Otto Gross – pedagogy as Nebenzimmererotik: a rival cure for mimetic ailments.
The reconstruction of the American soul: an interview with Professor Lance Duerfahrd (part 1)
(For the “Prologue” to this post please see Teacher of Bad Film 1.)
I’ll state this: pedagogy does not make room for the unconscious.
Otto Gross refers in a 1913 text to the asexuality of pedagogy, by which he means the exclusion of the bourgeois child from experience, from “Erleben”: from experiencing but also from undergoing, from living. Gross traces the anti-experiential bias to the original bourgeois divisions, to the insistence on separate (homo-)sexual identities. As the sexual roles between husband and wife (exclusive and coerced) are strictly regimented, the child’s role is that of a third party, the being on the side, split off from Erleben. Thus banned from the parental bedroom, in all the senses you wish that to mean, it condemns the child to a substitute, a represented life, a Nebenzimmererotik: the eros of the adjoining room. The child is to remain the eternal spectator, never participating, meaning never creating. Education is to continue the isolation of the child by taking over the principle of fragmentation of the family: “Beziehungslosigkeit zum Kind, insofern das Kind am Erleben nicht teilnehmen darf (Nebenzimmererotik), sofern er erzogen werden soll (die geltenden pädagogischen Grundsätze streben zur Asexualität).” Prevailing pedagogical principles stipulate asexuality: there is to be no experience in education. Representation and education, insofar as both exclude the lived happening in favor of an image, are no longer separate and are meant to cement the child’s identity.(1)
Both film viewing and psychoanalysis have a rival in education. If we feel we know what a film review is describing, it’s because we were taught how, by reading, to agree (or to recognize but recognizing means agreeing). If education teaches us how to forget what we went through, it’s because pedagogy cannot deal with – in the