Psychanalyse et idéologie

Anna-Patricia Kahn • Lida’s Daily Life


Il est plus facile d’élever un temple que d’y faire descendre l’objet du culte

Samuel Beckett • L’innommable

Cité en exergue au « Jargon der Eigentlichkeit » par T. W. Adorno • 1964

It is easier to raise a temple than to bring down there the worship object

Samuel Beckett  « The Unspeakable one »

Underlined in « Jargon of the authenticity » by T. W. Adorno • 1964


Personne n’a le droit de rester silencieux s’il sait que quelque chose de mal se fait quelque part. Ni le sexe ou l’âge, ni la religion ou le parti politique ne peuvent être une excuse.

Nobody has the right to remain quiet if he knows that something of evil is made somewhere. Neither the sex or the age, nor the religion or the political party can be an excuse.

Bertha Pappenheim


ψ  = psi grec, résumé de Ps ychanalyse et i déologie. Le NON de ψ [Psi] LE TEMPS DU NON s’adresse à l’idéologie qui, quand elle prend sa source dans l’ignorance délibérée, est l’antonyme de la réflexion, de la raison, de l’intelligence.


Anna-Patricia Kahn / Septembre 2004

Lida’s Daily Life

Traduction anglaise par Yona Dureau

Lida was born in St Petersburg 16 years ago. She has been living for 13 years in Tel Aviv and she loves hiking. In the bus to Hadera, a town in Northern Israel, a the wave of an all too frequent feeling overwhelms her : a wave of fear, of pangs of panic. She gets off quickly from the bus and she is hardly outside the bus when it turns into a ball of fire. The blue sky is blackened with trails of fire. Her friends’ voices have suddenly stopped singing. They scream. Lida cannot see but two colors : black and red. Pieces of torn corpses fall upon her fair hair. She screams -and wakes up- at last.
For two years Lida has been having the same nightmare. Since the intifada has started and set her life upside down. Her life as a teen-ager : she goes to high-school every day and takes guitar-lessons but in the evenings, she is not allowed to go out as she used to. Going out at night means increasing her parents’fear and her own. That fear is like wringing you and not letting you nor anyone living in that country out of that grisp. After the terrorist attempt in a Jerusalem café that took the life of four teen-agers, Lida’s whole body started to shake at once. Her best friend lived in Jerusalem. Lida knew that she was used to going to that same place. For hours, she kept ringing to no avail. " One of the girls of my class flung herself to the ground and started screaming. I am still holding fast. Yet everybody tells me that I walk faster than usual. In fact I run. Moreover I keep watching around me to check if I see funny people or things. When my parents let me out despite everything, once in a while, I make sure that I never sit close to the windows, because of the flying broken glass pieces ". Lida seems even tinier when she confides that she envies the young people’ life in Europe or elsewhere.
"But I try to live a normal life." she says.
Lida’s view of a "normal life" is to cross the city by bus every day. To go the Shenkin street once a week, for instance.The weekly meetings of the group "Halonot" take place there. Halonot is an organization of young people whose goal is to have young Israelis and Palestinians meet, at least virtually. "The communication is established through e-mails, and we struggle to edit a common newspaper on a website". But since the tanks have entered Ramalah, the yearning to communicate, even virtually, has diminished.
Lida has learnt from her mother her idealism, that will to change the way of things, despite despair and despite the hardened atmosphere in the country. Her red-headed mame has taken to the barricades. That is the way of this 42 year-old woman of dealing with pangs of agony.
Vera left her house in Tel Aviv at dawn to reach the check point near the refugee camp of Kalandya between Jerusalem and Ramalah at ten A.M. This is the meeting point of another demonstration after a long series of others against the occupation policy. The road leading to Vera’s barricades is a pastoral walk, as spring is ephemeral in the Holy Land. For less than a few days, the desert turns into a light green carpet. The almond trees cover with pink buds between the apple-trees whitened with flowers.
Vera Reider was born in the Oural steppe, she lived in Siberia and she has been living in various places in the Holy Land for more than a decade. Her round face is always enlightened with a smile. Vera’s tone is always full of self-derision when she speaks of her desertion from motherly duties. "I often forget to do the shopping. My husband, my son and my daughter have to deal with earthly food." "The economy of the country bears the brand of those intifadah years."
