From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Barack Obama's appeal to all
I'm surprised that after all the academic studies done on the construction
of race, Dianne says Obama is not black because his mother was white!
Isn't it an old premise of race and racism in America that one is
identified as black if there is ANY black ancestry? And aren't most
"races" already mixed so that the meaning of "race" is already
> Murray Schwartz mentioned Obama's authenticity. He literally embodies
> he his preaching--unity of races, cultures and nations.
> The NYTimes refers to Obama as "black," but that is not quite accurate.
> Obama's mother was white.
> (No talks much about Martin Luther King's Irish grandmother either.)
> Obama is tall, dark, lanky, handsome and eloquent. McCain Republicans
> him "The One."
> Check out today's NYT re Obama's very impressively thoughtful U. of
> course syllabi etc.
> I am attaching one here.
> On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 2:02 AM, Solange Leibovici
> <[log in to unmask]
>> Dear all,
>> What about Obama's enormous appeal on Europeans? He was treated like a
>> star in Berlin, like a president in Paris. I consider myself an Obama
>> (an old one!). What does he have that is so attractive to us?
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> *From:* Norman Holland <[log in to unmask]
>> *To:* [log in to unmask]
>> *Sent:* Saturday, July 26, 2008 3:52 AM
>> *Subject:* Barack Obama's identity theme
>> Dear Colleagues,
>> At our 2008 International Conference in Literature-and-Psychology, I
>> suggested that it would be an interesting project for the conferees (and
>> now, I am suggesting, for anyone else) to develop an identity theme for
>> Barack Obama. The concept is fully developed in my book *The
>> I,*available online at <
>> http://tinyurl.com/2oxnzg>, and in much briefer form, in this essay, <
>> I made a brief try at the conference at such a core identity theme. I
>> suggested two themes that I derived from reading Obama's pre-senatorial
>> autobiography, Dreams from my Father. One, he wants to bring people
>> together (many people have noted this). Two, he does so after an
>> failure or obstacle which must be overcome by people's coming together.
>> Thus, although the title of his first book suggests an ideal father, in
>> fact, he found that his father, whom he idealized but had met only once,
>> a failure in his career and in his relationships. But the book ends
>> Obama bringing the hitherto divided halves of his father's family
>> Another effort at an identity theme for Obama comes from a surprising
>> source, the New York Times' center-right columnist, David Brooks. About
>> Obama's Berlin speech, Brooks writes (and this is exactly how an
>> analysis of
>> an individual's language for an identity theme would proceed).
>> Obama speeches almost always have the same narrative arc. Some problem
>> threatens. The odds are against the forces of righteousness. But then
>> of good faith unite and walls come tumbling down. Obama used the word
>> "walls" 16 times in the Berlin speech, and in 11 of those cases, he was
>> talking about walls coming down.
>> The Berlin blockade was thwarted because people came together. Apartheid
>> ended because people came together and walls tumbled. Winning the cold
>> was the same: "People of the world," Obama declared, "look at Berlin,
>> a wall came down, a continent came together and history proved there is
>> challenge too great for a world that stands as one.
>> That seems to me a telling reading of this man who may prove very
>> in the next decade of American and world history. Then Brooks turns
>> Republican and partisan: "[T]he post-partisanship of Iowa has given way
>> the post-nationalism of Berlin, and it turns out that the vague overture
>> the entire symphony. The golden rhetoric impresses less, the evasion of
>> choices strikes one more."
>> Certainly, given Obama's identity theme (as I see it so far), he is open
>> this kind of criticism. But I would like to see, indeed, love to see,
>> members of the PSYART community besides me, read Obama's language for
>> core theme or themes. It seems to me this is the classic psychoanalytic
>> hermeneutic, and it profits from sharing different readings (as in a
>> clinical conference).
>> --With warm regards,
>> Norm Holland
>> [log in to unmask]
> "Literature should be an ax for the frozen sea within us."--Franz Kafka