PRINT Summer 1989


A person’s mental processes, the communication of ideas, and the generation of ideas, come within ambit of the First Amendment. To the extent that the First Amendment protects the dissemination of ideas, and the expression of thoughts, it equally must protect the individual’s right to generate ideas. . . .
—Kaimowitz v. Michigan Department of Mental Health, in reference to the question of voluntary consent for psychosurgery, July 1973.
—Quoted in David Shutts, Lobotomy: Resort to the Knife (emphasis added by author)

I. Idea Generation
RUPTURE, UPHEAVAL, DISLOCATION, fragmentation, dissociation, disconnection, severing—the called conditions of post-Modernism.

Things have changed a lot since mid century. In the face of intense historical, technological, social, and economic forces produced and maintained by what Donna Haraway has named “the informatics of domination,”1 a range of urgent and radical metamorphoses has transformed ”the comfortable old hierarchical dominations [into] scary new networks”2 that simultaneously cross and blur the traditionally defined boundaries between body, psyche, geography, technology, biology, politics, and sexuality. Haraway lists, as a shorthand device, the following transformations in the materiality and meaning of experience:

Representation Simulation
Organism Biotic component
Depth, integrity Surface, boundary
Biology as clinical practice Biology as inscription
Decadence, Obsolescence,
Magic Mountain Future Shock
Reproduction Replication
Public/Private Cyborg citizenship
Nature/Culture Fields of difference
Mind Artificial intelligence
White Capitalist Patriarchy Informatics of Domination3

With this “movement from an organic, individual society to a polymorphous information system,” the informatics of domination gives us a world, as Haraway, puts it, that is "from all work to all play, a deadly “game.”4

Yet emerging out of this deadly game, Haraway offers—and not as a figure of lamentation and terror—a construct drawn from science fiction: the cyborg. The cyborg, technology’s fusion of once-autonomous elements—organic/inorganic, human/machine—is the embodiment of the notion of mobilizing seemingly frightening boundary confusions, of accepting and potently using the new multiple fractures within which experience is constructed. It thus serves, for Haraway, as an important figure of political imagination and praxis in the late 20th-century.

Social reality is lived social relations, our most important political construction, a world-changing fiction. . . . Cyborgs are reverent, they do not re-member the cosmos. They are wary of holism, but needy for connection.5

The cyborg emerges, survives, and thrives, then, not only in science fiction but in that greater network that clothes, feeds, houses, and even inhabits us as it moves (and moves us) through the “spaces of production/reproduction and communication.”6 The cyborg lives, and generates, within a landscape of strategic connections where, as in the activity of metaphor in language,we need find not only elements of horror to be severed, cut, disassociated from, but also the opportunity to rethink concepts of purity, wholeness, and origin in the face of the literal and lethal contamination, pollution, and contagion in which we live. With the connection of ”potent fusions“ and ”dangerous possibilities,”7 the construct of the cyborg can be a source of promise and possibility, and not—to rely on the “cure” examined in this article—of lobotomy. For lobotomy is a medical practice whose meaning and effect have been, quite literally, to sever and eradicate the centers of emotional, imaginative, and associative thinking that allow for the production of memory as well as speculation. What does it mean that such a practice, such a metaphor—for it is both of these aspects of lobotomy that must be considered—was developed in the late 1930s and deployed through the mid ’50s, that time that we now, deem the last gasp of Modernism? And what are the implications for us even now, in the late 20th-century, of such an intervention that attacks—seeks to eradicate—the, centers of wonder of the brain?8

II. What’s the association? “The waning of affect” (Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernismism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” 1984) and “The bleaching of affect” (Walter Freeman, quoted in Elliot Valenstein’s Great and Desperate Cures, 1987)

The surgery of mental disorder has returned to the brain after following a devious route through other parts of the body. . . .

Before the antiseptic era, the adherent foreskin or clitoris was removed, and acupuncture was resorted to in supposedly critical locations. After the development of antisepsis, surgeons began searching about here and there for offending organs that were supposed to be causing the mental disorder. The first attack, evidently directed by the theories of the ancient Greeks, was upon the internal genitalia, particularly the ovaries, because of the notion that functional nervous disorders were produced by the wanderings of the uterus (hysteron) into various parts of the body. [Emphases added by author.]