Vera has not that many occasions to work as a guide for tourists in love with Italian Renaissance culture. She has left aside her art historian specialization and has summoned more ancient and vivid strength. The strength of fight, of political resistance, of things she had already tested in Siberia. Today, Vera fights for a peace that is , further away than ever in the Middle East.
Vera, who is proud of her Tartar origin decided to marry a Jew without any second thought. Yet, with the collapse of the USSR, the old demons of antisemitism popped out of their box again. The first move of resistance of the young bride was an act of solidarity. Vera Klepikowa decided to leave ther Russian tradition to her ancesters and to abandon her " non-Jewish Russian maiden name " because she wanted " to fully share the destiny of her family. " One year before her emigration to Israel, Vera used to be shaking with fear for her children and husband. Evgeni Reider did not only have a Jewish name, he looked Jewish, people used to tell her. Slim, bearded, and blue-eyed, Evgeny answered abuses with silence : "You’re only an anti-soviet, a Jew, a Jid." Threat of progroms, of punishing expeditions against Jews became increasingly frequent and oppressing. Like in the " good old time " of Tsars. Before going to bed, at night, the Reiders used to push an heavy wardrobe in front of the entrance door and to leave a butcher’s knife upon their bed-side table. At the end of the summer of 1989, they left Russia for Israel through Vienna and Rome. Vera Reider has been a non-Jew citizen of Israel eversince. She sees in the fight she has the natural consequence of her education under a totalitarian regime. "In the USSR, my husband and I used to smuggle dissident literature, Samisdat-Literature." At that time, to hand out Alexander Soljenitsine’s books was enough to risk a life-imprisonment.
Vera walks firmly through the check-point of Al Ram. One must walk approximately one kilometer to reach the second military drive in front of the refugee camp of Kalandya. Her comrades have unfolded slogans and shout "stop shooting on children". "To get out of occupied territories is to find ourselves back" In front of the demonstrators, about ten soldiers stand in line, in combat uniform. Their helmet vision-protection shield is lowered, their weapons are up, their bullet-proof jacket on. Some weeks ago, Palestinian kamikazes have pulled on their explosive belts right there. Where occupation starts. Vera, her face red with the sun and with sweat, keeps repeating as in a litany : "injustice remains an injustice. Ignorance remains ignorance." That is her way of saying that she fights Sharon’s government politics. People say about her : "Vera is very practical, after all." When some of her friends reproach her with being too radical, too anti-Israeli and too pro-Palestinian, Vera answers with a firm voice : " I am on the side of the people who want to live together. "Living together is also the name of the group she has joined. It is an association of idealists, of dinosaurs for peace, as their detractors call them. Those last peace-camp partisans have named their association in Arabic, "A-Tahajusc " - "Living Together ".
The meeting on the ground between the soldiers and the demonstrators is quiet and civil-like. Vera was also there, two weeks ago, when blows fell like rain. She stood, small, with disheveled red-hair, but full of dignity. This time, the officer gives the order to let the demonstrators and their truck go through. Vera describes the content sarcastically : 'Military material of primary importance, pampers and powder milk."
Since the Israeli army has started military action in Palestinian territory, some products and medicines have practically ceased to be delivered. The soldiers have fired on ambulances in Tul Karem. A doctor and a nurse were killed.
On the road leading her home to Tel Aviv, Vera strives to substract herself from the particular rhythm that modulates one’s life in Israel. It echoes with each hour as if with a gong. With each anouncement of the radio news, a clear tension can be felt at once, be it in public places or transportations. Everything happens as if an entire population would stop breathing and would strain their ears, every hour, and for a few seconds. Has there been a new terrorist attack ? a very bad joke runs like this : "One day after a terrorist attack is but another day before the next one. Vera slips a cassette into the open mouth of the radio. It is one of Schubert’s fantasies". She tells me how she met her husband Evgeni, twenty years ago. Both were standing in line to buy some tickets for the same music concert.
