PART II: THE MASCULINE EGO THE CASTLE OF THE SELF
DOI link for PART II: THE MASCULINE EGO THE CASTLE OF THE SELF
PART II: THE MASCULINE EGO THE CASTLE OF THE SELF book
Found in a discarded family album in a junk shop, this snapshot shows two boys playing at sandcastles. Most home photography consists of shots of the family, mostly on holiday, very often at the seaside. Instant memory, a tenth of a second frozen from the process of time, the image gains immediate pathos because it is so recognizably human, because it is irredeemably lost for ever. One boy stands and smiles confidently at us over his handiwork, the other is kneeling anxiously to watch the sea's attack. That gesture, that precise pose, is as temporary as the castle of sand undermined
by the tide. The clothes suggest the late 'forties, with a tie (still knotted) and those long, baggy shorts. Even the sleeveless pullover adds meaning: this is an English summer. As always in a snapshot other incidental figures in the background go on with their own unrelated activities - a woman carries a child and in the distance two bathers try out the chilly water. But the centre of interest is the castle and its artificers. For the castle is designed both to withstand the sea and be destroyed by it, and pleasure attaches both to building it and watching its erosion. One boy smiles, the other frowns, just like the two sides of Michelangelo's David.