By Carol Hofmann
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Extra resources for Forgetting and Marguerite Duras
Unable to have her place in the triangle that included Anne-Marie Stretter and Michael Richardson - a place, a love, a wholeness that has now become for her "l'impossible" (p. 48) - she is attempting to maintain a state of tension and excitement associated with unsatisifed or uncompensated love. As in love stories sung by the troubadours of southern France, there is a wish to live indefinitely the intensity of desire of the "fin 'amors," possible only when desire as well as an obstacle to the realization of the desire are present.
Stein during the ten years of her marriage to Jean Bedford, remembering the event is too Page 24 painful, so the ego, which wishes to protect itself from the unpleasure the memory would elicit, refuses to allow it into consciousness. Repression results from a need to avoid the pain associated with allowing certain unpleasant desires or memories to come to consciousness because they are in conflict with the needs of the ego. Most of these so-called needs are determined through the socialization process of normal development in a civilized world and the consequent development of the super-ego, or conscience.
As Lol did unconsciously, Agatha seems consciously to want to inhibit a desire in Page 23 order to maintain the idealized unrealized desire. If her image of her brother is replaced with the reality of someone else, she will be able, much as Lol did during her marriage with Jean Bedford, to repress and maintain an unrealized desire. The obstacle in their adolescence was the incestuous nature of their relationship. This, plus the fear of loss through death, which was repeatedly played out during that time in their lives, fed and maintained their passion.