Marcel Proust, The Prisoner, translated by Carol Clark, p. 64.
I’m a family therapist. Here is one thing I know: Working with displacement is a really fun way of doing therapy. I love how kids will say, “I dunno” to every question, then act out the vivid psychodramas of their lives using puppets. I mean, about the puppets’ lives. They aren’t talking about themselves. Not at all. Duh.
Working within displacement in children is actually kind of boring, because their metaphors can be so straightforward. Marcel (which one am I talking about?!) is more complex, and conscious, but still a blissful babe, nonetheless. Could he help it? Could he have written about someone else if he tried?
I think of Jonathan Blow, who invented a whole video game world, in part, so that he could make anyone who played it LIVE his own personal spiritual dilemma, or of George Lucas naming his greatest character Luke Skywalker. Like, these people are not memoirists. I don’t think they set out to do it at the time.