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Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no.

2, Winter 2002

Marta ^abai Márta Csabai


Amblemi ili Karikaturi? Emblems or Caricatures?
Diskursi za Histerijata i Discourses about Hysteria and
Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia Nervosa

I ako imeto na simboli~koto `ensko


poremetuvawe mo`e da se menuva od eden
istoriski period vo drug, rodovata asimetrija
W hilst the name of the symbolic female disorder
may change from one historical period to the
next, the gender asymmetry of the representational
na reprezentativnata tradicija ostanuva tradition remains constant. Thus madness, even when
ista. Na toj na~in ludiloto, duri i koga gi experienced by men, is metaphorically and
zafa}a ma`ite, metafori~ki i simboli~ki se symbolically represented as feminine: a female
pretstavuva kako `ensko: `enska bole{tina. malady. (Showalter, 1987, 4)
([oulter, 1987, 4)

Se ~ini deka statistikite objaveni vo mno{tvo razli~ni Statistics published in many different countries seem to point to
zemji poso~uvaat na faktot deka e mnogu poverojatno `enite the fact that women are much more likely than men ask for
da pobaraat psihijatriska/psihoterapevtska nega otkolku psychiatric/psychotherapeutic care. Although there is not a clear-
ma`ite. Iako nema jasni argumenti dali pove}e `eni cut case for saying that more women suffer from psychiatric/
stradaat od psihijatriski/mentalni bolesti, nepobitno e mental illnesses, it seems to be unquestionable that women
deka `enite dominiraat vo posebni kategorii na bolesti: dominate in particular disease categories: depression, eating
depresija, poremetuvawa vo ishranata, anksioznost, i fobii disorders, anxiety and phobias – syndromes which were formerly
- sindromi koi porano bea pokrieni so etiketata covered by the label “hysteria” (Ussher, 1991). There has been a
“histerija” (A{er, 1991). Vo poslednive nekolku dekadi vast increase in the interest in the academic discourse related to
zabele`uvame ogromen porast na interesot za akademskiot hysteria in the last few decades. It was facilitated mostly by
diskurs povrzan so histerijata. Za ova najmnogu potpomognaa feminist scholars who argued that the so-called female diseases
feministi~kite misliteli, koi tvrdea deka takanare- are expressions of women’s protest against oppressive social and
~enite `enski bolesti se izraz na protestot na `enite medical practices. Through the examples of classical hysteria and
protiv opresivnite socijalni i medicinski praktiki. one of its contemporary “descendants”, anorexia nervosa I am
Preku primerite od klasi~nata histerija i edna od going to discuss different – psychological, psychoanalytic and

91
nejzinite dene{ni potomci, anorexia nervosa, jas }e feminist – discourses which may help to answer the question: is
raspravam za razli~nite - psiholo{ki, psihoanaliti~ki it that women are more prone to particular psychiatric illnesses
Márta Csabai Emblems or Caricatures? Discourses about Hysteria and Anorexia Nervosa

i feministi~ki - diskursi koi mo`ebi }e pomognat da se or that they are merely diagnosed as such? I am going to conclude
odgovori pra{aweto: dali `enite se popodlo`ni na that while exploring the continued association between female
odredeni psihijatriski bolesti ili samo taka se sexuality, deviancy, and disease these social scientific and clinical
dijagnoziraat? ]e zaklu~am deka pokraj istra`uvaweto na approaches themselves contributed in a way to the survival of
postojanata povrzanost me|u `enskata seksualnost, (psychiatric) gender asymmetry.
devijantnost i bolest, ovie socijalni, nau~ni i klini~ki
pristapi i samite pridonesoa za opstojuvaweto na
(psihijatriskata) asimetri~nosta na rodovite.

Histerijata, taa misteriozna `enska bole{tina, Hysteria, the mysterious female malady has always occupied a
otsekoga{ imala poseben status me|u bolestite kako particular status amongst diseases as a marker of the
pokazatel na fundamentalnite problemi na (medicinskata) fundamental problems of (medical) science and gender issues.
nauka i pra{awata na rodot. Eden od najzna~ajnite presvrti One of the most significant turns in the history of the disease
vo istorijata na bolesta be{e napraven od Zigmund Frojd i was brought about by Sigmund Freud and his discovery of early
negovoto otkritie na ranite traumatski iskustva kako traumatic experiences as clues to the hidden sources of patient’s
pokazateli na skrienite izvori na bolesta na pacientot. disabilities. The disclosure of the secrets d’alcôve - the sexual
Razotkrivaweto na secrets d’alcôve - seksualnite konflikti conflicts hidden from the sufferers themselves - opened the way
skrieni i od samite stradalnici - go otvori patot kon to the more profound problem of the development of sexual
poosnovniot problem na razvojot na samata polova razlika. difference itself. The revolutionary idea of exploring the narrative
Revolucionernata idea za istra`uvawe na narativnite histories of hysterics as supposedly sufficient material for both
istorii na histericite kako navodno dovolen materijal i diagnosis and therapy was not only an attempt to give a vote for
za dijagnoza i za terapija be{e obid ne samo za davawe glas psychic causes in symptomatology, but to find missing fragments
za psihi~kite pri~ini vo simptomatologijata tuku i za of the puzzle of (female) sexuality Freud was troubled by.
pronao|awe na fragmentite koi nedostasuvaat od Although Freud was successful in proving that psychological
slo`uvalkata na (`enskata) seksualnost, koja tolku go processes have their physiological effect, and that hysteria means
ma~ela Frojd. Iako Frojd uspe{no doka`al deka a displacement or transposition of libido from one organ or bodily
psiholo{kite procesi imaat svoi fiziolo{ki efekti i zone to another, neither he nor his critics were satisfied with his
deka histerijata e preseluvawe ili transpozicija na explanations about the specific “female” characteristics of the
libidoto od eden organ ili telesna zona na drug, nitu toj disease. Despite its contradictions and “mystical” nature in the
nitu negovite kriti~ari bile zadovolni so negovite eyes of established academic institutions, the Freudian theory
objasnuvawa na specifi~no “`enskite” karakteristiki na rendered an enormous service to modern science: it helped to
bolesta. No sepak, i pokraj nejzinite kontradiktornosti i force back the obscure messages coming from the body behind
“misti~nosta” vo o~ite na vospostavenite akademski the borders of rational mind, into the territory of language of
institucii, Frojdovata teorija zavr{i golema rabota na science. But it was just a transitory victory, since the message
modernata nauka: pomogna vo teritorijata na jazikot na remained half-decoded, many secrets d’alcôve were still closed
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naukata nasila da se vratat onie nejasni poraki koi doa|aa away, symptoms of hysteria survived and turned up again in their
od teloto zad granicite na racionalniot um. No, toa be{e transformed manifestations. Official medical science was not
Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no. 2, Winter 2002

samo minliva pobeda, bidej}i porakata ostana napolu interested in and did not want to hear Freud’s frustrated question
dekodirana, mnogu secrets d’alcôve s$ u{te bea zatvoreni, “What does woman want?” but instead decided to break into
simptomite na histerija pre`iveaa i povtorno se pojavija further pieces the already fragmented hysterical body. This
kako transformirani manifestacii. Oficijalnata undertaking has ended up in the deleting of the original diagnosis
medicinska nauka ne be{e zainteresirana i ne saka{e da from the vocabulary of mainstream psychiatry. The diagnoses
go ~ue frustriranoto pra{awe na Frojd: “[to saka was replaced with fragments of the original classification, terms
`enata?”, i namesto toa odlu~i vo u{te pomali par~enca like “somatization disorder”, “conversion disorder”, etc. The new
da go raskr{i ve}e fragmentiranoto histeri~no telo. names with the new aura of respectability have not fulfilled the
Kone~niot ishod na ovoj potfat be{e bri{eweto na wish to get rid of the embarrassment caused by the mysterious
originalnata dijagnoza od re~nikot na mainstream nature of certain symptoms still alive.
psihijatrijata. Dijagnozite bea zameneti so fragmenti od
originalnata klasifikacija, so termini kako “soma-
tizaciono poremetuvawe”, “konverzisko poremetuvawe” itn.
Novite imiwa, so novata aura na respektabilnost, ne ja
ispolnija `elbata za “osloboduvawe” od sramot
predizvikan od misterioznata priroda na odredeni
simptomi koi s$ u{te postojat.

