”. (9) The living body Michel Malherbe and Annie’s body-object are married. Their way of loving is sexually. She has Alzheimer’s and lives in a nursing home. The living body Michel Malherbe often visits its wife and initiates every gestural movement (ie. touching). Annie’s body-object does not respond to most of them. Uncertainty, therefore, comes up. The living body Michel Malherbe is unsure whether reciprocity, a common experience and communication still exist. The lived Michel Malherbe takes some distance from Annie’s body in order to intellectually understand that disease. To seek to understand Alzheimer’s is posterior to the vital experience of sexual love for its wife. The lived body Michel Malherbe fused with Annie’s body through that feeling and marriage; because of affection and bond, it wants to reflect on the development of that disease. Conversely, Annie’s body-object communicates with the living body Michel Malherbe through undeliberate dissonance, which does not mean that she reacts to his touching. (10) The living body Fernando Aguzzoli experienced sexual love for its grandmother Nilva Aguzzoli, a body-object. The relationship was filled with good humour, another way of living the burden of pain or suffering. Fernando Aguzzoli constituted as intentional consciousness of resistance to life with Alzheimer’s, since it did not seek to run away from it. As I have interpreted throughout this work, the relationship between family members has sexual and oppositional meanings. This relationship between grandson and grandmother or, as already described, between father and daughter (“as if she were my daughter”), presented nevertheless traces of romantic love, in which the living body Fernando Aguzzoli also saw Nilva Aguzzoli as a certain living body princess; in other words, as if it were a princess living in a castle with fantastic animals. (11) Sylvia Molloy experienced sexual, fusional love for her partner M.L. I interpreted Sylvia Molloy as intentional consciousness of resistance to life. As a living body, it wrote about its close friend’s illness as a shattering experience, as an experience of the burden of pain and suffering, from which it was unable to escape. The feeling of love was experienced during their life together as friendship, in which they shared tastes and habits. This way of sexual love gained romantic tones towards a certain

Chapter 3: The Other’s Experience of Love and Habit

profile of M. L. based on the invention of anecdotes about the shared past. The romantic way of loving, understood as the way of “as if it had lived unusual and funny events”, made M. L. be seen as a living body in those moments, even though this way of loving did not make the relationship as a whole a romantic one. Furthermore, the trace of romantic love was experienced by the living body Sylvia Molloy itself, who participated in the anecdotes in the way “as if I had experienced prankster events.” In short, (12) Intersubjective oppositional, sexual relationships (subject-object) are ones that show fusion of emotions and sensations. Intersubjective chiasmatic, romantic relationships are those that show blending of emotions, sensations and behaviours. In the first, one living body fuses with the other’s body in such a way that the feelings and sensations of the other’s body are those of the living body. The way of sexual love brings together a spectrum of feelings and sensations, already explored in this work, such as jealousy, possession, guilt, burden, pain. The living body and bodyobject’s way of loving are one and the same. The feeling and sensation experienced show that sexual relationship ends up in the course of coexistence being of mutual dependence. The body-object feels as the living body feels. In other words, the living body makes the body-object experience its own feelings and sensations. It needs the body-object to continue experiencing those ways of loving. Boundaries between the feelings and sensations of one and the other fade away. In the second, feelings and sensations are the nexus that bind one living body and the other living body (living body χ living body). Because they are individually connected to a certain experience of feeling and sensation they match and associate. The individual connection to a certain feeling and sensation allows one living body and the other living body to share them. Insofar as, as described in this chapter, communion is perspectival and incomplete, the experiences of one living body and the other living body are relatively independent. Each living body experiences a certain feeling and sensation in its own way. Each living body has the possibility to change the romantic way of loving to another way of loving. Nonetheless, this does not imply a change in the quality (content) of love, as I have already explored, according to Merleau-Ponty at the beginning of this part. Romantic way of loving brings together a wide spectrum of feelings and sensations that manifests itself in different appearances, such as enchantment, fascination, mystery, intangibility, grace, flawless beauty. If that possibility opens up, the reconfiguration (or blending) of the content of “loving” in the relationship becomes evident. Reconfiguration does not imply a change in form, but rather a change in an aspect (or way) of loving. In other words, the way of loving is shown through another profile that was latent in loving, i.e. that was hidden in it as a possibility to be experienced.