THAT WANDERING WOMB, emerging from the pages of Walter Freeman’s and James Watts’ 1942 textbook Psychosurgery: Intelligence, Emotion, and Social Behavior Following Prefrontal Lobotomy for Mental Disorders,9 deprived of its ability to wander, is a hidden agenda in the story of lobotomy. And there is nothing pretty, nothing esthetically pleasing, about the way the wandering-womb metaphor (which began as a literal belief10) attaches itself to women, who have been the most practiced-upon subjects of the “cure” of lobotomy.11 We are talking about women who frequently express conflicts through their bodies, and who, according to social norms, are reacting in inappropriate ways (with somatic symptoms, outbursts of rage, attacks of paralysis, blindness, or mutism) to the conditions under which they live. Lobotomy, then, is practiced upon—simply—people who don’t know how to control their emotions, people, we might say, who feel (experience) too much. Their feelings, their emotions—provoked by memories, fantasies, associations (connections they make)—bring on an illness with no organic cause. It was not the feelings themselves, however, but the manifested excessive affect—whether diagnosed psychotic, schizophrenic, manic-depressive, or hysterical—that in mid-century America justified the cure of lobotomy.

The patients for whom this operation brings the best results are those who are tortured with self-concern, who suffer from terribly painful disabling self-consciousness, whether it expresses itself in pains in the body organs or terrible distress from feelings of persecution. . . . In ordinary language, the technique severs the nerves that deliver emotional power to ideas. Along with the cure comes some loss in the patient’s imaginative power. But that’s what we want to do. They are sick in their imaginations.
—Freeman, quoted by William Arnold in Francis Farmer: Shadowland, 1978 (emphases added by author)

Psychosurgery: the direct intervention into a “sick imagination.” In 1936, Egas Moniz described lobotomy as an attack on the frontal lobes,12 the area of the brain that Valenstein claimed “regulate[s] the involvement of the ‘self with the self,’”13 and that most distinguishes humans from animals.14 The self of mental illness, an infected cogito, whose reason has gone away, suffers, is diseased, to Freeman’s mind, by too much self-consciousness, too much self-concern. Furthermore, according to Freeman, such therapeutic models as psychoanalysis—itself the product of the rebellious neurologist Freud—“were bound to cultivate pre-occupation” that only intensified the problem the subject was having in the first place. “Insight is a terrible weapon, and few know how to use it constructively,” said Freeman.15 Thus the disease of insight is the result of connections that must be cut.

These mental disorders arise in our opinion in connection with the formation of cellular connecting groups. . . .

The cell bodies remain altogether normal . . . but their multiple connections, very variable in normal persons, may undergo more or less fixed arrangements which are in relation with the persistent ideas and the delusions of certain morbid psychic states. . . .

. . . to cure these patients we must destroy the more or less fixed arrangements of cellular connections . . . , particularly those which are related to the frontal lobes.
—Egas Moniz, quoted in Freeman and Watts, Psychosurgery, 1942

Moniz is referring to the connections of cells, but can the implicit suggestion of other kinds of threatening associations go unnoticed? For Moniz’s surgical interventions, originating in Portugal in 1936, would become, under the aegis of Walter Freeman in America in the ’40s and ’50s, that era’s miracle cure. This is an era remembered, after all, for its fear-filled histrionics against the potential invasions of another “connecting group,” the menace of communism, and its attendant contagion of “guilt by association,” and an era in which strategies of intervention and surveillance came to be seen as the ‘cure’ for cold-war encroachments on American integrity. Here again are Freeman and Watts in their textbook Psychosurgery: “Efforts must be continued to find the critical zone, the important fibers, the necessary areas to be resected, tracts to be cut, and dangers to be eliminated.”16 And here, in the doctors’ words, is what they were hoping to achieve:

Since too intense preoccupation with the self seemed to be the sine qua non of emotional disorders, it followed that cutting down on this would enable the patient to focus his attention on the more constructive life among his fellows.17