Iako klasi~nite formi na histerija is~eznaa - vo nekoi Although classical forms of hysteria have disappeared - in some
slu~ai bea samo preimenuvani, {to zna~i deka bea cases they were just renamed which means they were displaced
premesteni vo lingvisti~kata oblast na psihijatriski in the linguistic realm of psychiatric categories - the disease still
kategorii - bolesta s$ u{te ja ima, s$ u{te postoi vo exists, it is still around in altered formations or under new names.
izmeneti formacii ili so novi imiwa. Skore{noto The recent emergence of anorexia nervosa as a mass-scale
pojavuvawe na anorexia nervosa kako glavno “`ensko “female disorder” - its statistical prevalence shows that 9 of 10
poremetuvawe” - statistikata poka`uva deka 9 od 10 `rtvi anorexics are women - invites us again to think about the
na anoreksija se `eni - e pri~ina za povtorno razmisluvawe hypothetical gendered nature and meanings of these bodily
okolu hipoteti~kata rodova priroda i zna~ewa na ovie messages. If we accept that in the case of hysteria and anorexia
telesni poraki. Ako prifatime deka vo slu~ajot na the body of the sufferer is deeply inscribed with a cultural and
histerija i anoreksija vo teloto na stradalnikot dlaboko e symbolic construction of femininity emblematic of the given
vpi{ana kulturnata i simboli~ka konstrukcija na historical era, we have also to ask why adolescent and young adult
`enskosta amblemati~na za odredeno vreme, toga{ isto taka women are almost always central to these periodic eruptions of
mora da se zapra{ame zo{to adolescentkite i mladite `eni social and cultural maladjustments.
se skoro sekoga{ centralni vo ovie periodi~ni erupcii
na socijalni i kulturni neprisposobuvawa.

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Márta Csabai Emblems or Caricatures? Discourses about Hysteria and Anorexia Nervosa

Povratnata uslovenost na `enskata @elba The Double-Bound Female Desire

Anorexia nervosa, bolesta karakterizirana so Anorexia nervosa, the disease characterized by the behavioural
bihevioralniot obrazec na prekumerna dieta i odbivawe pattern of excessive dieting and refusal of food was identified in
na hrana, be{e identifikuvana vo 1870-tite, no kako the 1870s, but as a diagnosed form of disease it has remained a
dijagnozirana forma na bolest re~isi eden vek be{e relatively rare disorder for nearly a century. The taking up of
relativno retko poremetuvawe. Za dene{nata kultura, anorexia is as unique to today’s culture as the epidemic of hysteria
anoreksijata e unikatna kolku i epidemijata na histerija was to the Victorian era. It’s rise began after World War II, and
za vreme na Viktorijanskata era. Nejziniot podem be{e po has shown a continuous acceleration during the past fifty years.
Vtorata svetska vojna, i poka`uva postojano zgolemuvawe The disorder has a different character today than it had in the
poslednive 50 godini. Poremetuvaweto denes ima poinakva Victorian era or even in the fifties of this century (Brumberg,
priroda otkolku vo Viktorijanskata era ili duri i vo 1992). The first difference is connected to the attitudes of women
pedesettite godini na ovoj vek (Brumberg, 1992). Prvata then and now to their body-image and towards the act of eating
razlika e povrzana so stavovite na `enite, toga{ i sega, za and food itself. Victorian anorexics wanted to remain slim
izgledot na nivnite tela i na~inot na jadewe i samata because of the spiritual and social meanings of the slender body,
hrana. Viktorijanskite anoreksi~ari sakale da ostanat but explained the restrictions of food-intake with somatic
vitki poradi spiritualnite i socijalnite zna~ewa na reasons. “I am not able to eat because it hurts” explained the
vitkoto telo, a ja objasnuvale restrikcijata na vnesuvaweto background of her behaviour the 19th century anorexic, while
hrana so somatski pri~ini. Re~enicata “Ne mo`am da jadam contemporary women are horrified by fatness: “I don’t want to
bidej}i me boli” go objasnuva potekloto na anoreksi~arot eat since I am too fat”. Another difference between last century
vo 19-tiot vek, a dene{nite `eni se u`asnati od debelina: and today’s anorectic behaviour is, that the latter is coloured by
“Ne sakam da jadam bidej}i sum mnogu debela”. Druga razlika bulimia, excessive food-intake and vomiting which was not
me|u anoreksi~noto odnesuvawe vo minatiot vek i denes e present in 19th century case records. The reasons behind this -
{to ovoj vtoriot e oboen so bulimija, prekumerno zemawe which will also be discussed later in detail - can be connected to
hrana i povra}awe, koja ne e prisutna vo dokumentite od 19- the changes in the “social body” and cultural norms. Although
tiot vek. Pri~inite za ova - za koi podocna }e razgovarame representations of women reflected much of the ambiguities 19th
na{iroko - mo`at da se povrzat so promenite vo and early 20 th - century society had about women, the
“socijalnoto telo” i kulturnite normi. Iako pretstavite ambivalences about gender roles were less obvious then today.
za `enata poka`uvaat mnogu od dvojbite {to op{testvoto One reason can be that the “dangerous”, “irrational” female
od 19-tiot i raniot 20-ti vek gi imalo za `enite, hunger - and desire - seemed to be more easy to control since
ambivalentnosta okolu ulogite na rodovite bila pomalku contradictions around gender roles were just about to formulate
o~igledna otkolku denes. Edna od pri~inite mo`e da e toa into more direct public messages. It does not mean that the
{to “opasnata”, “iracionalna” `enska glad - i kopne` - tensions around femininity would have been weaker than today,
izgledala polesna za kontrola, bidej}i kontradikciite but there was a big difference in the social context which
94

okolu ulogite na rodovite samo {to ne bile formulirani articulated both the forms of protest and also repression. The
vo podirektni javni poraki. Ova ne zna~i deka tenziite contradictory feelings about desire and femininity could not show
Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no. 2, Winter 2002

okolu `enskosta bile poslabi otkolku denes, tuku deka themselves on such a wide scale as today when these are more
imalo golema razlika vo socijalniot kontekst koj gi easily available through the media and other channels of
artikuliral i formite na protest i represijata. information. The other fundamental difference can be attributed
Kontradiktornite ~uvstva za kopne`ot i `enstvenosta ne to the development and paradoxical impact of consumer culture
mo`ele da se poka`at vo tolku golem stepen kako {to mo`at (Bordo, 1993). Female hunger (and desire) has always been a
denes, koga se polesno dostapni preku mediumite i drugi cultural metaphor of danger and uncontrollability. Contemporary
kanali na informacija. Drugata fundamentalna razlika consumer culture handles desire in a way that it makes the
mo`e da mu se pripi{e na razvojot i na paradoksalniot udel “double-bind” attitude a norm: on the one hand there is an
na potro{uva~kata kultura (Bordo, 1993). @enskata glad (i imperative to consume (buy, eat, possess) more but at the same
kopne`) otsekoga{ bila kulturna metafora za opasnost i time a woman must remain slender and docile, a useful body for
nekontroliranost. Modernata potro{uva~ka kultura se society. The general message is to satisfy desires while not to
odnesuva so kopne`ot na takov na~in {to “stavot na show them publicly but hide them away. We have to notice here
povratnata sprega” e norma: od edna strana postoi the dynamics of attraction and repulsion which are attributed
imperativ da se konzumira (kupuva, jade, ima) {to pove}e, by psychoanalysis as the fundamental structure of the
no vo isto vreme `enata mora da ostane vitka i krotka, telo mechanisms of desire and also the constitution of the hysterical
korisno za op{testvoto. Generalnata poraka e da se symptom. The alternating behaviour pattern of excessive food
zadovolat `elbite, no da ne se poka`uvaat javno, tuku da se intake and refusal in bulimia is a symbolic marker of the neurotic
krijat. Ovde morame da ja zabele`ime dinamikata na (hysterical?) way contemporary consumer society relates to
privlekuvawe i odbivawe, za koi psihoanalizata veli deka desire. This ambivalence also reflects increasingly sharpening
se osnovnata struktura na mehanizmite na `elbata, no i na contradictions in concepts about femininity. (It may be of
konstitucijata na histeri~niot simptom. Menliviot importance to call attention to the continuous attenuating of the
obrazec na odnesuvawe na prekumernoto vnesuvawe i female body, the sharpening of its contours in case of anorexia).
odbivawe hrana kaj bulimijata se simboli~ki marker na Current cultural ideals of the woman offers freedom from
nevroti~niot (histeri~en?) na~in na koj sovremeniot domestic, a purely reproductive femininity while simultaneously
potro{uva~ go gleda kopne`ot. Ovaa ambivalentnost isto suggesting fragility and lack of power over social space. The
taka gi otslikuva s$ pozaostrenite kontradikcii vo seriousness of the problems brought by these new expectations
konceptite za `enstvenosta. (Mo`e da bide od va`nost da towards women can be also seen in the difference between last
go naso~ime vnimanieto kon postojanoto isten~uvawe na century anorexia and the contemporary disease: today anorexics
`enskoto telo, izostruvaweto na negovite konturi kaj are more thinner than their last century “forerunners” what
anoreksijata). Sovremenite kulturni ideali za `enata makes the condition more hazardous. What makes it more
nudat sloboda od doma{nata, ~isto reproduktivna threatening is the paradoxical effect of the popularization of the
`enstvenost, istovremeno predlagaj}i krevkost i nedostig disease which heightened the public awareness of anorexia. We
na mo} vo pogled na socijalniot prostor. Serioznosta na may think that the growing knowledge of the dangers of extreme
problemot koj go predizvikuvaat ovie novi o~ekuvawa od dieting should help sufferers to cope with the problem, but
`enite isto taka mo`e da se vidi vo razlikata me|u paradoxically, public awareness and availability of information