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(13) Intersubjective sexual relationships can show aspects of romantic love. One bodysubject or both body-subjects experience them. In fiction, some profiles of the experience of romantic love in sexual relationships cross Marcos Abreu and Emilia’s fragments of narratives. The living body Marcos Abreu experienced a certain way of loving towards a perfect pictorial profile of the living body daughter. The living body Emilia also experienced romantic love towards mysterious profiles of the living body father. In non-fiction, some other fragments of Booker and Brenda’s relationship show that the living body Booker’s romantic way of loving was directed to its own profile as a child when its mother touched it. After the onset of Alzheimer’s, it experienced the same sensation towards its daughter, who it considered as the embodiment of its mother. Brenda, as already interpreted, loved its father sexually. It bore the burden of caring for Booker’s illness. Dashes of romantic love in John Bayley and Iris Murdoch’s relationship are perceived when the living body John Bayley gazed at a certain profile of living body Iris Murdoch as a beautiful maiden of a fairy story. The living body Iris Murdoch loved John Bayley’s body sexually as a friend or a kin intellect since the beginning. Facets of romantic love are perceived in the relationship between the living body Fernando Aguzzoli and the living body Nilva Aguzzoli insofar as the former saw the latter as a princess living in a castle. Lastly, the love relationship experienced by the living body Sylvia Molloy and the living body M.L. showed a certain profile of romantic love, when the former built a fictional event about their past together ground in shared joyful and unusual moments. However, in both Fernando Aguzzoli’s and Sylvia Molloy’s narratives, the expression of their love was sexual; in the case of the first, as a grandmother or a daughter; in the case of the second, as a close friend or life partner.

Final Considerations on the Descriptions and Interpretations of Alzheimer’s Experiences A novel, poem, picture or musical work are individuals, that is, beings in which the expression is indistinguishable from the thing expressed, their meaning, accessible only through direct contact, being radiated with no change of their temporal and spatial situation. It is in this sense that our body is comparable to a work of art. Maurice Merleau-Ponty

I.

Intentional Motor Consciousness and Identity in Alzheimer’s

Throughout this work, I have described fragments of autobiographies, interviews, self-portraits, short stories, essays, novels, biographies, fictional and non-fictional memoirs of individuals with Alzheimer’s and of family members and friends who had relationships with them. The methodological approach to those experiences was anchored in the description, interpretation and meaning of sensations and feelings, i.e. of affection, based above all on Merleau-Ponty. These three pillars of approach were expanded by resorting to the arts, i.e. Proust’s literature and Beckett’s dramaturgy, and Camus’s philosophical essay. These three authors helped to open the descriptions of the narrated fragments to new possibilities of interpretations and meanings of each one of the experiences. I discussed fragments narrated by individuals with Alzheimer’s: Betty, social worker; Bob, engineer; Booker, factory worker; Henry, his profession is not identified; Iris Murdoch, writer and philosopher; Marcos Abreu and William Utermohlen, painters, and Thomas DeBaggio, journalist. In addition, I pored over fragments narrated by relatives or friends of individuals with Alzheimer’s: Emilia, physician, and Marcelo, sculptor, Marcos Abreu’s children; Maria, Marcos Abreu’s maid and friend; Brenda, her profession is not identified, Booker’s daughter; Fernando Aguzzoli, journalist, Nilva Aguzzoli’s grandson; John Bayley, professor and literary

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critic, Iris Murdoch’s husband; Michel Malherbe, professor of philosophy, Annie’s husband, and Sylvia Molloy, writer and literary critic, M.L.’s friend. The voices that tell such stories before and after Alzheimer’s come from different parts of the world, from different cultures: Argentina (Sylvia Molloy); Brazil (Marcos Abreu, Emilia, Marcelo and Maria, and Fernando Aguzzoli); France (Michel Malherbe); England (Iris Murdoch and John Bayley)1 and the United States (Betty, Bob, Booker, Brenda, Henry, Thomas DeBaggio and William Utermohlen). This work focused, therefore, on certain narrative fragments of subjective experiences that revealed, among other things, the diversity of professions or activities which the subjects with Alzheimer’s and their relatives have, and the backgrounds and cultures from which they come. With narrative fragments, I did not aim, however, to describe, interpret and signify them to show that those individuals were in a specific stage of the disease. After all, as I have argued in this work, there is no typicality about the individual with Alzheimer’s. Following the phenomenological approach centred on qualitative research and casuistry, Betty, Bob, Booker, Henry, Iris Murdoch, Marcos Abreu, Thomas DeBaggio and William Utermohlen showed themselves as intentional motor consciousnesses (living bodies or body-subjects) in their own narrations or as body-objects in those of their families and friends. On the one hand, the painter Marcos Abreu showed himself as intentional motor consciousness or living body in fiction. In his sixties, he committed suicide. In nonfiction, I talked about some other life stories. Among them, I narrated episodes from Thomas DeBaggio’s experiences, born on 5 January 1942. In 1999, aged 57, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Three years later, he published Losing my Mind (2002). In 2003, he published his second work When it gets Dark. Iris Murdoch, who died in 1999, wrote her last novel Jackson’s Dilemma, published in 1995. The affective relationship with painting (Marcos Abreu) and literature (Thomas DeBaggio and Iris Murdoch), as well as with family and friends shows that the three were living bodies. Likewise, William Utermohlen, who narrated his own cognitive decline from 1995 to 2000 in self-portraits, showed himself through the experience of self-painting as a living body. In 2007, he passed away. The voices of Betty, Bob and Booker, who were interviewed by Lisa Snyder for Speaking Our Minds: What it’s like to have Alzheimer’s (2009), were also heard in this work. All three, when talking about their past and present experiences with Alzheimer’s and their perceptions about family relationships, were living bodies. Henry, who sang and talked about his love of music with social worker Dan Cohen, also showed himself to be intentional motor consciousness.