A curious intersection of meanings in the doctors’ choice of words (cutting?/cutting down?) establishes the discourse of a medical cure within the reading protocols of science fiction. For as science fiction novelist Samuel Delany points out in his description of the different meanings and practices produced by reading different genres, the sentence “Then her world exploded,” which in “mundane fiction” would merely be a “muzzy metaphor about the specifically emotional aspect of some incident in a female character’s life,” has, in SF, a “perfectly literal and lucid meaning.”18 Similarly, the “perfectly lucid and literal meaning” of Freeman’s phrase (cutting down = reducing) is so disconcertingly accurate (cutting down = cutting down into the brain) as to induce in us what Teresa de Lauretis has dubbed SF’s disorienting sense of “wa/onder”:

In the best of SF, the reader’s sense of wOnder as awe, marvel, portent, revelation, is replaced by a sense of wAndering through a mindscape both familiar and unfamiliar. Displaced from the central position of the knowledgeable observer, the reader stands on constantly shifting ground, on the margins of understanding, at the periphery of vision; hence the sense of wAnder, of being dislocated to another spacetime continuum where human possibilities are discovered in the intersection of other signs with other meanings.19

Thus, just as, according to Delany, “fiction makes models of reality,”20 the speculative discourse of lobotomy assumes/posits a model of normalcy. Yet this is a model in which, ironically, even the maker of the discourse is “displaced from the central position of the knowledgeable observer,” as de Lauretis puts it. “I have written of the Gordian knot that Alexander cut when he did not have the patience to unravel it,” remarked Freeman, “and suggested that psychiatrists might at times resort to the knife rather than attempt in their own compulsive fashion to try to unravel it.”21 In other words, the expert who cuts/cuts down with the knife is the expert who concedes his own ignorance of what it is precisely that warrants the cutting.22 It is not, then, firm ground on which we stand here. Instead, the physician, the patient, and we ourselves enter “another spacetime continuum” where human possibilities are not to be stimulated, but dulled, disaffected, “bleached,”23 in Freeman’s terms. Indeed, both practitioner (seeker of “cure”) and practiced-upon (patient as site of disease), in the process of lobotomy, operate within a new territory of the literal, in which the “intersection of other signs with other meanings” deploys the figurative as a weapon in the arsenals of cure.

And once the “flattening of emotions,” as Shutts puts it,24 has occurred in the patient, she has been saved from herself by being transformed into a surface—lacking emotional, psychic, historical/hystorical depth. Or, in Freeman’s words, “When a large number of the woman’s fronto-thalamic nerve fibers had been cut—thus reducing the emotional charge—the patient’s ideas no longer hurt or threatened her.”25

Now what is the uncanny association between this scenario and the emergence of what Jameson has called post-Modernism’s rupturing “force field . . . in which premonitions of the future, catastrophic or redemptive, have been replaced by the senses of the end of this or that (the end of ideology, art, or social class; the ‘crisis’ of Leninism, social democracy, or the welfare state)”?26 With both “transitions” there emerges what Jameson, in his characterization of post-Modernism, has described as “the waning of affect,” as memory, a process produced by emotion, is somehow ripped from the present. That thing we use to remember the past indeed becomes a thing of the past. In fact, as Jameson scrutinizes post-Modernism in the context of literary criticism, he finds the waning of affect expressed in

the waning of the great high-modernist thematics of time and temporality, the elegiac mysteries of durée and of memory.27

Now, here’s Mary Frances Robinson, in her 1949 report on the psychological effects of lobotomy, published 14 years after lobotomy’s invention, and the same year, coincidentally, that Egas Moniz received the Nobel Prize for that accomplishment:

Lobotomy relieves the suffering with its attendant symptoms, but it does more. It frees the patient from the tyranny of his own past, from the anxious self-searching that has become too terrible to endure, and at the same time renders him largely indifferent to future problems. . . . 28

Thus, with a procedure in which the past is stripped of meaning, the future possibility is removed as well; for as Robinson’s quote suggests, and as Valenstein confirms, it is the prefrontal area of the brain (that area lobotomy tampers with) that also makes it possible for one to “project oneself into the future.”29

This is the case of a passive, restrained, timid individual, always indecisive, and hedging herself in with a variety of phobias and compulsions. One might say that she attempted to look too far into the future and became frightened by all that she saw there. This fear and hesitation dominated her life. . . . This painful foreseeing of events that never will occur . . . seems to be beneficially moderated by prefrontal lobotomy.
—Freeman and Watts, Psychosurgery, 1942 (emphasis added by author)

In other words, it is the patient’s looking too far into the future that is defined as her sickness, and it is being “fixed” in an eternal present that is defined as her “cure.”