95
anoreksijata od minatiot vek i sovremenata bolest: had a more negative impact (Brumberg, 1992). An article
dene{nite anoreksi~ari se potenki od nivnite published in 1986 in the American Psychologist called attention
Márta Csabai Emblems or Caricatures? Discourses about Hysteria and Anorexia Nervosa

“prethodnici” od minatiot vek i ova ja pravi sostojbata to a startling phenomenon: young women who know most about
u{te poopasna. Zakanata se zgolemuva i so paradokasalniot anorexia nervosa are most at risk to develop it (Striegel-Moore,
efekt na popularizacija na bolesta, so {to se podiga Silberstein and Rodin, 1986). This astonishing observation
svesnosta na javnosta za anoreksijata. Mo`ebi mislime deka contributes to the understanding of why anorexia became in the
pogolemoto znaewe za opasnostite od ekstremnata dieta }e last few decades a “communicable” disease, a real epidemic. Joan
im pomogne na stradalnicite da se spravat so problemot, Jacobs Brumberg (1992) calls attention to the fact that in the
no, paradokaslno, javnata svest i dostapnosta na United States where anorexia is the most widespread no popular/
informacii imaa negativen efekt (Brumberg, 1992). scientific text has had a wide circulation than Hilda Bruch’s The
Izvesen napis objaven vo 1986 vo American Psychologist go Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa (Bruch, 1979)
svrte vnimanieto kon eden za~uduva~ki fenomen: mladite which has sold over 150 000 copies. Cases of celebrities who got
`eni koi najmnogu znaat za anorexia nervosa se vo najgolem publicity through the media - the most prominent was that of
rizik da ja steknat (Strigel-Mur, Silber{tajn i Rodin, Princess Diana - also heightened awareness and also contributed
1986). V~udoviduva~kata opservacija pomaga da razbereme to the spread of the disorder. The contemporary moral imperative
zo{to anoreksijata vo poslednite nekolku dekadi stana “Run more and eat less” undoubtedly contributes to the
“komunikabilna” bolest, vistinska epidemija. Xoan “contagion” of eating disorders among the followers of the
Xejkobs Brumberg (1992) go svrte vnimanieto kon faktot religion of health. The new component of female morality of
deka vo SAD, kade anoreksijata e najra{irena, nieden checking one another’s diet and weight may well articulate the
popularen/nau~en tekst nemal pogolem tira` od onoj na reasons behind, but we have to look for further explanations.
Hilda Bran~, Zlatniot kafez: Enigmata na Anorexia Slenderness itself is only tip of the iceberg. For a more articulated
Nervosa (Bran~, 1979) koj se prodal vo pove}e od 150 000 picture we have turn to theories about the symbolic meanings of
kopii. Slu~aite na slavnite, koi dobivaat publicitet the body and femininity.
preku mediumite - najistaknat be{e onoj na princezata
Dijana - isto taka ja podignaa svesta i isto taka go pomognaa
{ireweto na naru{uvaweto. Sovremeniot moralen
imperativ “tr~aj pove}e i jadi pomalku” nesomneno
pridonesuva za {irewe na “zarazata” na naru{uvawata vo
ishranata me|u sledbenicite na religijata na zdravjeto.
Novata komponenta na `enskiot moral - me|usebnoto
proveruvawe na dietata i te`inata - mo`ebi navistina ni
gi dava pri~inite koi se vo pozadinata, no nie morame da
barame ponatamo{ni objasnuvawa. Samata vitkost ne e
ni{to drugo osven vrvot na santata. Baraj}i pojasna slika
}e se obratime kon teoriite na simboli~kite zna~ewa na
teloto i `enstvenosta.
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Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no. 2, Winter 2002

Buntuvawe protiv dualizmot na teloto Rebellion Against the Dualism of the Body

Namesto da bide forma ~ija sodr`ina ja dava istorijata, Instead of being a form whose contents are historically provided,
po 19-tiot vek teloto se smeta za baza vrz koja se osnovaat after the 19th century the body has been regarded a base on which
kulturni konstrukcii. @enskoto telo stana metafora za cultural constructs are founded. The female body became a
telesniot pol na kartezijanskiot dualizam, pretstavuvaj}i metaphor for the corporeal pole of the Cartesian dualism,
ja prirodata, emocionalnosta i iracionalnosta. Vo ovie representing nature, emotionality and irrationality. In these
pretstavi, slikata na opasnoto, al~no `ensko telo, so koe representations the image of the dangerous, greedy female body,
vladeat emociite, & se sprotistavuva na ma{kata volja, which is ruled by emotions is opposed to the masculine will, the
centarot na racionalnosta, socijalnata mo} i locus of rationality, social power and self-control. Many
samokontrolata. Mnogu sovremeni feministi~ki nau~nici contemporary feminist scholars have interpreted the
ja interpretiraat simptomatologijata na histerijata kako symptomatology of hysteria as a rebellion against this dualism
buntuvawe protiv ovoj dualizam i (patrijarhalniot) and the underlying (patriarchal) order. These readings of hysteria
poredok koj le`i vo osnovata. Ovie ~itawa na histerijata suggest that by way of the transformation of their bodies,
predlagaat deka po pat na transformacija na nivnite tela, hysterics made a “mockery of culture” (Clément and Cixous,
histericite “& se podbivaat na kulturata” (Kleman i Siksu, 1986). Their inability to speak - sometimes in the literal sense of
1986). Nesposobnosta da zboruvaat - ponekoga{ i bukvalno, the word, i.e. in the case of aphasia - was interpreted as a rebellion
t.e. vo slu~ajot na afazija - se interpretira kako buntuvawe against the language and the culture of the father. According to
protiv jazikot i kulturata na tatkoto. Spored ovie these feminist theories hysterics wanted to return to their
feministi~ki teorii histericite sakaat da se vratat na “mother-tongue”, to a regressive communication of infancy, into
nivniot “maj~in jazik”, kon regresivnata komunikacija na the realm of the semiotic. Their unwillingness (inability?) to
ranoto detstvo, vo predelot na semiotskoto. Nivnata accept the Law of the Father is described by Hélène Cixous in a
nevolnost (nemo`nost?) da go prifatat Zakonot na Tatkoto, very passionate way: “those wonderful hysterics, who subjected
Elen Siksu ja opi{uva mo{ne strastno: “tie prekrasni Freud to so many voluptuous moments too shameful to mention,
histerici, koi go podlo`ija Frojd na mnogubrojni bombarding his mosaic statue/law of Moses with their carnal,
sladostrastni momenti, tolku sramni {to ne smeat ni da se passionate body-words, haunting him with their inaudible
spomnat, bombardiraj}i go negoviot mozai~en Mojsiev thundering denunciations” (Clément and Cixous, 1986, 95). Joan
statut/zakon so nivnite sladostrastni, plotni-telo Jacobs Brumberg gave voice to a similar oppinion concerning
zborovi, progonuvaj}i go so nivnite ne~ujni gromoglasni anorexia: “Anorexia nervosa is a freely chosen method of
osuduvawa” (Kleman i Siksu, 1986, 95). Xoan Xejkobs communicating and asserting power – in essence, an exercise in
Brumberg se oglasi so sli~no mislewe vo odnos na free will” (Brumberg, 1988, 37). What is missing from these
anoreksijata: “Anorexia nervosa e slobodno izbran metod na interpretations is the self-defeating, counterproductive nature
komunicirawe i nametnuvawe mo} - vo su{tina, of the protest, the recognition, that the revolt typically collapses

