Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Culture can't be only partially related to society

This is an interesting article! It is helpful to set literature into context with the daily realities of a culture, and Austria, like any other country, certainly has is own cultural "features" and its own "mentality" - interesting to set reality and intellectual frameworks into context.

Josef Fritzl's fictive forebears
Austrian politicians want to distance their country from the Fritzl case: literary historians find it harder
Ritchie Robertson

Two passages:

"The Church saw free-market liberalism as destructive of society. A balance of rights and duties, it was argued, had been replaced by a ruthless, egoistic system in which an employer was encouraged to exploit his economic power. This system must destroy the family by turning all its members, men, women and children alike, into economic units obliged to work full-time. These concerns – which were far from groundless – eventually found an authoritative expression in the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891). Catholics therefore did all they could to strengthen the family, which meant reinforcing the authority of the father as head of the household."

"Freud reveals an astonishing lack of interest in her situation, let alone insight, but he treats her much as he does her daughter. In both cases, he transfers his attention from the external circumstances of their domestic life to their supposed internal conflicts and desires. It looks very much as though Freud is blaming the victims in order to uphold the authority of the father."