Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Writing Down the Fish

What if the entire intrauterine period of the higher mammals were only a replica of the type of existence which characterized the aboriginal piscene period, and birth itself nothing but a recapitulation on the part of the individual of the great catastrophe which at the time of the recession of the ocean forced so many animals, and certainly our own animal ancestors, to adapt themselves to a land existence, above all to renounce gill-breathing and provide themselves with organs for the respiration of air?

... If the fish swimming in the water signifies, as in so many fertility charms, the child in the mother’s womb, and if in a multiplicity of dreams we are forced to interpret the child as a symbol of the penis, the penis signification of the fish on the one hand, and on the other the fish signification of the penis, become more self-evident -- in other words, the penis in coitus enacts not only the natal and antenatal mode of existence of the human species, but likewise the struggles of that primal creature among its ancestors which suffered the great catastrophe of the drying up of the sea.

-- Sandor Ferenczi, Thalassa: A Theory of Genitality, transl. Henry Alden Bunker, MD


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