1

Iris Murdoch was born in Phibsborough, Dublin, Ireland, and John Bayley in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. They spent most of their lives in England.

Final Considerations on the Descriptions and Interpretations of Alzheimer’s Experiences

On the other hand, relatives and friends of them: in fiction, Emilia, Marcelo and Maria, Marcos Abreu’s children and friend in nonfiction; John Bayley, Iris Murdoch’s husband; Brenda, Booker’s daughter; Patricia Utermohlen, who declared that her husband William Utermohlen died when he could no longer paint, reaffirm through their reports (memoirs, interviews) that they were body-objects. The fragments narrated by Fernando Aguzzoli about his grandmother Nilva, by Michel Malherbe about his wife Annie and by Sylvia Molloy about his life partner M.L. also show that, through memoirs, essays, short stories and novels, family members and/or caregivers and friends dealt with them as body-objects. Family members and friends, however, were living bodies when experiencing affectively those relationships with the body-object with Alzheimer’s. All this I pointed out throughout this research. I return succinctly to what I interpreted and signified with regard to those subjective and intersubjective experiences in Section IV. Summary, Chapter 1, Part II; Section IV. Summary, Chapter 2, Part II; and Section III. Summary, Chapter 3, Part II. In them, I showed how those individuals became living bodies or body-objects. The bases for such elaborations were Merleau-Ponty, Proust, Camus and Beckett. In the aforementioned “Summaries”, I dealt with the identity of such living bodies. I only recall here that the identity in manifolds is the one shown in aspects or ways2 . Thus, all the fragments of life stories of living bodies with Alzheimer’s and family members showed them as identities in manifolds. However, I pointed out that when their ways of feeling and relating became ossified in repetition, which is inherent to the habit and evident in family relationships, these living bodies became static bodies, i.e. static identities3 . I took Beckett’s essay on Proust and his dramaturgy as sources for elaborating on static identity.

II.

Fragments in Alzheimer’s Narratives of Life

1. Form and Content: Reconfigurations and Non-Reconfigurations of Feelings and Sensations On the one hand, in Section II. Living Body as a Self, Chapter 2, Part I, I stated that concretely, in factual reality, form is part of the content in Modern Art. I interpreted the living body as making the body schema appear, i.e. as constituting the body schema in Merleau-Ponty. For that, I used examples from painting and literature from the early 20th century to support this argument. In this sense, form is part

2 3

See Section III. Identity in Manifolds, Chapter 1, Part I; Part II as a whole; see also footnotes 28 from Chapter 1, Part I, and 5 from Chapter 1, Part II. See Summaries of Part II.

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of the whole, which is the content that presupposes it. 4 The form, therefore, depends on the content to become form. On the other hand, form in Beckett’s theatre – contrary to my reading of content and form in modern art – prevails over narrative content, as I argued, elsewhere and in footnote 13 from Chapter 2, Part II. The minimalism of the dialogues, the incommunicability present between the characters and the near absence of interaction between them, which, when it exists, is purely mechanical, repetitive, meaningless and senseless, are subdued to the form, that is, the position of objects and actors on the stage and their interaction. The form, i.e. the whole, of the enactment, absorbs the content, making it its part and, therefore, dependent on it. I have applied both interpretations based on Merleau-Ponty and Beckett that contradict each other to the narratives of living bodies with Alzheimer’s and those of their family members and friends. On the one hand, based on my interpretation of Merleau-Ponty, I have described that when love is romantic, an aspect (or mode) of manifesting a single content (i.e, feeling) can unfold5 , since two living bodies are united by a single feeling (i.e. love), which can be enchantment, fascination, mystery, intangibility, grace, flawless beauty enchantment, fascination, mystery, etc. The content of the feeling is the same and remains the same, i.e. love, and it is this that under multiple guises is reconfigured. The reconfiguration of the content does not imply a change in the form, as there is no change in the content, but only in its appearance. On the other hand, based on my interpretation of Beckett, I have described that when love is habitual (sexual relationships, which take place between family members and friends), form (i.e. paternity, motherhood, marriage, friendship) prevails over love content of such relationships, i.e. jealousy, possession, guilt, burden, pain, framing it in a pattern of coexistence. The content, because it depends on the form of the relationship, is shown in the habitual intersubjective life as words or gestures of jealousy, possession, guilt, burden, pain, exchanged throughout the relationship, with no meaning and sense. This is because the narrative form is structured on the repetition of content, trivializing it and taking away such meaning and sense. United by the form of the relationship, habitual bodies cannot possibly reconfigure it6 , because, as I have already discussed, reconfiguration is the aspect or the way in which the content appears. As the form is totalizing in relation to the content, absorbing it to the point of leading it to an emptying and subsequent emptiness in the whole of