III. A Proposal: Multiple Personality Disorder/Reorder
We were wanderers on prehistoric earth, on an earth that wore the aspect of an unknown planet. . . . We were cut off from the comprehension of our surroundings; we glided past like phantoms, wondering and secretly appalled, as sane men would be before an enthusiastic outbreak in a madhouse. We could not understand because we were too far and could not remember, because we were traveling in the night of the first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign—and no memories. . . .

The mind of man is capable of anything because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future.
—Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 1902

GLIDING LIKE PHANTOMS, cut off from comprehension, wandering, wondering and secretly appalled, riot understanding because we have gone too far. Searching about here and there for offending organs. A history with its roots in hysteria—searching out the animal inside the woman—tearing at it, separating it out. A history, a medical practice, displacing the site of disease from womb to brain. Removing the disagreeable self-consciousness. Removing the “sting”. . . the fear that disables the patient. As though a science fiction scenario. . . . Yes: The mind of man is capable of anything because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future. That dark voice of modernity cracking (crackling) in its self-conscious colonial form, in which understanding is constructed, in Hayden White’s terms, as “a process of rendering the unfamiliar . . . familiar; of removing it from the domain of things felt to be ‘exotic’ and unclassified into one or another domain of experience encoded adequately enough to be felt to be humanly useful, nonthreatening, or simply known by association.”30 The harsh message—supposed truth—of this moment: the horror of not being able to make the associations, of not knowing where one is. A confusion that, at the turn of the century, is, significantly, a problem of memory, a place that can never be recovered, because we were too far and could not remember, because we were traveling in the night of the first ages, of those ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign—and no memories.

In the legacy bequeathed us of upheavals and atrocities—genocide, nuclear annihilation, neocolonialism, imperialism, with the destruction of connections and associations among past/present/future wreaked not just upon individuals but upon entire cultures, racial and ethnic groups, sexual identities, the production of the surface effect of lobotomy can be a potent political weapon. For once again, it is the possibility of orienting oneself—of finding one’s way in the present by drawing on the past and imagining the future—that is precisely, most literally and problematically, under attack. Memory, seen in this context, can not be then just a thing of the past—a relic of Modernism. Memory must be re-thought, remembered, re-invented within post-Modernism, out of the possibilities that Haraway’s cyborg manifesto lays claim to: as a discursive figure of the historical that negotiates space, time, experience, and language through the body and the body politic; a figure of mobility and imagination, like the wandering womb of hysterical discourse. A suggestion presented here, with which, rather perversely, this essay shall close, is the “dangerous” yet resonant juxtaposition of the appeal of lobotomy with the form and formulation of late-20th-century hysteria—multiple personality.

In recent theoretical discourse, hysteria and schizophrenia have emerged as emblematic metaphors for the condition of the post-Modern subject. In such discussions, however, the actual experience of these conditions has been too often ripped away. In the service of proposing a post-Modern esthetic of schizophrenia, for example, the actual subject, Marguerite Sechehaye, of The Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl, 1968, becomes reduced to a mere footnote in Jameson’s essay “Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.” The “morbid state” of Sechehaye’s schizophrenia becomes less important in Jameson’s essay than its “suggestive aesthetic model”31 in analyzing an example of what Jameson deems “schizophrenic art,” a poem by language poet Bob Perelman.32 Invoking ends, limits, losses, Jameson laments the logic of post-Modernism, struggling, at the end, to envision intervention in the overwhelming nexus of capital’s multinational commodifying fury. In this essay of extraordinary range and perception, however, Jameson is extraordinarily willing to colonize, in his model of “cognitive mapping,”33 the bodies and minds of those living and surviving in the interstices of post-Modernism’s logic. Bodies and minds, marked by their difference of gender, race, sexuality, and class, are forgotten by Jameson. They are dislocated or used as example, fodder, plot-spaces through which to move. The literal body and mind is absent, “bleached out,” so to speak, lost in the production of his metaphor.

