Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Psychoanalysis of Fire

Fire is one of the most enduring symbols. It is all the opposing values of good and evil - good and bad, gentleness and torture. So says Bachelard, who in his seminal work The Psychoanalysis of Fire, describes fire as both cookery and apocalypse. I was out and about on my appointed rounds when I noticed the Graduate ruins. I had heard of the incident of course - but I had not seen for myself. It strikes worse, this kind of loss, when such a facility has been used over the years as watering hole and dining hall. It was a bit of a land mark too. Loss all round really. Psychologically, fire is many contradictions. Although it destroys, it purifies. The Graduate has gone through the ordeal of fire, but will surely rise again. I find it impossible to think of that part of Killiney without a Graduate Pub. In psychoanalysis, the complexes related to fire are painful, especially those of neuroses. Painful indeed, but reversible.