4 5 6

I cited Husserl’s Logical Investigations (1970) for the understanding of “whole”, “parts” and “content” in Section II. Parts, Fragments and Wholes, Chapter I, Part I. See, among others, Section I. A Way of Loving: Enchanting, Chapter 1, Part II. See Section II. A Way of Loving: Carrying a Burden of Guilt, Chapter 1, Part II; Section II. The Meaning and Non-Meaning of Habit, Chapter 2, Part II; Sections I and II, Chapter 3, Part II.

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the form7 , if the content or modes of appearance were reconfigured, it would imply changing the form of the relationship itself. However, I have described, interpreted and signified some narratives of habitual sexual relationships with romantic traits.8 The content of the affective experiences of these relationships, which is, according to my interpretation based on Beckett, meaningless and senseless because the form of the relationship undermines its content, gains the lead in relation to the form in those fragments. This is due to the fact that, in certain fragments narrated by the subject with Alzheimer’s and by his family member and/or caregiver, there was significant content to be reconfigured. Such content was shown in multiple aspects. Thus, certain relationships settled in the form of paternity, maternity, marriage, friendship showed aspects or ways of loving with an appearance of perfection (Marcos Abreu and C.), mysteriousness (Emilia and Marcos Abreu), childhood (Booker and his dead mother), joy caused by shared anecdotes (Sylvia Molloy and M.L.). They also presented aspects of fairy tales, namely a beautiful maiden of a fairy story (John Bayley and Iris Murdoch) and a princess living in a castle (Fernando and Nilva Aguzzoli)

2. Fragments as Reconfigurations of Relationships? Habitual sexual relationships with the content of romantic relationships and named in the previous topic may have their content apparently modified, since the way of romantic love can show itself in multiplicity. Still, I emphasize that the love content remains the same and the form of the relationship as well. In this topic, I would like to make some final considerations, not on the form and content of the relationships explored in this work, but on the narrative structure in fragments that account for such relationships. Here I return to the Husserlian lesson on what fragments are9 and on how Merleau-Ponty could have positioned himself on this theme in his Phenomenology of Perception (2002). Fragments are pieces or parts of parts of the whole. They are relatively independent for Husserl. In my interpretation of Husserl, as fragments are parts of parts, it is not possible to think about isolated fragments, with absolute autonomy in relation to the whole because, after all, fragments are divisions of the whole10 . As I interpreted Merleau-Ponty, “my body is not a sum of juxtaposed organs. It is a synergistic system”. My body, therefore, is not a sum of parts, but intercommunicating

7 8 9 10

See Section II. The Meaning and Non-Meaning of Habit, Chapter 2, Part II; see also 2.2. Gestures as Emptyings and Emptinesses, Section I, Chapter 3, Part II. See point (13) Section III. Summary, Chapter 3, Part II. See Section II, Chapter 1, Part I. See how I structured the short story on Marcos Abreu’s life especially in Section IV. Summary, Chapter 1, Part I.

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parts. The whole is already in these parts that synergistically intercommunicate11 . Although Merleau-Ponty does not address the theme “fragments”, I understand, however, that he could adopt, as a follower of Husserl, the position that fragments are parts of parts. Fragments would thus be parts of parts that communicate in synergy with other fragments. The whole would thus already be found in those fragments. Thus, following Merleau-Ponty, the narrated fragments already contain the life story before and after Alzheimer’s of the living bodies, whether they are the subjects with Alzheimer’s, whether they are relatives, friends and/or caregivers. These fragments are, once again, wholes, which contain the entire story of each of these relationships. These fragments contain the form and content of such relationships. If the form and content of those relationships are in these fragments, the latter can evidence, as I argued, the reconfiguration of aspects of the content, whether romantic or sexual with romantic traits. Fragments, understood as the whole life story, cannot only reconfigure the content of relationships, but also alter the very content of those relationships, as well as their form. This last argument, as it goes beyond what has been argued throughout this work, I leave as an open door for future research.