The proposal here, on the other hand, should not represent one more step along the line that would champion any particular pathological state as some late-20th-century romantic description, but one that embraces instead the lived experience of such a condition, as it is through such experience that the by-no-means-romantic-or-pretty multiple emerges. This proposal represents, then, an anti-esthetics of the most literal kind.34

The diagnosis (and treatment) of multiple personality emerges and rises dramatically in the 1970s and ’80s.35 This is a “fact” that warrants careful scrutiny, given the range of historical elements that go into the identification/production and maintenance of particular disorders and cures at strategic moments. In this particular case, we might note the factors engendering the “scientific availability” of the diagnosis; multiple personality’s odd singularity as a disorder that reveals its full (cast of) character(s) only in the therapeutic situation; and the rich play of intersecting meanings in the conjunction of the doctor’s possible production of its diagnosis by way of (social) suggestion and his or her production of its manifestations by way of (hypnotic) suggestion. Yet, given all this, multiple personality offers an alternative script to that offered by lobotomy, a script produced—in response to the pain-filled terror of inconsolable memories and excruciating levels of affect—by/from the subject herself.36

“Stanley,” the woman said as she surfaced abruptly, “I don’t think my mind works the same as yours.”

“Of course not . . . Your mind is unique and so is everyone else’s.”

“That isn’t what I mean. I have thoughts in my head, just like other people. But their thoughts are connected to feelings. What I’ve got are only the unconnected thoughts and feelings given me by other selves.”

“Alright,” he said, “is someone giving you thoughts and feelings now? Who is giving them to you?”

“They are. My other selves. The voices I hear through the thought transference are from them to me. Not from me to them.”

For the first time, he knew how very removed she was, even from the horror of the concept she presented. A grown woman who, if her statement was valid, had never lived a single moment of her own life. Perhaps, on the other hand, he’d misunderstood.
—from When Rabbit Howls, by The Troops for Truddi Chase, introduction by Robert A. Phillips, Jr., Ph.D., 1987

The above text is drawn from the “diaries” of The Troops, the 92 characters of Truddi Chase’s multiple personality, an actual case history that, according to Chase’s psychiatrist Dr. Robert Phillips, “challenges much of what is commonly believed about human personality, and is far beyond most people’s experience. It may even seem to have the flavour of science fiction?”37 But if, as Haraway has pointed out, “the boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion,”38 Truddi and The Troops, rather than merely the most recent descendant of her ancestors Sybil and Eve in popular fiction, offer one alternative formulation for negotiating the “scary new networks.” For in the actual lived experience of Truddi and The Troops, we find fragmentations, splittings, disassociations, yes, but not disintegration. Nor are we offered here the the traditional “cure” for multiple personality, that is, the attempt to integrate these disparate characters into one fully integrated bourgeois personality. Truddi’s Troops (who, for the most part, significantly, do not go by conventional “names,” but by what we might call “function”—The Interpreter, The Gate Keeper, The Buffer, The Recorder, for example)—explain their origin as “an intellectual reproduction system.”39 The individual, imploding under the pressures of her material conditions, disappears, and the emergent construction, developing from the ashes of violence, seems something much closer to the population of a “small town,”40 or an ever-flickering series of switching television channels—but never that embattled Cartesian cogito so often presumed by the pronoun “I.” Truddi’s “cure” is not about “killing off” any number of extraneous personalities, not about severing connections, but about imagining and implementing a completely new form of subjectivity. Rather than an icepick (Freeman’s favored tool for transorbital lobotomies from 1946 on) to pierce the boundary between the self and world, the struggle occurs within the subject herself. Memory is the problem, but remembering is not an activity to be eliminated, rather one to be preserved, in a kind of continuous jamming, across boundaries.