97
poka`uvawe na slobodnata volja” (Brumberg, 1988, 37). Ona into its opposite. While the hysteric (anorexic) rejects the
{to na ovie interpretacii im nedostasuva e sebe- symbolic order in favor of the semiotic world of the mother, the
Márta Csabai Emblems or Caricatures? Discourses about Hysteria and Anorexia Nervosa

porazitelnata, kontraproduktivna priroda na protestot, sick, isolated, house-bound, motionless, mute body (mostly in
voo~uvaweto deka revoltot tipi~no se uriva vo svojata case of hysteria) which is offered to medicine, is exactly the
sprotivnost. Ako histerikot (anoreksi~arot) go otfrla condition of the silent, uncomplaining woman - an ideal of
simboli~kiot poredok vo zamena za semiotskiot svet na patriarchal culture. In this sense the majority of contemporary
majkata, toga{ bolnoto, izolirano, nepodvi`no, nemo feminist readings of hysteria give a one-sided interpretation
(glavno kaj histerijata) vrzano za domot telo, koe se nudi romanticizing the hysteric’s subversion of the phallocentric order
na medicinata, e tokmu uslovot na tivkata `ena, bez (Bordo, 1993). The “language of femininity” in its excessive form
poplaki, idealot vo patrijarhalnata kultura. Vo ovaa turns into its opposite and makes available only an illusory
smisla, mnozinstvoto sovremeni feministi~ki ~itawa na experience of power to the woman - who is confined to her bed.
histerijata davaat ednostrana interpretacija, The arguments against the “protest-theory” are further
romantiziraj}i go potkopuvaweto na histerikot na strengthened by the fact that both hysterics and anorexics can
falocentri~iot poredok (Bordo, 1993). “Jazikot na be regarded as concretizations - or caricatures - of the “feminine
`enstvenosta” vo negovata prekumerna forma se pretvora mystique” of the historical period they live in. The dreaminess,
vo svojata sprotivnost i go pravi dostapno samo iluzornoto sexual passivity, emotional lability, suggestibility were both
iskustvo na mo}nata `ena - koja vsu{nost ne mo`e da stane characteristics of the hysterical personality and normative
od krevetot. Argumentite protiv “protest-teorijata” se feminine qualities of the 19th century, and the same can be said
zajaknuvaat u{te pove}e so faktot deka i histericite i about the hyperslenderness of the anorexic today. By refusing
anoreksi~arite mo`e da se smetaat za konkretizacii - ili food the anorexic simultaneously rejects and reproduces control
karikaturi - na “`enskata mistika” za periodot vo koj over herself by claiming to own that control. The anorexic
`iveat. Zamaenosta, seksualnata pasivnost, emocionalnata “control paradox” (Lawrence, 1979) or “power turned inward”,
nestabilnost, podlo`nosta na sugestija se karakteristiki a state of being that is both precipitated by and reproducing of
i na histeri~nata li~nost i normativni `enski svojstva one’s powerlessness. In that way hysteria and anorexia can bee
vo 19-tiot vek, a istoto mo`e da se re~e i za hipervitkosta seen as paradigms of resistance which are at the same time
na dene{nite anoreksi~ari. Odbivaj}i ja hranata, utilized in the maintenance and reproduction of power relations.
anoreksi~arot simultano ja odbiva i ja reproducira mo}ta On the other hand these diseases are emblematic media of
nad sebe tvrdej}i deka ima kontrola. Anoreksi~niot traditional views about femininity which are built on hidden
“paradoks na kontrolata” (Lorens, 1979) ili “mo} svrtena structures of symbolic representations.
navnatre” e sostojba na postoewe koja e i izbrzana i
reproducirana od sopstvenata nemo}nost. Na toj na~in
histerijata i anoreksijata mo`at da se smetaat za paradigmi
na otpor koi vo isto vreme se upotrebeni vo odr`uvaweto i
reprodukcijata na relaciite na mo}. Od druga strana, pak,
ovie bolesti se amblematski mediumi na tradicionalni
pogledi za `enstvenosta, koi se izgradeni na skrieni
strukturi od simboli~ki reprezentacii.
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Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no. 2, Winter 2002

“Nedostizi” i “Vi{oci” na `enstvenosta “Lacks” and “Excesses” of Femininity

Pojavata na histerija kaj `enite so vekovi bila povrzuvana The occurrence of hysteria in women was for many centuries
so teorii za matkata (hister[o] na latinski). Najstarata linked to theories about the womb (hyster[o] in Latin). The
poznata medicinska refenca za histerijata doa|a od Egipet earliest known medical reference to hysteria is from Egypt in
vo 19-tiot vek p.n.e. i veli deka odredeni bolesti kaj `enite the 19th century B.C. which suggests that certain illnesses of
se predizvikani od matkata koja patuva niz celoto telo women were caused by the womb traveling around in the body
(Krid, 1993). Starite Grci veruvale deka matkata na (Creed, 1993). The ancient Greeks who believed that the womb
seksualno frustriranite `eni gi su{i nejzinite telesni of sexually frustrated women dries up her bodily fluids what
te~nosti i toa ja tera matkata da se dvi`i naokolu i da & makes the womb to move around and make more trouble for the
pravi pove}e problemi na `enata. Bi mo`ele da ja woman. We could go through the whole history of premodern
pomineme celata istorija na predmodernata nauka i bi medicine and would find the similar explanations. Should we
na{le sli~ni objasnuvawa. Treba li da go prifatime accept the proposition of Peter Brooks (1993) that nomenclature,
predlogot na Piter Bruks (1993) deka nomenklaturata, the name “hysteria” itself was a two thousand year destiny of
samoto ime “histerija” bila dveiljadagodi{na sudbina na the disease, which was finally defeated by modern science -
bolesta, koja kone~no bila sovladana od modernata nauka - mostly by psychoanalysis - and then leave the problem, or could
najmnogu od psihoanalizata - i potoa da go ostavime we use these representations as meaningful even in our
problemot, ili pak mo`eme da gi zememe ovie understanding of hysteria and its different forms today? The
reprezentacii kako zna~ajni duri i vo na{eto dene{no womb was - and still is - represented in cultural discourses in an
razbirawe na histerijata i nejzinite razli~ni formi? Vo ambivalent way. This organ as a site of creation and reproduction
kulturnite diskursi matkata bila - i s$ u{te e is partly handled with amazement and fascination, but on the
pretstavuvana na dvoen na~in. Kon ovoj organ, kako mesto other hand it is a source of fear and anxiety. Through her womb,
na kreacija i reprodukcija delumno se pristapuva so ~udewe the woman is connected to the cycle of birth, decay and death
i fascinacija, no od druga strana e i izvor na strav i what reminds men to their mortality and the fragility of all the
anksioznost. Preku nejzinata matka, `enata e povrzana so surrounding world. According to Freud those are the outer -
krugot na ra|aweto, propa|aweto i smrtta, {to gi potsetuva castrated - genitalia of the woman (the mother) which are the
ma`ite na nivnata smrtnost i krevkosta na siot svet koj gi most horrifying sights for men. However Freud also refers to the
opkru`uva. Spored Frojd nadvore{nite “kastrirani“ womb as an image in fantasy what releases the feeling of the
genitalii na `enata (majkata) se najstra{nata gletka za uncanny which “is undoubtedly related to what is frightening -
ma`ite. Me|utoa, Frojd matkata ja smeta i za slika vo to what arouses dread and horror” (Freud, S.E. 219):
fantazijata koja go osloboduva ~uvstvoto na ^udnoto koe
“nesomneno e povrzano so zastra{uva~koto - so ona {to
predizvikuva strav i uplav” (Frojd, S.E. 219):

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Márta Csabai Emblems or Caricatures? Discourses about Hysteria and Anorexia Nervosa

