Levels of past lived experience description N3, N4 by Fred Vargas : The Adamsberg’s alerts (Version #2)

Levels of past lived experience description N3, N4

 by Fred Vargas :

The Adamsberg’s alerts (Version #2)

Pierre Vermersch

(quotations from « Wash this blood clean from my hand »)

Recall
I hereby designate N3 (short for « Level 3 », that is to say, « Level 3 description of the experience of the action »), the signs, symptoms, the invisible functioning of the Potential (Potential: that is to say, what is unconscious considered in its positive dimension, productive, constantly fed by my experiences and all that has an effect on me, whether conscious or not). Symptoms otherwise called « intellectual feeling » or for some others « intuition ». The N3 are not carriers of meaning by themselves, but indicate the presence of an underlying sense we need to decode. The excerpts that follow are essentially directed by the author of a N3 succession for the commissioner Adamsberg, and a first sense implementation to level 4.

So by N4, I designate the hidden meaning of the N3s. This sense may appear in different  complementary ways,  more or less explicit. Becoming aware of the scheme (s) at work will give sense to what seems to have not. That is to say that the meaning is not only given by  the past events but also they put in the context, they make the link with the present event which activates their remembrance, and also the driving patterns that have developed in response to these events (for example : escape, systematic search of an answer, renunciation to find). Similarly, the meaning not only illuminated by the identification, updating, of this co-identity, but also by patterns that characterize the organization of the action of this co-identity (for example here, the young man, the brother, the policeman, the superintendant). Here the meaning or N4, is considered essentially as revealed by the underlying organizer schema (s) and not reflexively conscious at the time of their implementation. But the purely  reactional nature of N3 will limit the demonstration, much clearer for N3 than for the N4. (We must also remember that it is a novel, not a description of an actual experience, probably with these passages, we learn more about the author than about the character …).

The whole work of Vargas (the author) is littered with examples of intellectual feeling, intuition, since the psychology of its main character, Adamsberg commissioner, relies on his way to welcome, encourage, solicit, spontaneous or sought intellectual feelings, then goes for a walk along the Seine to let show up the underlying patterns that will reveal the meaning of these signs of the Potential. Here, one will gradually active a research approach of the past event triggering the intellectual feeling, dramatically underlined by the intensity of intellectual feelings, both with invasive bodily feelings and very painful emotional climate. Long before the schemes or joint identities, we will have the emergence of acute bodily feelings, accompanied by a very negative, powerful emotional climate which will discreetly associate snippets of sense related to the details of the experienced situation in which the intellectual feeling appeared. But the meaning of these bits are not sufficient to make sense, it must appear the complete organization of what refers to the Potential.
Thus, the choice of this series of small extracts follows the particularly progressive staging developed by the author. By her will to surprise us in the « inexplicable », « unique » way which N3 sweep down on Adamsberg, then  find a resolution a few pages later in the revelation of a trigger event (N4) from his youth, which bear issues and very powerful feelings, then the current event trigger, the details of activated patterns will, in fact, be given only in the entire novel that follows this preamble.

Therefore, we have here is a story in three stages: the first which accumulates intense episodes of violent, painful and incomprehensible intellectual feelings; the second which appears as an a posteriori explanation, consistent to the origin in the past of all the inconsistent symptoms of the begining; the third, as an explanation of the current trigger of intellectual feelings. I number five violent episodes(unintelligible) that will appear successively.
1 / Commissaire Adamsberg is in the Paris Serious Crime Squad  with his deputy  p.19:

« You could’nt have mentioned it a it earlier, could you ?’ Danglard asked. ‘Before I’d typed out the whole report ?’

‘It only came to me in the night’ said Adamsberg, abruptly closing the newspaper, ‘I was thinking about Rembrandt. » (I sets out the passages that will make sense later, and which are crucial to the plot while it still seems anecdotal, secondary. My comments are in italics.)

« He folded the paper up hastily, thrown off balance by a sick feeling that had suddenly come over him, something like when a cat jumps on to your shoulders with its claws out. A feeling of shock and fright, sending sweat down the back of his neck, despite the cold air of the office. It would pass, surely, it was passing already ».

2/ Still in the office, having his coffee : (p. 32) :

« Sitting sideways on his office chair, he blew on his coffee, looking at the noticeboard covered with     reports, urgent messages and, in the centre, notes about the objectives of the Quebec expedition. Three sheets of paper, neatly lined up and attached with three red drawing pins… He smiled and sipped his coffee, feeling settled and even happy.

