Since I can't size myself up, I might as well size someone else up. I've
said this, but I don't really believe it.
I finally decided to put something up on one of the walls in my room. I
decided to put up a picture of Steve McQueen. One of those big black and
white personality posters. This will be the second time I would be putting up a
poster of Steve McQueen on a wall in a room where I've lived.
The first poster of McQueen went up in 1964, in the bedroom of the house
where I lived with my parents. I use to take a train into Harvard Square on a
Saturday and go to a poster store and pick out a poster of a Hollywood
Someone or some company had just come out with these big black and white, thirty by forty inch posters for a dollar. There were about twenty-five to
choose from. These pictures were fresh. They were big. They were cheap.
They were available, and if anything could be new, they were new.
Picking one out and putting one up felt like something a young artist
Now the poster is up again, in the room where I'm staying.
Rather than recovering, I'm being renewed through defamiliarization. I
want to name the unnamable and hear it named. I want to see myself as a
personality instead of as a person. I want to see personality as an inexhaustible
mystery of the signified from the mundane closed off simulacrum of the
Sure it's complicated, but anything to keep back the heavy hand of
Sure it's only a poster, but anything to keep from getting sucked up in a
tornado, a void where after you come down, you have to decide all over again
which is which, what is what, and who is who.
There are sixteen schools of psychotherapy with sixteen theories of
personality and its disorders, and the patients treated in one school seem to do as
well or as badly as patients treated in any other school.
I'm thinking about a picture of Montgomery Clift playing Freud (from the
movie Freud) as the next personality poster I put up on my wall.