^esto se slu~uva nevroti~nite ma`i da izjavat deka postoi It often happens that the neurotic men declare that they feel there
ne{to ~udno (un-heimlich, germ.) kaj `enskite genitalni is something uncanny about the female genital organs. This
organi. Me|utoa, ova ~udno mesto e vlezot za prethodniot unheimlich place, however, is the entrance to the former Heim
Heim [dom] na site ~ove~ki su{testva, za mestoto kade {to [home] of all human beings, to the place where each one of us
sekoj od nas `iveel edna{ odamna i na po~etokot. Ima edna lived once upon a time and in the beginning. There is a joking
{ega koja veli “Qubovta e `elba za doma”; i koga i ~ovek da saying that “Love is home-sickness”; and whenever a man dreams
sonuva mesto ili zemja i si ka`e, u{te dodeka sonuva: “ova of a place or a country and says to himself, while he is still
mesto mi e poznato, sum bil tuka i porano”, mo`eme da go dreaming: “this place is familiar to me, I’ve been here before,”
interpretirame mestoto kako genitaliite ili teloto na we may interpret the place as being his mother’s genitals or body.”
negovata majka”. (Frojd, S.E. 245) (Freud, S.E. 245)

Sovremeni~kite na Frojd (Karen Horni, Helen Doj~, Contemporaries of Freud (Karen Horney, Helene Deutsch,
Melani Klajn) go svrtele vnimanieto kon - nesvesnite - Melanie Klein) called attention to the - unconscious - meanings
zna~ewa na matkata kako izvori i na anksioznost i na of the womb as sources of both anxiety and jealousy. The theory
qubomora. Teorijata za strav ili qubomora kon of fear or jealousy of the reproductive abilities (and organs) of
reproduktivnite sposobnosti (i organi) na `enata the woman was basically a reply of early psychoanalysts to
vsu{nost bila odgovor na ranite psihoanaliti~ari na Freud’s penis-envy theory, but the debate ended up in a deadlock
frojdovata teorija na zavist za penisot, no debatata and continued only in the last few decades in feminist
zavr{ila vo }orsokak i prodol`ila duri vo poslednite psychoanalytic theory (Mitchell, 1974).
nekolku godini na feministi~kata psihoanaliti~ka
teorija (Mi~el, 1974).

Ako sevo ova go postavime vo kontekstot na dinamikata na If we put all of these in the context of dynamics of hysteria and
histerijata i anorexia nervosa, }e bide interesno da se vidi anorexia nervosa, it is interesting to see how the concepts of both
kako konceptite na nedostig (nedostig na penis) i vi{ok lack (lack of the penis) and excess (the existence of the womb in
(postoeweto na matkata kaj `enite kako “ekstra” organ) }e women as an “extra” organ) are both represented in
bidat pretstaveni vo psihoanaliti~kite koncepti na psychoanalytic concepts of femininity. The hysterical and
`enskosta. Samite histeri~ni i anoreksi~no-bulimi~ni anorexic-bulimic bodies themselves also display both lacks and
tela isto taka poka`uvaat nedostizi i vi{oci: nedostatok excesses: lack of sexual desire in hysteria and anorexia, lack of
na seksualen kopne` kaj histerijata i anoreksijata, appetite and “feminine” bodily forms and functions such as
nedostatok na apetit i “`enski” telesni formi i funkcii, menstruation, in anorexia; the “excessive” functioning of
kako {to e menstruacijata kaj anoreksijata; “vi{okot” vo different parts of the body in hysteria and bulimia; excessive food-
funkcionirawete na odredeni delovi od teloto kaj intake in bulimia, etc. It is interesting to notice the bifurcation
histerijata i bulimijata; prekumerno vnesuvawe na hrana of “lacks” and “excesses” in psychoanalytic thought: while
kaj bulimijata, itn. Interesno e da se zabele`i razgra- classical Freudian theory emphasized lack, post-Freudian
100

nuvaweto na “nedostigot” i “vi{okot” vo psihoanaliti~kata (feminist) object-relations theory puts stress on the excesses of
misla: ako klasi~nata frojdijanska teorija go potencira the maternal in interpreting femininity. However there are some
Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no. 2, Winter 2002

nedostigot, post-frojdijanskata (feministi~ka) teorija na particular cultural representations of femininity which embody
objekt-relacii go stava akcentot na vi{okot na maj~inskoto both attributes. The most expressive manifestation of the
vo tolkuvaweto na `enstvenosta. Me|utoa, postojat nekolku interconnectedness of lack and excess as a symbolic marker of
posebni kulturni reprezentacii na `enstvenosta koi gi femininity can be found in those representations of the woman
otelotvoruvaat obata atributi. Najizrazenata manifes- which attribute her body abnormal, monstrous characteristics.
tacija na vnatre{nata povrzanost na nedostigot i The topos of woman as a sign of abnormality has always been a
vi{okot kako simboli~ki markeri na `enstvenosta mo`e constant element in Western culture and scientific discourse. It
da se vidi vo onie pretstavi na `enata koi na nejzinoto reached its heights in romanticism, where the fascination with
telo mu pridavaat abnormalni, monstruozni karakteris- death contained also eroticism (Gay, 1984). This mixture of the
tiki. Toposot na `enata kako znak na abnormalnost sekoga{ morbid and erotic is also represented in the female-as-monster.
bil postojan element na zapadnata kultura i nau~en diskurs. Referring to the observation that several of Freud’s patients were
Svoite viso~ini gi dostigna vo romantizmot, koga deeply troubled by fantasies of circus animals and carnivalesque
fascinacijata so smrtta vo sebe go sodr`e{e i erotizmot disorders, and Bakhtin’s distinction of the “classical” and
(Gej, 1984). Ovaa me{avina na morbidnoto i erotskoto isto “grotesque” bodies, Sara van den Berg notes, that the hysterical
taka e pretstavena vo `enskoto-kako-~udovi{te. body struggles to reach the classical ideal of the “pure, closed,
Poso~uvaj}i na opservacijata deka nekolku od pacientite smooth, disciplined, still, harmonious, clothed, graceful, upright,
na Frojd bile mnogu izma~uvani od fantazii so cirkuski fragrant” body, while unwillingly represents the grotesque
`ivotni i karnevalski naru{uvawa, i distinkcijata na “impure, open, rough, disorderly, noisy, naked, awkward,
Bahtin na “klasi~ni” i “groteskni” tela, Sara van den Berg inverted, smelly” corps (van den Berg, 1994). The body itself
zabele`uva deka histeri~noto telo se bori da go dostigne becomes an obstacle to her, a special boundary, which blocks
klasi~niot ideal na “~istoto, zatvoreno, mazno, her from living in the world.
disciplinirano, mirno, harmoni~no, oble~eno, graciozno,
ispraveno, mirizlivo” telo, no bez da saka go prestavuva
groteskniot “ne~ist, otvoren, rapav, nesreden, bu~en, gol,
odbiven, izvrten, smrdliv” trup (van den Berg, 1994).
Samoto telo za nea pretstavuva pre~ka, posebna granica,
koja ne & dozvoluva da `ivee vo svetot.

Vo Mo}i na u`asot, Julija Kristeva dava tipologija na In Powers of Horror, Julia Kristeva gives a typology of
li~niot strav koj go poka`uva zna~eweto na razli~nite personalized horror which shows the significance of the various
otvori i granici na teloto (Kristeva, 1982). Za Kristeva, orifices and boundaries of the body (Kristeva, 1982). For Kristeva
cenata na pojavuvaweto na ~isto i propisno, socijalno telo the cost of the emergence of a clean and proper, social body is
e odbivnoto. Odbivnoto (abject) ne e ona {to e valkano ili abjection. The abject is not that which is dirty or impure about
ne~isto na teloto, tuku ona {to ne si e na vistinskoto mesto. the body, but that which is not in its proper place. The abject as
Odbivnoto kako marginalno i nevkloplivo poka`uva mesto marginal and unincorporable signals a site of possible dangers

101
na mo`ni opasnosti i zakani, i za li~nosta i za and threats both for the individual and society. The sharp
op{testvoto. Jasnata dvozna~nost na emociite oslobodeni ambiguity of emotions released by the female body is attributed
Márta Csabai Emblems or Caricatures? Discourses about Hysteria and Anorexia Nervosa

od `enskoto telo, Julija Kristeva ja pripi{uva na - i by Julia Kristeva to the - both sacred and soiled - maternal, the
svetoto i izvalkano - maj~inskoto, pragot na postoeweto, treshold of existence, but also a figure of abjection. The adoration
no i figura na odbivnoto (abject). Obo`uvaweto i stravot and fear connected to the abject derives from its capacity to
povrzani so odbivnoto (abject) proizleguvaat od negovata trespass and transgress the boundaries of norms and definitions.
sposobnost da gi pre~ekori i nadmine ograni~uvawata na The mother - and also: the woman - is a site of origin, and as
normite i definiciite. Majkata - a i: `enata - e mesto na such, releases anxiety about the imperative to separate (from
poteklo i, kako takvo, predizvikuva anksioznost od the mother) and to accept the Law of the Father. The coexistence
imperativot za odvojuvawe (od majkata) i prifa}awe na of excess (capacity to transgress boundaries) and lack (missing
Zakonot na Tatkoto. Koegzistencijata na vi{okot the substantial unity of the male subject) make the woman the
(sposobnost za nadminuvawe na ograni~uvawata) i (obscure, unreachable) object of desire, and also a neurotic
nedostigot (nemaweto zna~itelno zaedni{tvo kaj subject.
ma{kiot subjekt) ja pravat `enata (opskuren, nedopirliv)
objekt na kopneewe, kako i nevroti~en subjekt.