Then suddenly, he experienced once more that cold sweat on the back of his neck, the same dread coming over him, the cat jumping on to his shoulders. He bowed his head under the shock, and carefully put the coffee cup on the table ». (Second intellectual feeling, there we have the repeated manifestation of the same bodily felt sense). “The second sudden turn in less than an hour, an alien feeling of trouble, like the unexpected arrival of a stranger setting off an alarm or a panic button ». (A small advance in access to future direction, with the idea of the foreigner, the alert, the alarm). “He forced himself to stand up and take few steps. Apart from the shock and sweat, his body seemed to be behaving normally. He ran his hands over his face, relaxing the skin and massaging his neck. A sort of convulsive defense reflex. The sharp bite of some distress, a warning or a threat, making his body react to it ». (The perception of an  emotional climate is specifying, related to body feeling, but also the beginning of a vague understanding, reflecting
approximately schemas N4: defense, threat, distress, reaction in response. But due to what? As if schemes were ahead of the cause of their reactivation, and in doing, just appear weird.).
“And now he was able to move more easily, but was still left with an inexpressible feeling of sorrow, like a dark sediment that the wave leaves behind when it ebbs ». (Again, the meaning of these intellectual feelings settles, takes consistency, accuracy: pain sensation related to something that was abandoned, and when one already knows the content of the story, one sees quietly the summary of a story tragically unfinished).
« He finished his coffee and put his chin in his hands. He had many times failed to understand his actions, but now for the first time he felt he had lost touch with himself. It was the first time that he has reeled for a few seconds, as if some stowaway had slipped into his head and taken charge » (perception of indefinite co-identity that takes the helm : the stowaway). « For of that he was certain. There was a clandestine passenger aboard. Any sane person would have explained that this was absurd, and suggested he was coming down with flu. But Adamsberg diagnosed something different, the brief intrusion of a dangerous unknown being, who wished him no good ». (Decoding snippets :a clandestine on board, a stranger, a danger, a threat, and certainly not an ordinary disease like a flu). « 


3 / A little later, at home (p 35)

« Cleansed, exhausted and showered, Adamberg decided to eat a meal at the Liffey Water, a dark bar whose noisy atmosphere and acid smell had often punctuated his excursions round Paris… and the barmaid Enid, whom he asked to bring him some roast pork and potatoes. Enid served the dishes up using an ancient metal fork, which Adamsberg liked, with its polished wooden handle and three irregular prongs. He was watching her put his meat on the plate, when the stowaway in his mind suddenly returned, but now with the force of a rapist. This time, he seemed to detect the attack a fraction of a second before it struck. Fists clenched on the table, he tried to resist the intrusion. He tensed his whole body, calling up different thoughts and the sense of dread swept throught him like a tornado detroying a field, sudden, unstoppable and violent.  And then carelessly, it abandones its prey, going on to wreak havoc elsewhere ». (Here we have a summary yet enigmatic to the reader, of the story which actualizes and leaves Adamsberg devastated.
You wanted the bodily feeling! Well, here it is: nothing less than a tornado! )
————–

Interlude, the author introduces the reference to a psychiatrist to show that all this does not make sense for Adamsberg and that this professional probably would not help with his know-how or interpretation grids.


P. 37  « His friend Ferez, the psychiatrist, would no doubt have tried to identify the mechanism that was provoking the intrusion. (To find the cause…) He would try to probe the hidden chagrin, the unavowed pain walled up inside Adamsberg and shaking its chains like a prisoner, causing these sudden sweats, clenched muscles and a singing in his ears that made him flinch.  That’s what Ferez would have said, with the sympathetic pleasure he took in unusual cases. He would say, now what were you talking about when the first clawed cat jumped on to your shoulders ? Perhaps about Camille ? Or about Quebec ? » (The author gently mocks psychoanalysis and other psychological decoding, but follows the same intelligibility wire later, by searching the shutter in the experience of the day).

« Adamsberg stopped on the pavement, searching his memory, trying to think what he had been saying to Danglard when the first cold sweat had broken out his neck. Rembrandt, yes, that was it. He had been thinking about Rembrandt, and the absence of shades of dark and light in the D’Hernoncourt case ». (Early stages of a search for the cause of the intellectual feeling, he searches his memory what happened in the first case, and he happens to find the context, maybe even the trigger off the intellectual sense but he lacks some of the elements, and if that was the case, it would have an immediate liberating effect).  “It was just then . So, it was well before any talk of Camille or Canada. Above all, he would have had to explain to Ferez that never before had any worry of that kind made a vicious cat spring on his back. This was something new, never experienced, quite unprecedented. And the shocks had recurred at different times and in different circumstances, without any apparent link between them ». ((The author adds a little in the register totally incomprehensible to point out how that happens is meaningless).  “What connection could there be between his kindly Enid and Danglard, between the table at the Liffey Water pub and his own bulletin board ? Between the noisy crowd in the bar and his quiet office ? None at all. Even someone as quick on the uptake as Ferez would be quite lost. And he would refuse to believe that an alien had climbed on board. »

