essay I take a fragmented boyhood tour through place and time, from Vienna
(1909) through Paris (1978) to Madrid (1986). My tour begins with
a discussion of Freud's "Little Hans" case study, in which I examine the
fractured nature of the male maturation paradigm. From the story of "Little
Hans," I make a leap of almost seventy years to the tragic boyhood development
path described in Michel Tournier's short story, "Tupik." The tour ends
by encountering a sequence in Pedro Almodovar's zany film, The Law of Desire.
Why do I take a fragmented boyhood tour? What possible connections
can be drawn between "canonical" case study, contemporary short story,
and outrageous film? The answers to these questions revolve around the
idea that social and perhaps even physical structures of manhood are ineluctably
bound to the shape of environments and discourses. In the sections that
follow, I discuss how three very different boys not only grapple with the
dilemma of growing up, but also how they begin to perform their respective
states of manhood.
|Three Boys and Their Growing-Up Performances