Ova n& pomaga da objasnime zo{to idealizacijata na `enata This helps to explain why the idealization of women and the
i na `enata kako tema na nasilstvo se dve strani od istata woman as a theme of violence are the two sides of the same coin.
pari~ka. Najtipi~no na preminot na 19-tiot i 20-tiot vek, Most typically at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the same
istoto telo, ~ii reproduktivni kapaciteti vr{ea body, the reproductive capacities of which performed venerable,
po~ituvani, duri i sveti funkcii, be{e i bezbo`no. Denes even sacred functions, was also to be profaned. Today it is well
ova e dobro pretstaveno so skore{niot porast na horor represented by the recent upsurge of horror films where the birth-
filmovi, kade reproduktivnite funkcii na `enata stanaa giving function of the woman has become a theme of most
tema na najstra{ni sliki. Vo ovie filmovi, matkata horrifying images. In these films the womb is shown symbolically
simboli~ki e poka`ana vo prikazi na intra-materi~ni in images of intra-uterine settings which are dark, narrow,
prostori - dolgi, tesni, krivulesti vizbi ili bukvalno winding cellars or literally in relation to the female body which
povrzani so `enskoto telo, koe ra|a vonzemjani ili drugi gives birth to aliens or other terrifying creatures (Creed, 1993).
zastra{uva~ki su{testva (Krid, 1993).

Odvi{nosta, namno`enosta, koi prethodno bea asocirani The excessiveness and overprolification previously associated
so maj~inskoto, denes se zameneti vo oblasta na with the maternal, today is replaced into the realm of technologies
tehnologiite na reprodukcija: radio, film, video, of reproduction: radio, film, video, computer, etc. (Doane, 1990).
kompjuter, itn. (Duen, 1990). Kako {to vidovme prethodno, As we saw earlier in relation with the ambiguity of the feminine,
sli~no kako vo pogled na dvosmislenosta na `enstvenosta, similarly, these techniques are not only objects of fascination
ovie tehniki ne se samo objekti na fascinacija tuku i na but also of anxiety. The doubling, repetition, the multiplying of
anksioznost. Udvojuvaweto, povtoruvaweto, umno`uvaweto objects is closely related to the womb in fantasy not only in terms
na objektite e tesno povrzano so matkata vo fantazija, ne of reproduction (and the maternal), but as Freud says, both can
102

samo vo smisla na reprodukcija (i maj~inskoto) tuku, kako be regarded as sources of the feeling of the uncanny. These
{to veli Frojd, obete mo`e da se smetaat za izvori na anxieties today can be partly attributed to the increasing
Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no. 2, Winter 2002

~uvstvoto na ~udno, nevoobi~aeno. Denes, ovaa anksioznost involvement of women in commodity production in the 20th
delumno mu se pripi{uva na zgolemenoto vklu~uvawe na century, which has altered our relationships towards secrecy,
`enite vo proizvodstvoto na stoka vo 20-tiot vek, {to go knowledge and the ultimate question of origins.
izmeni na{iot odnos kon tajnosta, znaeweto i osnovnoto
pra{awe na poteklata.

Pokrivawa i otkrivawa na vistinata Veilings and Unveilings of Truth

Stokovata feti{izacijata na `enskite tela, koja be{e u{te The commodity fetishisation of female bodies which was even
potipi~na vo vtorata polovina na 20-tiot vek, e izrazena more typical in the second half of the 20th century has been
vo noviot odnos me|u vidlivoto i nevidlivoto, expressed in new relations between the visible and invisible, the
pretstavlivoto i nepretstavlivoto i nivnite representable and unrepresentable and their consequent
posledovatelni praktiki i diskursi (Bu~i-Gluksman, 1987). practices and discourses (Buci-Glucksman, 1987).

Pokrivaweto kako idea e posebno povrzano so `enite i Veiling as idea is peculiarly connected to women and to female
`enskata seksualnost: povrzano e so `enskata milozlivost sexuality: it is associated with female charity and modesty on
i skromnost od edna strana, i so nivnata pot~inetost na the one hand and with their submission to authority at the other.
avtoritetot od druga strana. Otkrivaweto, koga `enite Unveiling, the making of women visible, public, as reproducible
stanuvaat vidlivi, javni, kako reproduktivni i proda`ni and available commodities has special female connotations not
stoki, ima specijalni `enski konotacii, ne samo poradi only because of the eroticism of the female body, but because of
erotizmot na `enskoto telo, tuku i poradi (`enskata) the (female) personification of Nature and Truth (Jordanova,
personifikacija na Prirodata i Vistinata (Jordanova, 1989). The erotic dynamic of veils (and also of distance, limit
1989). Erotskata dinamika na pokrivaweto (a i na and border) is that they make the viewer to fantasize about the
dale~inata, ograni~uvaweto, i grancata) e vo toa {to “real thing” behind. Women and their secrets have always had a
go teraat gleda~ot da fantazira za “ona vistinskoto” zad profoundly ambiguous status, being both desired and feared (see
nego. @enite i nivnite tajni sekoga{ imale temelno e.g. the mythical case of Pandora). Traditionally the secrets of
dvozna~en status, privle~en i stra{en (na primer, nature (the universe) are identified with the secrets of women’s
mitskiot slu~aj na Pandora). Tradicionalno, tajnite na bodies, so the personifications of women as naked. Truth means
prirodata (univerzumot) se identifikuvale so tajnite na “ultimate” reality itself which is finally exposed.
`enskite tela, pa ottamu personifikaciite na `enite kako
goli. Vistinata e “kone~nata” realnost koja na krajot e
otkriena.

Histericite ~esto se obvineti deka samo ja “imitiraat”, Hysterics are often accused of just “imitating”, “role-playing”

103
“glumat” nivnata bolest, ja zaveduvaat nadvore{nata their disease, misleading the outside enviroment, their doctors,
okolina, nivnite lekari, ja mamat naukata i racionalnosta, deceiving science and rationality, of hiding the secret. One
Márta Csabai Emblems or Caricatures? Discourses about Hysteria and Anorexia Nervosa

ja krijat tajnata. Edna mo`na interpretacija na ova e possible interpretation of this is that the hysteric’s body “plays a
deka teloto na histerikot go “mami” gleda~ot, mu se trick” on the viewer, makes a “mockery” of the medical Gaze.
“potsmeva” na medicinskiot Pogled. Toa ne dava koherentna What she displays is not a coherent picture, but a fragmented,
slika, tuku fragmentirana, groteskna, na koja nekoi delovi grotesque one with some parts or functions of the body made
ili funkcii na teloto stanale vidlivi na iskriven, visible in a distorted, “tricky” way while other parts always remain
“problemati~en” na~in, a drugite sekoga{ ostanuvaat hidden. This is one explanation why traditional medical science
skrieni. Ova e edno objasnuvawe zo{to tradicionalnata has always been fascinated but also threatened by symptoms of
medicinska nauka otsekoga{ bila fascinirana, no i pod hysteria. The hysterical body plays a special hide-and-seek,
zakana, od simptomite na histerijata. Teloto na calling the other to explore the secret, but at the moment the
histericite si igra posebna krienka-mi`enka, invitation is accepted, the hysteric changes, masks the coverage
povikuvaj}i go drugiot da ja istra`uva tajnata, no vo of the secret, makes another bodily symptom from it. This
momentot koga pokanata }e bide prifatena, histerikot se tendency to veil and unveil makes hysteria such a mystical and
menuva, ja maskira pokrienosta na tajnata, pravi od nea u{te also embarrassing disease. It also helps to explain why hysteria
eden telesen simptom. Ovaa tendencija za pokrivawe i was always connected to femininity and no male characteristics
otkrivawe ja pravi histerijata tolku misti~na, no i were attributed to it. While unveiling - undressing - a woman
sramotna bolest. Isto taka ni pomaga da objasnime zo{to always has an erotic or a tragic connotation, the same for men is
histerijata otsekoga{ bila povrzana so `enstvenosta i ne much more comic.
& bile pridavani nikakvi ma{ki karakteristiki. Dodeka
se otkriva - soblekuva - `enata sekoga{ ima erotska ili
tragi~na konotacija, a ma`ot e mnogu posme{en.