III. Phenomenological Experiences through the Arts 1. Interdisciplinary Dialogue: Phenomenology and the Arts I did not adopt any moral/ethical (evaluative) perspective on such unfolding and static identities, even because value judgments about them would be out of the scope of this research, which was just to describe how such living bodies were shown in their narratives fragmented by life, that is, by the disease. I tried to interpret and signify such fragments not only based on phenomenology, but also on the arts. From my point of view, neither Merleau-Ponty nor Beckett, with whom I worked most in this writing, take a moral/ethical position in the books I consulted. However, I am not claiming that this work cannot dialogue with others who take a moral/ethical perspective on Alzheimer’s. On the contrary, phenomenology, especially the Merleau-Pontian one, is built between one paradigm and another of scientific rationalism, just as Beckett’s phenomenological dramaturgy12 is built on the margins of that same rationalism. In this work, both contribute to the reflection on certain paradigms, in which moral/ethics (bioethics) applied to medicine, psychology and psychiatry is anchored. Such paradigms, as I stated in the “Introduction”, are grounded, among others, in the “universalization of concepts and

11 12

See also footnote 12 from Chapter 3, Part II. I am not alone in framing him in phenomenology. Compare Maude/Feldman 2009.

Final Considerations on the Descriptions and Interpretations of Alzheimer’s Experiences

classifications”, such as “personhood and its attributes”, “personal identity”, “moral agency”, “disease classifications, symptoms and phases”. Finally, this work can also come to dialogue with Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Lacan was an interlocutor of Merleau-Ponty13 . Likewise, he dialogues with Freud14 . I do not mean at all that this work was a psychoanalytical one or on psychoanalysis. By the very vocabulary used, by the methodology employed, centred on recalling, describing, interpreting and meaning, by the sources used, and, finally, by the very systematicity carried out between vocabulary, methodology and sources, it was a research of phenomenology. Interdisciplinary, I resorted to the arts, specifically dramaturgy and literature above all, and painting in an adjacent way, as fields to expand the phenomenological interpretation and meaning of narratives. It was with the arts, therefore, the explicit interaction of this research. But no doubt, as I have already argued, it can come to dialogue with psychoanalysis, as well as with bioethics, medicine, psychology and psychiatry.

2. Phenomenological Experience: “The Meaning of Showing” in Beckettian Dramaturgy At this point, I will address some final considerations about the meaning of the verb “show” in Beckett’s dramaturgy for the interpretation of human relations, specifically those that were discussed in this work. As I interpreted Waiting for Godot (Beckett 1954) and Happy Days (Beckett 1961), Beckett shows in the way certain bodies are positioned in the scene and in the mode of interaction between them that the repetition of silences, gestures and actions empty human relationships. He presents this emptying based on common situations, in which marginal characters (clochards and/or clowns in Waiting for Godot) or ordinary characters (husband and wife in Happy Days) are the main ones. Likewise, it presents emptying in situations not only of marginalization or ordinary coexistence, but of total subjection of the human being to the condition of a thing or an object (the master/owner and his slave/servant in Waiting for Godot). The phenomenology of this dramaturgy shows the absurdity to which the experiences of human relationships can be reduced to the point where they border on the tragic. The strength of this type of narrative lies in showing how feelings and sensations are emptied into intentional silences, gestures and actions, becoming in this process mechanical, automatic, banal and how we, who watch these plays, identify with them by letting ourselves get involved in the plot. Our identification is through shock and laughter. Shocked, we expect

13 14

See Merleau-Ponty 2010: 36, 73–74, 82, 84, 86–87, 89–90, 253. See Merleau-Ponty 2002: 178–201; 2010: 71–75, 84, 86–89, 91, 96–98, 100, 107, 122, 124, 127, 129, 136, 168, 175, 222–224, 228, 231–232, 238, 256, 262–270, 272, 274, 276–277, 279, 282, 284–285, 287–289, 291–293, 318–324, 377, 380–381, 392–394, 399, 440, 459.