Evgeni has three loves : his family, medecine, and classical music. He is an anesthesiologist and he has been a volonteer as an artistic director of the Jerusalem chamber music festival which was created by Elena Bashkirowa. Doctor Evgeni Reider cannot, as for him, substract himself from Israeli time. Whenever the radio announcement is made that a bomb has exploded, his doctor’s beeper has rung quite a while before. On his way to the Sourasky medical center, Evgeni still manages to give a ring to his home to check if his children and his wife are there, safe and sound.Then, as he says, he puts his sterile blouse on, and leaves "the world of feelings". with his white garments. He describes the following minutes as a ritual : at the emergency unit and within the operating room, the instruments are prepared, doctors and nurses take a few minutes to drink and go to the toilets. Then the staff starts racing with death. After the terrorist attack, in front of the dolphinarium of Tel Aviv, Evgeni did not leave the operating room for 30 hours. Evgeni cannot utter a word of what takes place in this sterile place, two floors below the ground, to his family, or to his friends. He cannot speak of the charred flesh, nor of this young woman, with a face half of which had been blown off, nor of this young Swiss tourist who was paralysed for life with a splinter of iron. In the operating room, the staff always whispers precise and functional information. It is a race with death.
Only when the sliding doors of the operating room open onto the corridors leading to the emergency unit do the shouts of inhuman sufferings of mothers and fathers surge in, as if from another world.. They wait in a no man’s world, between life and death.
The life of the young wounded often slips away from the doctors’ hands. The glass-pieces, the nails mixed with the explosives cause bleedings which are difficult to localize. Many patients’s faces are disfigured, unrecognizable. After the terrorist attack which caused the death of more than twenty young Russian immigrants, Doctor Reider shut himself up in a silent mourning. "What hurts me most is the fact that I have an intimate knowledge of these young immigrants’ motivations : most of them arrived in Israel with a single child with the specific goal of ensuring him/her a better future." Evgeni does not need much time to think over what he wants to says about the Palestinians : "I learnt here that killing is part of the human nature. Sometimes we had a terorist in our hands. We took care of him as of any other patient."
Only once did one of his colleagues’ remark hurt him deeply. He pointed at me to declar "The blood of these victims is on you, Reider, you the leftists."
Sadness id also what Reider feels when he thinks of his native country where he was never given a chance to forget how painful it is to be a Jew. Evgeni gets a hold on what he calls his values : "Two people live here, and they will have to live together wether they like it or not" he declares. He quotes then from his favorite poet, Fiodor Iwanowitsch Tutschev : "Who can tell the force of a single word." The conclusion is crystal-clear for the doctor : One must be on the watch for words of dialogue to let them proceed with their way.
Evgeni, as a father, also fears for his children. For his son Dimitri who has just started his military service and who does not speak much. Lida will also have to wear a uniform in two years’ time. She will leave the family apartment to take a place of her own downtown.
Evgeni looks for words, then after a tense silence : "You know what ? last week I found myself watching her. I find her so beautiful. Have you noticed that she has three beauty spots on her right ear ? I suddenly realized that I was trying to memorize the exact place of those beauty spots... In case... something happens..."
After each terrorist attack, the citizens of Israel strive to make their way through ever tougher daily routine. Never give up. Strive to keep a normal life. A seemingly normal life. Keep going.
That is a sign that the Reider family has become Israeli. Vera prepares the family week-end. They will travel to Haifa. Not for the view from the top of the harbour-city. No time for that.The whole family will join a demonstration. Evgeni will stay in Tel Aviv. He is on duty. When Vera and her children are gone, he smiles with pride mixed with irony, and concludes : "There is one word Vera ignores be it in Russian, or in Hebrew, and that is ’to give up’."

Anna-Patricia Kahn
September 2004

A few words more : that text was written when the wall was not built yet. The passage to Al Ram and Kalandya is impossible to go through today.

ψ  [Psi] • LE TEMPS DU NON
cela ne va pas sans dire
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