Najistaknatite sili na otkrivaweto vo dene{no vreme se The most prominent forces of unveiling in modern age are science
naukata i medicinata. Tie si go prisvojuvaat specijalniot and medicine. They claimed special truth-status for themselves,
status na vistina, privilegirana vrska so Vistinata i a privileged relationship to Truth and Nature, and the Woman,
Prirodata, pa taka @enata, kako personifikacija na as the personification of nature was the appropriate corpse for
prirodata, prirodno doa|a kako trup za anatomija i drugi anatomy and other medical procedures. We must add however
medicinski proceduri. Sepak, mora da dodademe deka that traditional biomedicine has never been able to unravel the
tradicionalnata biomedicina nikoga{ ne mo`ela da ja “secret” even by its highly sophisticated tools of examination
odgatne “tajnata”, duri i so svoite visokosofisticirani connected to vision (x-rays, ultra-sound and other modern
alatki za ispituvawe preku gledawe (rentgen, ultarzvuk i diagnostic techniques making images of the body’s inner and
drugi moderni dijagnosti~ki tehniki koi pravat sliki na outer surfaces). The reason of the - partial - success of
vnatre{nite i nadvore{nite povr{ini na teloto). psychoanalysis in treating hysteria was, that Freud displaced the
Pri~ina za - delumniot - uspeh na psihoanalizata vo paradigm of unveiling from the field of vision into the realm of
tretiraweto na histerijata be{e toa {to Frojd paradigmata listening. He was the first person in the history of medicine who
na otkrivaweto ja pomesti od poleto na gledaweto, vo poleto listened seriously to the verbal messages of women, who thought
104

na slu{aweto. Toj e prvata li~nost vo istorijata na that the secret can be found in an other dimension of the senses,
medicinata koja seriozno gi slu{a verbalnite poraki na in the world of narratives which are layered upon each other
Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no. 2, Winter 2002

`enite, koja smeta deka tajnata mo`e da se otkrie vo druga the same way as bodily tissues. The problem with the Freudian
dimenzija na setilata, vo svetot na narativite, koi se method was that following the medical model, Freud, himself
sloeviti kako i telesnite tkiva. Problemot na an outstanding anatomist, was also searching for the “ultimate
frojdovskiot metod e {to, sledej}i go medicinskiot model, truth” by unfolding systematically, one-by one the different layers
Frojd - i samiot odli~en anatom - ja bara i “kone~nata of the narrative, digging more deeply in the “body of the
vistina” na toj na~in {to sistematski, eden po eden gi narrative”, into the intricate tissue of the secrets d’alcôve, the
odvitkuva sloevite na narativot, kopaj}i podlaboko vo labyrinth of reminiscences. It was no question for Freud that it
“teloto na narativot”, vo delikatnoto tkivo na secrets is the hysteric’s psyche which takes possession over her body.
d’alcôve, lavirintot na se}avawa. Frojd voop{to ne se Although this was a revolutionary statement sounded too
somneval deka tokmu psihata na histerikot go zaposednuva mystical and unscientific for contemporary - and even later -
teloto. Iako ova bila edna revolucionerna izjava, ka`ana official medicine, the problem that caused more embarrassment
premnogu misti~no i nenau~no za toga{nata - pa i for Freud was something different. His problem was related to
podocne`nata - oficijalna medicina, eden sosem drug the traditional view about the symptoms of the hysteric, the
problem mnogu pove}e go posramil Frojd. Negoviot prob- general belief that these symptoms were nothing but comedy, a
lem e povrzan so tradicionalnoto gledawe na simptomite genuine deception. After finding the psychic element, the “story”
na histerikot, so op{toto veruvawe deka ovie simptomi se behind the symptom, one question remained unanswered for
samo komedija, vistinska izmama. Otkako go nao|a Freud: which one of the two - body or mind - makes the comedy?
psihi~kiot element, “prikaznata” zad simptomot, edno Who is lying? The answer arrived later, from part of Lacanian
pra{awe ostanuva neodgovoreno za Frojd: koe od dvete - psychoanalysts. As Bice Benvenuto writes: “They are both telling
teloto ili umot - ja pravi komedijata? Koe la`e? Odgovorot the truth, the truth of their conflict, the paradoxical solution of
pristignuva podocna, od eden del na lakanovskata two orders of things converging in the body of the woman: the
psihoanaliza. Kako {to pi{uva Bi~e Benvenuto: “Obete ja encounter - clash of the symbolic and of the “real”.” (Benvenuto,
ka`uvaat vistinata, vistinata na nivniot konflikt, 1994, p. 64.) From this it seems that the “ultimate” truth is there,
paradoksalnoto re{enie na dvata reda na ne{ta koi at the meeting-point of the Symbolic and the Real, at the borders
konvergiraat vo teloto na `enata: sredbata - sudirot na of two territories: of maternal authority and the paternal Law, at
Simbolnoto i “Realnoto”.” (Benvenuto, 1994, str.64) Od ova the boundaries of mind and body, the borders of language. No
se ~ini deka “kone~nata” vistina e ovde, vo to~kata na wonder that biomedical sciences with their armour related to
sre}avawe na Simbolnoto i Realnoto, na granicite na dvete the body stopped at this border and that psychoanalysis, the
teritorii: na maj~inskiot avtoritet i tatkovskiot Zakon, science of the mind with its linguistic techniques was also not
na granicite na umot i teloto, granicite na jazikot. Ne e able to go across it.
ni ~udo {to biomedicinskite nauki so nivniot arsenal
naso~en kon teloto zastanale na ovaa granica, i {to
psihoanalizata, naukata na umot, so svoite lingvisti~ki
tehniki isto taka ne mo`ela da ja premine.

105
Sega mo`eme da vidime zo{to histerijata bila (e?) Now we can see why hysteria was (is?) an emblematic of the
amblemati~na za konfliktite na (post)modernata nauka: conflicts of (post)modern science: the conflict of different
Márta Csabai Emblems or Caricatures? Discourses about Hysteria and Anorexia Nervosa

konfliktot na razli~nite dimenzii - simboli~kata i dimensions - symbolic and real, bodily and psychic - are
realnata, telesnata i psihi~kata - e vsaden vo nea. No, s$ embedded in it. But one question still remains. Why does the
u{te n& ostanuva edno pra{awe. Zo{to histerikot hysteric stop at the border, why does she stick in the conflict?
zastanuva na granicata, zo{to se dr`i do konfliktot? [to What does Woman want? She wants nothing and everything.
saka @enata? Saka s$ i ni{to. Histerikot e vo konflikt The hysteric is in conflict even with her own conflict - as Bice
duri i so svojot konflikt - kako {to veli Bi~e Benvenuto, Benvenuto says she is in conflict with her own deception
taa e vo konflikt so sopstvenata izmama (Benvenuto, (Benvenuto, 1994). We may suppose that she is both afraid of
1994). Mo`eme da pretpostavime deka taa e i ispla{ena od the suffocating, death-bearing qualities of the “good” mother (and
zadu{livite, mrtvo-ra|a~ki svojstva na “dobrata” majka (i her womb) but at the same time she does not want to leave its
nejzinata matka), no vo isto vreme ne saka da ja napu{ti safety and warmness, and simultaneously she is attracted to the
bezbednosta i toplinata koi taa & gi dava, i istovremeno world of the father, but scared of the power and dominance it
ja privlekuva svetot na tatkoto, no ispla{ena e od mo}ta i symbolizes. So she wants to be neither mother nor father, but
dominantnosta koi toj gi simbolizira. Zna~i, ne saka da her desire is to be both of them. She does not want to be either
bide nitu majka nitu tatko, no kopnee da bide obajcata. female or male, but also wants to be both of them. She is
Ne saka da bide nitu ma{ko nitu `ensko, ama isto taka saka struggling for nondifferentiation.
da bide i dvete. Taa se bori za nediferencijacija.