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the tragedy to occur at any moment, but at the same time we laugh with annoyance at it when we follow the scenes of a branch about to break or a cord that serves the belt about to break, interrupting a hanging; the pathetic nature of the eternal wait for someone who will free us from a debt in Waiting for Godot; of a revolver, which is taken from a bag alongside glasses, mirror, toothbrush and lipstick in Happy Days. Shocked, we laugh at characters we identify with, because we can come across them in the world, in concrete life, on street corners, on sidewalks. The Beckettian characters are, therefore, all too human and as such they live tragically. They want and seek to run away from this tragedy, absurd life, that is, the life experiences punctuated by relationships devoid of meanings and senses. The tragedy, which is already living, is shown even when the characters experience time, that is, the time that does not pass, the hours of the clock that repeat indefinitely, the days that are converted by repeating the same days. The tragedy of living is also perceived in the repetitive movements and everyday habits of human relationships, as well as in human relationships that are also habitual in subjection. Seeking to run away from the absurd, the tragedy, which is living, is a possibility that opens up in the two plays dealt with. In Waiting for Godot, Estragon and Vladimir attempt a hanging, using a branch or rope that breaks; in Happy Days, Winnie takes a revolver out of her bag, holds it, kisses it quickly, and returns it to her bag15 . In the first act, in the very first scene of Waiting for Godot, Vladimir already responds resigned to the possibility of tragedy: “Nothing to be done” (Beckett 1954: 2)16 . Ironically, Winnie, in the first scene of Happy Days, also answers ironically: “Another heavenly day” (Beckett 1961: 11). Although the possibility of running away from life (or tragedy) opens up for the characters, that is frustrated, either by some unexpected factor and not by their own will, that is, a branch that breaks or a belt that frays, as in the cases of Vladimir and Estragon, or by own will as in the case of Winnie, who flirts with death by kissing a gun and returning it to the bag. In any case, the characters, who already live life as a tragedy, place themselves on the verge of it, specifically when they intentionally rush towards certain situations that lead them to face physical death. They try, with the multiplication of the same intentional movements and actions (the scene of the almost hanging of the two characters is repeated in both acts), to run away from life, but they do not complete the final intentional movement of suicide. This intentional non-performance of the tragic action makes them return to the tragedy of life itself, with no way out of it, since the intentional actions to run away from it are repeatedly sabotaged. Thus, seeking meaning and sense for life, through suicide, does not amount to an action. Beckett seems to ask us: “Why are we going to commit such a tragic act if we have already repeatedly experienced the tragic in our own concrete lives?” and “Why are we going to commit such an absurd 15 16

See topic 3. Betty, Section II, Chapter 1, Part II; see footnote 12 from Chapter 2, Part II. See also topic 3. Betty, Section II, Chapter 1, Part II.

Final Considerations on the Descriptions and Interpretations of Alzheimer’s Experiences

act if we have already experienced the absurd in our daily lives?”, as I have already argued in this writing on Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot 17 . As argued above, I consider that Beckett shows us the relationships of marginal or ordinary characters being experienced to the limit of life or tragedy. Beckett draws our attention to life by showing the movements or actions intentionally committed or to be committed by those characters. Our attention is drawn to those certain moments of the spectacle. Those intentional movements of those characters intervene directly in the field of our feelings and senses. As part of the audience, you and I, as we direct our attention to those moments in the plays and focus our gaze on them, we intentionally become aware of what is being presented to us. Throughout this work, especially from Section II, Chapter 1, Part II onwards, I have drawn attention to narrative fragments of living bodies with Alzheimer’s, for which to live with the disease is to live tragically. The living body Marcos Abreu, as I interpreted it, committed suicide before the disease could have taken away the meaning and sense that painting gave it throughout its life18 , responding with a tragic action to another absurdity, which would be to continue the tragedy of life with Alzheimer’s. The living body Maria, Marcos Abreu’s friend and housekeeper, intended to save him from the tragedy of life with Alzheimer’s (i.e. enable him to run away from life through religious salvation), but it was unsuccessful. Such narratives draw our attention to life at its limit, as well as the lives of Beckettian characters, but above all they make us reflect on what is the meaning and sense of life with the progress of the disease for certain subjects with Alzheimer’s. Yet, in nonfiction none of the narrated fragments showed the living bodies’ deliberate choice for suicide despite the progress of Alzheimer’s. Last but not least, I reiterate that, as I understand it, Beckett’s dramaturgy does not make an apology for death, but rather deals with life and certain human relationships as they concretely show themselves through their denials. He makes no apology for the non-meaning and nonsense of certain human lives and relationships, but rather addresses their meaning and sense through their denials (ie. emptyings and emptinesses). It is through, once again, the presentation of certain human relationships and their emptying and emptiness that Beckett draws our attention to life and to certain human beings in everyday situations, in situations of marginalization or oppression, which pass, due to repetition, unperceived to our attention, and consequently we do not signify (i.e. we disregard) them.

