Curated Confections

Curated Confections: Freud’s Wolf-Man

Posted by Natalie Strobach on November 03, 2014
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The Dream of the Wolf Man

Although it is seen as Freud’s most important case for its contribution to his theories on infantile sexuality, I have rarely heard this case discussed in literary circles (shocking really given Wolf-Man’s intense literary allusions). It’s quite lengthy, but I really want to encourage you to check it out.

It was the only one of Freud’s (five famous) case histories where we are able to see the entire span of the patient’s life. There is an additional case study to accompany Freud’s that was performed by Ruth Mack Brunswick, so it is fantastic for comparison.

You might also want to use, as accompanying texts, The Wolf-Man by the Wolfman: The Double Story of Freud’s Most Famous Case and Wolfman: Conversations with Freud’s Patient Sixty Years Later by Karin Obholzer. 

In seminar this week at the Psychoanalytic Institute we were advised to think on the analyzability of the Wolf-man (again take into consideration the two different analyses we do have). Wonderful food for thought.

Do not under any circumstance try to take a break from this exhaustive case history by grabbing a cup of tea and reading Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl where you will find no escape from obsessional neurosis. 😉

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Curated Confections: Vive la France

Posted by Natalie Strobach on February 05, 2014
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One of my absolute favorite historical moments is that of the French Revolution. I’m constantly amazed by its nuanced and artistically-driven creation (think, David’s Marat). So, it was with much joy that I discovered  The French Revolution Digital Archive, a result of a collaboration between Stanford University Libraries and the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

You could spend hours, even days there, so I’ll just share a small snippet!




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Curated Confections: Cindy Sherman and Hysteria

Posted by Natalie Strobach on January 22, 2014
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I want to begin a new series (as part of my rededication to blogging) where I post a “Curated Confection.” Wednesdays will host a gallery of artwork and such for your midweek musings. I hope to provide a general theme, but for the most part I want you to experience it on your own.

This week at the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis the seminar I am taking on Freud will focus on Hysteria–and most certainly on the case of Dora. I’d love if we all could chat about Cixous’ Portrait of Dora, but it’s a bit too extensive for this new series (but if you Tweet me about it, I’ll love you very very much!).

I thought instead we could look to Cindy Sherman, American director, photographer, and all-around brilliant woman. Chennie Huang did a great recap of her MOMA exhibit and I’ll be sharing a few photographs from that selection.















All images via

 Please feel free to share thoughts and reactions below!



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Dead Day and I’ll Drown My Book

Posted by Natalie Strobach on June 09, 2012
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Well, it’s Dead Day at UC Davis. I know I keep saying it, but I can’t believe I’m done teaching French and Comparative Literature here. I was pretty choked up when I said “au revoir” to my French 2 class yesterday. When Spring quarter began, I didn’t yet know that I would win the Provost’s Fellowship and I was busy beginning to organize my COM 4 Great Books course for the fall. My last COM 4 was on perversion and it was a hit, so I was thinking of ways to expand and develop that topic while including more conceptual poetry (à la my obsession with Bergvall). I will post about that stillborn syllabus later, but for now let me share one of the main books I wanted for the class: I’ll Drown My Book, which Caroline Bergvall co-edited with Laynie Browne, Teresa Carmody. and Vanessa Place.

My copy just arrived this week and I haven’t been able to put it down. With about 500 pages of the most exquisite poetry coming out today, it is easily my best book purchase this year. I didn’t even know when I first ordered it, but this little baby wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for Kickstarter. (Oh how I wish I could go back in time and show my support; I am so grateful for those who funded it.) Check out the video used for the Kickstarter post:

[kickstarter file= /]

And look at this amazing lineup of contributors (!!!):