Lesno mo`eme da ja prosledime ovaa borba vo razvojot na We can easily follow this struggle in the development of the
histeri~nite bolesti od 19-tiot vek do denes. Bidej}i nitu hysterical diseases from the 19th century to the present. As the
edna od stranite - ni pacientite nitu lekarite - ne mo`ela hide-and seek could not be stopped by either party - neither by
da ja zapre ovaa krienka, pogolemiot del od klasi~nite patients nor by their doctors - most of the classical hysterical
simptomi na histerijata is~eznale, a novi transformacii symptoms disappeared while new transformations (and names)
(i imiwa) se pojavuvale kako del od “golemata igra”. of the disease turned up as part of the “big game”. Last century
Histericite od minatiot vek gi povlekuvaa libidinalnite hysterics withdrew libidinal forces from some part of their bodies
sili od nekoi delovi na teloto i go prenesuvaa libidoto na
while transported libido to others, playing the game with the
drugi delovi, igraj}i so fragmenti od nivnite tela.
fragments of their bodies. Contemporary anorexics play the hide-
Sovremenite anoreksi~ari ja igraat krienkata so celata
povr{ina na nivnite tela, povlekuvaj}i gi site (`enski) and-seek with the whole surface of their bodies, withdrawing all
vitalni sili od niv - ova e fatalna komedija “na `ivot ili (female) vital forces from it - this is a fatal, “life-or-death” comedy,
smrt” - ponekoga{ (1:10 slu~ai!) bukvalno rizikuvaj}i si sometimes (1:10 cases!) literally risking their own lives. The
gi `ivotite. Dvosmislenosta, ve~niot konflikt, se ambiguity, the eternal conflict shows itself in a more powerful
poka`uva na eden mnogu pomo}en na~in: vo slu~ajot na way: in case of contemporary anorexia the blocking of the body
sovremenata anoreksija blokiraweto na teloto, za da ne to get involved with desire occurs parallel with the performance
stapi vo dopir so `elbata, se odviva paralelno so motorna of motoral and intellectual (hyper)activity (Brumberg, 1992). The
i intelektualna (hiper)aktivnost (Blumberg, 1992). simultaneous hiding of the flesh (and desire) and exposition of
Simultanoto kriewe na teloto (i kopne`ot) i the body in sports and other activities displays even a sharper
106

poka`uvaweto na teloto vo sportovite i drugite aktivnosti ambivalence as we saw in the case of classical hysteria. The
n& prika`uva u{te poostra ambivalentnost otkolku {to unresolvable conflict of desire, the desperate cry for
Identities journal for politics, gender and culture, vol. I, no. 2, Winter 2002

vidovme kaj klasi~nata histerija. Nere{liviot konflikt nondifferentiation, the wish for being both lack and excess is
na `elbata, o~ajniot povik za nediferencijacija, `elbata expressed in the alternating of refusal and intake of food in the
da se bide i nedostig i vi{ok, se poka`ani vo symptomatology of anorexia nervosa combined with bulimia.
simptomatologijata na anorexia nervosa kombinirana so However this struggle is not - and never has been - a game with
bulimija so naizmeni~no menuvawe na odbivawe i a single player. Neither hysteria nor any other (psychiatric) illness
vnesuvawe hrana. Me|utoa, ovaa borba ne e - i nikoga{ ne can be interpreted solely by individual psychic processes.
bila, igra so eden igra~. Nitu histerijata, nitu koja i da e
druga (psihijatriska) bolest, ne mo`e da se protolkuva so
individualni psihi~ki procesi.

Me|u socijalnite nau~nici koi ja prou~uvaat histerijata,


na{iroko e prifateno deka moderniot medicinski diskurs It is widely accepted amongst social scientists studying hysteria
odigral va`na uloga vo konstruiraweto na `enskoto telo that modern medical discourse has played an important role in
kako nekompletno, zaboleno i divo ([oulter, 1987). Ako go constructing the female body as deficient, diseased and unruly
prifatime argumentot na antipsihijatriskite dvi`ewa od (Showalter, 1987). If we accept the argument of the 1960s and
1960-tite i 70-tite - i nekoi podocne`ni `70s antipsychiatric movements – and of some later
poststrukturalisti~ki pristapi - deka site psihijatriski poststructuralist approaches – that all psychiatric illnesses are
bolesti se zavisni od op{testvenite i kulturnite dependent on social and cultural values and labeling practices,
vrednosti, i naslovuva~kite praktiki, a ne od (nau~na) and not (scientific) objectivity, the “secret” of female maladies
objektivnost, “tajnata” na `enskite bolesti lesno mo`e da might be easily found by means of the examination of social
se otkrie so ispituvawe na op{testvenata kontrola i control and its associated discourses. Although it is indisputable
pridru`nite diskursi. Iako e neosporno deka ovie that these approaches may still hold many important recognitions
pristapi mo`at da sodr`at mno{tvo va`ni prepoznavawa in store and their explanatory force is highly significant one can
i deka nivnata eksplanatorna sila e mnogu zna~ajna, od
add on the other hand that each analysis on its own is one-
druga strana, pak, mo`e da se dodade deka sekoja analiza sama
dimensional. This is also true for the approaches I have
po sebe e ednodimenzionalna. Ova e to~no i za pristapite
koi gi prika`av vo ovoj trud. Me|utoa, vrednostite na introduced in this paper. However the values of the interpretation
tolkuvawata na simboli~kite procesi {to gi nudi of symbolic processes offered by psychoanalysis and the relevant
psihoanalizata i relevantnite poraki na akademskiot messages of academic feminism about gender relations –
feminizam za rodovite odnosi - zaedno so nivnite together with their insufficiencies - have to be also recognized.
nedostatoci - mora da se priznaat. Mo`eme da se soglasime We can agree with Jane Ussher and other scholars who propose
so Xejn A{er i drugite nau~nici koi velat deka eden multi- that a multi-dimensional approach which combines the
dimenzionalen priod, koj go kombinira individualniot individual approach with the critical analysis of social processes
pristap so kriti~nata analiza na socijalnite procesi, may result in finding the best answers; -unless we are looking
mo`e da rezultira so nao|awe na najdobrite odgovori; - for the “absolute truth” or the “unique secret” of female maladies.
osven ako ne ja barame “apsolutnata vistina” ili
“unikatnata tajna” na `enskite bole{tini.

107
Prevod: Sa{e Tasev
Bele{ki Notes
1
Prethodna verzija na ovoj trud be{e objavena (pod naslov “Her Body 1
A former version of this paper was published (under the title “Her Body
Her/Self?) vo Replika, Hungarian Social Sciences Quarterly, 1998, 99- Her/Self?) in Replika, Hungarian Social Sciences Quarterly, 1998, 99-
113. 113.
2
Za krotkosta na teloto vidi Michel Foucault: Discipline and Punish: 2
About the docility of the body see Michel Foucault: Discipline and Punish:
The Birth of the Prison. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979. The Birth of the Prison. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979.
3
Spored nekoi statistiki, 1 od 10 anoreksi~ari vo tekot na bolesta 3
According to certain statistics 1of 10 anorectics gets in a life-threatening
zapa|a vo sostojba opasna po `ivot (Gremilion, 1992). condition during the course of disease (Gremillion, 1992)
4
Za razli~nite moderni i postmoderni teorii na teloto vidi 4
About different modern and postmodern theories of the body see
Elizabeth Grosz: Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Elizabeth Grosz: Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.
5
”Groteskno” vo ovaa smisla zna~i deka povr`inata na teloto ne e 5
“Grotesque” in this sense means that the body’s surface is not closed,
zatvorena, celosna i mazna tuku izgleda kako da e otvorena, intact and smooth but it looks as being opened up, teared apart, its depths
rastrgnata, kako da & se gledaat dlabo~inite. are visible.
6
Histerijata i anoreksijata imaat narcisisti~ki karakter – odreden 6
Hysteria and anorexia have a narcissistic character - a certain attempt of
obid za samoidealizacija – i nivnite kontraproduktivni efekti se self-idealization - and their counterproductive effects mean a violence
nasilstvo protiv sebe. against the self.
7
On the role of distance in the enhancement of libido and the increasing of
desire see: Sigmund Freud: On Narcissism. In: Standard Edition, Hogarth
Press, London, 1953-1974.

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