17 18

See topic 3. Betty, Section II, Chapter 1, Part II. See topic 1. Marcos Abreu and William Utermohlen: the Habit of Painting, Section III, Chapter 2, Part II.

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3. Living Bodies as Reliable Narrators: Some Final Remarks on the Linker “as if…” On the linker “as if…”, I have already discussed it when I dealt with certain fragments of life stories of living bodies Booker, John Bayley, Emilia, Marcos Abreu, Fernando Aguzzoli and Sylvia Molloy, specifically in point 11., Section III. Summary, Chapter 3, Part II. Once again, those fragments showed, in sum, that certain intersubjective relationships, either that of the living body with Alzheimer’s as active pole with other living body (family member or friend) as passive pole, or the living body (family member or friend) as active pole with living body with Alzheimer’s as passive pole, can have fictional aspects. In effect, such intersubjective relationships, despite being essentially sexual, with characteristics of fusion and dependence, usuality and conventionality19 , can contain characteristics of a way of romantic love, such as that of blending or reconfiguration and of relative independence as well.20 The fictional aspect of the content does not modify the form of sexual relationship. To look at the other subject with Alzheimer’s “as if it were”, that is, with an appearance of perfection (Marcos Abreu and C.), mysteriousness (Emilia and Marcos Abreu), childlike vein (Booker and mummy’s touch), or inserted in a joyful atmosphere of anecdotes (Sylvia Molloy and M.L.) and involved in a dreamy ambience of fairy stories, in which the other has an appearance of a beautiful maiden (John Bayley and Iris Murdoch) and a princess living in a castle (Fernando and Nilva Aguzzoli), all those appearances do not change the sexual form of those relationships. Looking at the other subject in the mode of loving “as if it were” or with an appearance of “as if it were”, that shows that the experiences of those narrators were reliable. According to my reading of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception (2002), other modes of intentional conciousnesses are possible in the concrete world, such as child intentional consciousness in an adult intentional one; fanciful consciousness; dreamy consciousness. Those are outside the epistemological framework of Cartesian cogito (Section II, Chapter II, Part I)21 . If then a certain adult living body looks at another one and sees it as a princess in a castle (e.g. Fernando and Nilva Aguzzoli) because the second appears as such, the experience it has is for that living body reliable. I do not need to believe in its perceptions as being true or false, but understand them22 . In the context of how Merleau-Ponty copes with hallucination, I recall an excerpt already quoted in this work: “When the victim of hallucinations declares that he sees and hears, we must not believe him, since he also declares the

19 20 21 22

See also Section IV. Summary, Chapter 1, Part II. See See point (13) Section III. Summary, Chapter 3, Part II; see also Section IV. Summary, Chapter 1, Part II. Merleau-Ponty 2002: 143. Compare topic 2.1. Gestures in Communion, Section I, Chapter 3, Part II.

Final Considerations on the Descriptions and Interpretations of Alzheimer’s Experiences

opposite; what we must do is understand him.” (Merleau-Ponty 2002: 392–393). Reliability does not imply my confirmation of a certain perception of a living body with Alzheimer’s or of a relative’s or even a friend’s ones, but rather my understanding that it in its experience is looking at the other living body and perceiving it “as if it were”. Hence, because I understand it, I also make it a living body or intentional motor consciousness or body-subject by means of that certain experience. I rely on that perceptive experience without judging it. To conclude, narratives in the first person of body-subjects with Alzheimer’s and of its relatives and friends are those which, in my interpretation, dispense with an omniscient narrator, who knows and sees everything, and who, therefore, confirms or denies what is being expressed in the life story. I interpreted individualized experiences of how it is to live with Alzheimer’s. Based on those narratives, I do not consider, in short, as necessary to separate the non-fictional experience from fictitious, since, in phenomenology, both experiences can be intertwined and be equally significant.

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Movie References Alive Inside (2014): A Story of Music and Memory. Director: Michel Rossato-Bennett. Writer: Michael Rossato-Bennet. Producer: Michel Rossato-Bennett. [Park City]: Projector Media (78 minutes).

References

Play References Not I (1973): Director: Anthony Page. Writer: Samuel Beckett. Interpreter: Billie Whitelaw. London: Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4LDwfK xr-M&t=199s. Quad (1981): Director: Samuel Beckett. Writer: Samuel Beckett. Germany: Süddeutscher Rundfunk. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLbtf-zp KfU. Rockaby (1981): Director: Schneider Alan. Production: Daniel Labeille. Interpreter: Billie Whitelaw. Writer: Samuel Beckett. Buffalo: State University of New York. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66iZF6SnnDU&t=329s.