“You don’t remember most of your life . . . because you weren’t there. The others were. They have the memories.”41 Indeed they do, and the memories are quite threatening. But the danger is precisely the point. For “what kind of chaos, they asked, would be created by consolidating all that memory?”42 The dangerous possibilities are sustained, permitting a future yet to be imagined and a present to be lived. Truddi’s Troops existed and survived—for instance, we were out there in the work force, nobody knew that we were43—and even now exist and survive: Truddi is at peace, with each personality/function reacting to the various pressures, responsibilities, requirements, questions demanded by each individual situation.

Lay aside the fear and listen, he [Twelve] said to her. . . . because we are many, things happen to us in great numbers, all at one time. Sanity lies in separating those things, in dealing with them individually. Know now that there are those among us, calling out to be heard. They are small, helpless, dead ones—someone must listen to their voices.

. . . The woman does n’ feel pain now. The lack o’ it is part o’ somethin’ planned a long time ago. But she will feel the memories we’ll be bringin’ t’ her. When the time comes for our battle, the memories’ll be the armour, and they’ll be pain enough.
—The Troops for Truddi Chase, When Rabbit Howls, 1987

The dangerous connections, the scary networks, remain there to be made, to be worked through, through a form of memory that is not about lobotomy nor about the integration/maintenance of a whole, undifferentiated, autonomous self. Memory emerges reconstructed not as durée, nor, as seamless past-present-future, but along another construction: a construction of (out of) difference. Connection, yes, but not necessarily assimilation. Memory as struggle, not amputation—something to be achieved, something that the subject herself invents for literal survival in the late 20th-century.

The troops were telling him again that the person he saw as his client didn’t think. They did her thinking for her. Stanley shook his head as if to reject the idea and caught himself, but not in time.

“Gotcha,” Elvira said. “We don’t care if you voice your opinion or show emotion. That don’t bother us at all. Do you remember Descartes’ rule of thumb, ‘I think, therefore I am’? The woman ain’t, Stanley. She runs around all day, wondering . . . ”
—The Troops for Truddi Chase, When Rabbit Howls, 1987

A form of wa/ondering among the interstices of fragmentation, producing, in the process, the politics of imagination, connection, association, and affect—the wonder precisely the monstrous possibility. . . .

Thyrza Goodeve is currently completing her doctorate in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she also teaches film and literature.



1. Donna Haraway, “Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s,” Socialist Review 80, 1985, p. 80.

2. Ibid.

3. This is only a partial rendering. For the complete list, see ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid., pp. 65–68.

6. Ibid., p. 82.

7. Ibid., p. 71.

8. It is important to note here that the practice of lobotomy only abated with the development of the drug thorazine in the 1950s as a more palatable form of intervention. Yet, as many have noted, the effects of thorazine are the same as those of lobotomy. So although the surgical lobotomy lessened in its application, the mechanism of lobotomy itself, taking different forms and labels, has continued. In fact, the 1970s saw another rise in psychosurgical practices. The word lobotomy—because of its negative associations—has of course not been used. See Dr. Caligari (copyright in the name of David Richman), “Pursuing Spychiatric Pill Pushers or Respect Your Body,” in Madness Network News Reader, eds. Hirsch, Adams, Frank, et al., San Francisco: Glide Publications, 1974, p. 113; and David Shutts, Lobotomy: Resort to the Knife, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1982, p. 215.

9. See Walter Freeman and James W. Watts, Psychosurgery: Intelligence, Emotion and Social Behavior Following Prefrontal Lobotomy for Mental Disorders, Springfield, II., and Baltimore: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1942, p. 5.

10. The figuration of this wandering womb as an “animal” inhabiting woman—and therefore something animate in her to be attacked, relocated, removed—is found in writings on hysteria as early as the following quote from Aretaeus the Cappadocian (Greek, 1st–2nd century A.D.): “In the middle of the flanks of women lies the womb, a female viscus, closely resembling an animal; for it is moved of itself hither and thither in the flanks, also upwards in a direct line to below the cartilage of the thorax, and also obliquely to the right or to the left, either to the liver or spleen; and it likewise is subject to prolapsus downwards, and, in a word, it is altogether erratic.” Quoted in llva Veith, Hysteria: The History of a Disease, Chicago: at the University Press, 1965, pp. 22–23.

