I’ve been considering more my “Leonard” dream.. and why it took place up top a skyscraper.. and why, on another thread, I have Sweet Princess Violet (flower) writing atop her -- in that case, Elizabethan tower (or perhaps it's Medieval, architecturally speaking, since those Elizabethans were inhabiting old castles sometimes)..
.. (of course, there’s Leonard’s Tower of Song, which never quite leaves my mind in terms of this tower of mine, either)..
.. actually, on that same Princess thread.. (Daddy’s Little Princess).. as per some clips from the film “Last Tango in Paris,” the young woman, with her charming French accent, speaks of her girlhood dreams of a tower, or “big tower,” as she calls it.. (though the youtube link since got defunct, unfortunately).. but was Bertolucci thinking of “penis” or “phallus,” in such dialogue, as the two are not the same?..
[excerpt from AllSands.com]:
The most misrepresented Freudian term of all is not really a Freudian term to begin with: PHALLUS. Before its possible to understand what Freud originally meant by any of his other theories, an important distinction must be made between a phallus or a phallic object and a penis. Many people think that when Freud discussed the phallus, he was speaking of the penis, and when he discussed the penis he was speaking of the phallus, because the two were the same. Instead, Freud took the word phallus, which means "penis" or "representation of the penis" (according to the American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed. 1994, Dell) and redefined the term to mean a symbol of power. Freud believed that small children were very caught up in trying to understand why girls don't have penises and boys do, and the penis becomes a first symbol for power and also for lack. Aside from this first phallic object, an actual penis, Freud used the term phallus to mean any symbol or representation of power, in physical reality or in the mind. Though there may have been and may still be men who believe that their penis is a phallus in the sense Freud used the word, they are fundamentally wrong. Freud believed the phallus -- or power structure -- was an imaginary object that no one ever really had except fleetingly. Freud did not believe, in general, that women were worse off because they had no penis (he refers to the vagina as an equally worthy, though much more difficult to see, genital structure) or that they spent their time desiring one. Women were after the symbolic PHALLUS, or power, the same as men, and none of them ever succeeding in acquiring it.
.. it’s unclear which Bertolucci meant I think.. well, actually, I take that back.. given the sensual world of that film, he definitely wasn't leaving out the "penis" interpretation, or should I say, association.. but in that film he was also talking about male-female power relations.. as well as the conferring of power, or denying of it through cultural institutions, such as marriage.. or even the culturally inscribed convention of dancing The Tango..
.. but I think, in meeting Leonard for tea up top the Chrysler building, in some way I was associating Leonard with this phallus symbol of power… even though a part of me feels a kind of parity with him, in that I consider myself a writer and artist.. although, as I’m having difficulty right now in prevailing in any worldly sense in terms of this, I would see Leonard, perhaps, in terms of this elusive “power,” as symbolized by the Chrysler building as the phallus..
But then there are mitigating aspects to this.. such as the simple tea with Leonard.. with no airs, nor even sexual innuendos.. there then are two artists atop this powerful tower, but they themselves are not “exhibiting” such power in how they see themselves or each other.. Leonard was not high atop the tower, with me below.. there was parity there instead. I think too that fame must be a drag sometimes.. I mean, when people don’t see you as just this person that you are, but as this “thing” almost.. and so.. I rather like this dream in the sense of its considering Leonard in the real world as he is as a person, either struggling, or being charming, or enjoying himself.. just as anyone else is..
.. and yet, still, he and I are atop the tower, given fame confers a real sense of that maybe "unreal" seeming worldly power.. I've often thought of this fame thing as a kind of "mirage" almost.. you enter this mirage.. you might even be "burned" by it, if you're not suitably prepared..
ANYWAY.. I thought of the word "phallus" in terms of this dream, and wanted to look into that more.. I can so easily feel disempowered, and at least in part, it's through being a woman.. (yes, women are still not on equal footing, hate to say).. and one really can feel this sometimes "out in the world”.. of course, I do know men suffer the same sense of “castration,” shall we say, to bring up Freud again, and in terms of power.. Now power, according to this excerpt's interpretation of Freud, is this "fleeting" feeling.. though worldly power infers-- or, should I say confers a great deal more, of course -- material things.. access.. deference.. importance -- and one might even be more aware of it, perhaps, when one has none.
.. [to be continued].. [maybe]..
*I might note that I'm not sure of this website as a source [I've noted a few things just in a brief glance that I might take issue with, including lazy spelling], however it seems a good shorthand, at least, for my purposes here..