Illustration References Barbosa-Fohrmann, Ana Paula (2020): Occitania I, black pencils Faber-Castell HB and 2B, Payne’s grey Albrecht Dürer Faber-Castell on paper, 21 x 29,7cm. Barbosa-Fohrmann, Ana Paula (2020): Occitania II, black pencils Faber-Castell 2B, 4B and 6B, raw umber pencil Albrecht Dürer Faber Castell 180 and pencil Goldfaber Aqua Faber-Castell 283 on paper, 21 x 29,7cm. Barbosa-Fohrmann, Ana Paula (2020): Occitania III, black pencils Faber-Castell HB, 2B and 4B, Payne’s grey Albrecht Dürer Faber-Castell on paper, 21 x 29,7cm. Cézanne, Paul (1904): Little Girl with a Doll, oil on canvas. Available at: https://www .wikiart.org/en/paul-cezanne/little-girl-with-a-doll-1904. Cézanne, Paul (1902): Young Girl with a Doll, oil on canvas. Available at: https://ww w.wikiart.org/en/paul-cezanne/young-girl-with-a-doll. Picasso, Pablo (1900): Self-Portrait, charcoal, paper. Available at: https://www.wikia rt.org/en/pablo-picasso/self-portrait. Utermohlen, William (2008a): Head 1, pencil on paper, 40.5 x 33 cm, 2000, in: Alzheimer’s Association. Portraits from the mind: The Works of William Utermohlen – 1955 to 2000. Chicago: Myriad Pharmaceuticals. Utermohlen, William (2008b): In the Studio, (Self-Portrait), mixed media on paper, 45.5 x 32.5 cm, 1996. In: Alzheimer’s Association. Portraits from the mind: The Works of William Utermohlen – 1955 to 2000. Chicago: Myriad Pharmaceuticals. Utermohlen, William (2008c): Self-Portrait (Red), mixed media on paper, 46.5 x 33 cm, 1996, Collection Poilleux, Paris. In: Alzheimer’s Association. Portraits from the mind: The Works of William Utermohlen – 1955 to 2000. Chicago: Myriad Pharmaceuticals.

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Websites Visited https://abraz.org.br/sobre-alzheimer/evolucao-da-doenca/ https://www.wassilykandinsky.net/compositions.php https://www.musicandmemory.org https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXNOloPxIH0 https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=communion https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=human https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=humus https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=nature

Cultural Studies Gabriele Klein

Pina Bausch's Dance Theater Company, Artistic Practices and Reception 2020, 440 p., pb., col. ill. 29,99 € (DE), 978-3-8376-5055-6 E-Book: PDF: 29,99 € (DE), ISBN 978-3-8394-5055-0

Markus Gabriel, Christoph Horn, Anna Katsman, Wilhelm Krull, Anna Luisa Lippold, Corine Pelluchon, Ingo Venzke

Towards a New Enlightenment – The Case for Future-Oriented Humanities October 2022, 80 p., pb. 18,00 € (DE), 978-3-8376-6570-3 E-Book: available as free open access publication PDF: ISBN 978-3-8394-6570-7 ISBN 978-3-7328-6570-3

Sven Quadflieg, Klaus Neuburg, Simon Nestler (eds.)

(Dis)Obedience in Digital Societies Perspectives on the Power of Algorithms and Data March 2022, 380 p., pb., ill. 29,00 € (DE), 978-3-8376-5763-0 E-Book: available as free open access publication PDF: ISBN 978-3-8394-5763-4 ISBN 978-3-7328-5763-0

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Cultural Studies Ingrid Hoelzl, Rémi Marie

Common Image Towards a Larger Than Human Communism 2021, 156 p., pb., ill. 29,50 € (DE), 978-3-8376-5939-9 E-Book: PDF: 26,99 € (DE), ISBN 978-3-8394-5939-3

Anna Maria Loffredo, Rainer Wenrich, Charlotte Axelsson, Wanja Kröger (eds.)

Changing Time – Shaping World Changemakers in Arts & Education September 2022, 310 p., pb., col. ill. 45,00 € (DE), 978-3-8376-6135-4 E-Book: available as free open access publication PDF: ISBN 978-3-8394-6135-8

Olga Moskatova, Anna Polze, Ramón Reichert (eds.)

Digital Culture & Society (DCS) Vol. 7, Issue 2/2021 – Networked Images in Surveillance Capitalism August 2022, 336 p., pb., col. ill. 29,99 € (DE), 978-3-8376-5388-5 E-Book: PDF: 27,99 € (DE), ISBN 978-3-8394-5388-9

All print, e-book and open access versions of the titles in our list are available in our online shop www.transcript-publishing.com