Kathy Acker, Oana Avasilichioaei & Erin Moure, Dodie Bellamy, Lee Ann Brown, Angela Carr, Monica de la Torre, Danielle Dutton, Renee Gladman, Jen Hofer, Bernadette Mayer, Sharon Mesmer, Laura Mullen, Harryette Mullen, Deborah Richards, Juliana Spahr, Cecilia Vicuna, Wendy Walker, Jen Bervin, Inger Christiansen, Marcella Durand, Katie Degentesh, Nada Gordon, Jennifer Karmin, Mette Moestrup, Yedda Morrison, Anne Portugal, Joan Retallack, Cia Rinne, Giovanni Singleton, Anne Tardos, Hannah Weiner, Christine Wertheim, Norma Cole, Debra Di Blasi, Stacy Doris & Lisa Robertson, Sarah Dowling, Bhanu Kapil, Rachel Levitsky, Laura Moriarty, Redell Olsen, Chus Pato, Julie Patton, Kristin Prevallet, a.rawlings, Ryoko Seikiguchi, Susan M. Schultz, Rosmarie Waldrop, Renee Angle, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Tina Darragh, Judith Goldman, Susan Howe, Maryrose Larkin, Tracie Morris, Sawako Nakayasu, M. NourbeSe Philip, Jena Osman, kathryn l. pringle, Frances Richard, Kim Rosenfeld, and Rachel Zolf.

I’m going to share with you just snippet of one of my favorites (so far), a short piece by Juliana Spahr called “The Remedy.”

Another day, after I was done masturbating, I might see about the delivery of 1,000 sub-machine guns to Liberia along two parallel tracks, one originating in Moldova and the other in Liberia. Then I would divert sub-machine guns to Liberia through an elaborate bate-and-switch scheme that spanned three continents. And at the same time, I might continue to think about how to make collaborative art and suggest to my collaborator that we make a lyrical poem and how in this poem there could be a list of all the cars that drove by the small plot of land in two minutes and how much gas was being consumed by cars as they drove by the small plot of land and that perhaps this poem would then be about both the bourgeois individualism of the lyric and the extremities of consumption that define us. And while thinking about the poem, I might masturbate with a brown, medium-sized dildo and think about my lover or sometimes the small breasts of a woman I knew and then when I came I might say my lover’s name or I might say jesus.

I want so much to teach this alongside Cixous’ The Day I Wasn’t There-drawing out that heavy space, that black hole of a baby gap, that appears in both pieces. Or perhaps it could have just been an entire course about women writing about writing and about masturbating; Spahr’s piece would shine next to “The Laugh of Medusa.” jesus.

Go buy the book, now.

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Have a lovely and relaxing close to Spring Quarter!

Posted by Natalie Strobach on June 01, 2012
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This is the last weekend of Spring Quarter at the University of California Davis! I have to get through final grading, but after that I will be enjoying a two-week break before teaching my McNair courses Summer Session I and II. It’s hard to believe that this quarter’s French II students are not only my last French students at Davis, but that this was my last quarter of teaching here! I’ll write more later on the fellowship I won for next year, but for now…I’m going to share a little Plath with you.

I can’t exactly pinpoint why the rhythm of this poem makes me certain it is intended for summer. Is it the mention of pink fizz that, as horrific as is the actual reference, only makes me think of cold pink champagne on a stifling summer night? It is, hands down (ha), my favorite Plath poem. Enjoy!

Cut by Sylvia Plath
for Susan O’Neill Roe

What a thrill —-
My thumb instead of an onion.
The top quite gone
Except for a sort of hinge

Of skin,
A flap like a hat,
Dead white.
Then that red plush.

Little pilgrim,
The Indian’s axed your scalp.
Your turkey wattle
Carpet rolls

Straight from the heart.
I step on it,
Clutching my bottle
Of pink fizz. A celebration, this is.
Out of a gap
A million soldiers run,
Redcoats, every one.

Whose side are they one?
O my
Homunculus, I am ill.
I have taken a pill to kill

The thin
Papery feeling.
Kamikaze man —-

The stain on your
Gauze Ku Klux Klan
Darkens and tarnishes and when
The balled
Pulp of your heart
Confronts its small
Mill of silence

How you jump —-
Trepanned veteran,
Dirty girl,
Thumb stump.