11. See Shutts, pp. 257–58. See also Lee Coleman, M.D., and Stephen Wong, “The Unholy Alliance: Social Control as Therapy," in The Madness Network News Reader, p. 133: “Walter Freeman, the father of lobotomy in the United States, once said that his favorite patients were Black women, and women were always the predominant lobotomy victims.”

12. See Shutts, p. 55.

13. See Elliot S. Valenstein, Great and Desperate Cures: The Rise and Decline of Psychosurgery and Other Radical Treatments for Mental Illness, New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1986, p. 171.

14. Ibid., p. 95.

15. Quoted in Shutts, pp. 100–101.

16. Freeman and Watts, p. 18.

17. See Shutts, p. 101.

18. Samuel Delany, “Generic Protocols: Science Fiction and Mundane,” in The Technological Imagination: Theories and Fictions, eds. de Lauretis, Huyssen, and Woodward, Madison, Wis.: Coda Press, 1980, pp. 177–78. Delaney and others use the acronym SF in order to embrace a wider range of fiction than that suggested by the term science fiction or sci-fi. SF, then, can include those narratives we conventionally refer to as science fiction, but also speculative fiction, fantasy, cyberpunk, etc.

19. Teresa de Lauretis, “Signs of Wa/Onder,” in The Technological Imagination, pp. 165–66.

20. Delany, “Quarks,” in The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes of the Language of Science Fiction, New York: Berkeley Publishing Co., 1977, p. 137.

21. Cited in Shutts, p. 101.

22. In this context, it’s worth mentioning that Shutts describes Moniz’s “first attack” on the brain as that of a cartographer with only “crude maps” to work with, and that Moniz himself referred to his first performances of the operation as his “blind procedure” (p. 53). And the case of Freeman—who later became widely known as he wandered about the country teaching attendants and interns how to wield the icepick for the transorbital form of lobotomy he developed—is one in which we might say the blind literally led the blind, for this American “father of lobotomy” was not even a surgeon himself.

23. See Shutts, for example, p. 145, and Valenstein, p. 168.

24. Freeman, quoted in Shutts, p. 114.

25. Quoted in ibid., p. 133.

26. Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” New Left Review no. 146, London and New Jersey, July/August 1984, p. 53.

27. Ibid., p. 64.

28. Quoted in Shutts, p. 193.

29. Valenstein, p. 171.

30. Hayden White, Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism, Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978 (paperback, 1985), p. 5. (Emphasis added by author.)

31. Jameson, p. 74.

32. Ibid., pp. 73–74.

33. Ibid., p. 92.

34. This proposition of an antiesthetics is aligned, by coincidence, with the title of the collection of essays The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Post-Modern Culture, ed. Hal Foster and published in 1983.

35. See Jacques M. Quen, M.D., ed., Split Minds, Split Brains: Historical and Current Perspectives, New York: New York University Press, 1986.

36. Most multiples are women due to the nature of the etiology of the multiple process—severe, prolonged, and untenable physical, psychological, sexual abuse during childhood. As more female children than male are subjected to this kind of domestic violence or ritual abuse, multiple personality emerges as a significant late-20th-century “female malady.” The fact that it is also diagnosed as a form of hysteria connects it with the conversion hysteria of the late 19th century, which has been such a rich source for the exploration of achievement of female identity under patriarchy. Multiple personality is the legacy of the struggles and conflicts presented for women by the informatics of domination. Haraway’s list could then include after

White Capitalist Patriarchy
Informatics of Domination
Multiple personality.

37. Truddi and The Troops (copyright in the name of Truddi Chase), When Rabbit Howls, New York: E.P. Dutton, Inc., 1987, introduction, p. ix.

38. Haraway, p. 66.

39. Truddi and The Troops, introduction, p. xxv.

40. A comment by friend Jennifer Terry while watching The Troops interviewed by Phil Donahue.

41. Truddi and The Troops, p. 295.

42. Ibid., p. 249.

43. Comment by The Troops while being interviewed on The Phil Donahue Show. Author’s note: It is in Donna Haraway’s work that I found the inspiration and courage to explore the ideas and associations that appear in this article. My thanks to her, and to Jennifer Terry for her comments and observations, and also to Karen Berman—all three of these women have been crucial influences in the shaping of this essay.