(The author has thickened the mystery, a recap of times without finding meaning, commissioning the scene of  the powerless psychology, the following three lines are a dramatic transition, the calm before the storm …)
« Adamsberg ran his hands throught his hair, then rubbed his arms and legs energetically, trying to revive his body. He set off once more, making an effort to use his normal inner ressources : walking around quietly, observing passers-by with detachment, letting his mind float like a log on the surface of the river. ((In response to these brutal intellectual feelings, Adamsberg always reacts with the same scheme for restoring his balance by physical contact : he rubs and walks, the sovereign remedy).

4/  « The fourth tornado pounced on him about an hour later, as he was going up the boulevard Saint-Paul, a few yards from home ». (The burst is staged here without contextual elements other than the location, preparing the detailed and illuminating analysis that follows, by a provisional nonsense supplement). “He flinched under the attack, and leaned against a lamp popst, freezing like a statue as the wind passed over him. He closed his eyes and waited.  Less then a minute later, he slowly lifted his head, shifted his shoulders, and flexed his fingers in his pockets, but was then assailed by the feeling of profound unease the storm had left in its wake for the fourth time that day. A distress which brought tears to his eyes, a sorrow without a name ». Nice double meaning : grief has no limit (first sense of the phrase « without name »), and is not recognized (it does not yet have a name).

« He had to put a name to it. To this red alert, this torture he was undergoing. Because the day that had begun so normally, with him walking in as he did every day to his headquarters, had left him a changed man, unable to contemplate resuming his routine. An ordinary human being in the morning, and by the evening a nervous wreck, paralysed by a volcano that had opened up under his feet, its fiery mouth containing an undecipherable enigma.

Peeling himself away from the lamp post, he examined his surroundings, a he would a crime scene of which he was himself the victim, seeking to identify the killer who had stabbed him in the back ». (New research strategy of what will be able to make sense, the common identity of the co-investigator and his patterns appear, applied to his own situation. But the N4, the organizing scheme is still absent, how will he become aware? He will choose to watch carefully where and when it is located, updating the schema of the investigator, to find meaning with the help, initially, of the universal science of Danglard !)
« He retreated a metre or so and stood again in the exact spot where he had been at the moment of impact. He looked along the empty pavement, the darkened shop window on the right, the advertising hoarding on the left. Nothing else. Only the advertising poster was clearly visible throught the dark, since it was lit up inside its glass case. That must have been the last thing he saw before the assault. He looked at it carefully. It was a reproduction of a classical sort of painting, with a strip across it announcing ‘Nineteenth-century paintings in the academic tradition. Temporary exhibition ».

« The picture represented a muscular guy with pale skin and a dark beard, sitting comfortably on the ocean, surrounded by nymphs and enthroned on a large shell”. (Description at this time flatly insane for preparing the discovery of the represented character, and its name, which will be the key of the organizer scheme of the distress). “Adamsberg stared for a long moment at the picture, trying to work out what it might have done to unleash the whirlwind, in the same way as his conversation with Danglard, his office armchair and the smoke-filled Liffey Water bar ». (The meaning is hidden, beyond the facts gathered, it lacks an organizing principle.) “But surely a man can’t fall from normality into chaos with a snap of the fingers. There must be some kind of transition, some way through. Here, as in the D’Hernoncourt case, what was missing was the set of nuances, the bridge between the two river banks, one deep in shadow, the other brightly sunlit. Sighing with frustration, he bit his lip and peered out into the darkness, in search of a cruising taxi. He called one, climbed into the cab and gave the driver the address of Adrien Danglard ».

« He had to ring the bell three times before Danglard, befuddled whith sleep, opened the door… ».

(He will wake Danglard at night, put him in a taxi back to the scene. That’s really the Adamsberg character! …)
« – ‘Here,’ said Adamsberg pointing at his own chest. ‘Just give me an answer. What is it ? »

«  And only Adamsberg was capable of squeezing ordinary life to extract these escapades, these shafts of weird beauty. So what did it matter that he had been woken up in the middle of the night and dragged off in the freezing cold to stand looking at a picture of Neptune ?

‘Who’s that man ?’ Adamsberg was repeating, without letting go of his arm.

«Neptune rising from the waves’ Danglard said with a smile »

….

« In the picture, Danglard went on….Here are Neptune’s benign actions, here is his power to punish mortals, represented by his trident and the evil serpent who drag men under the sea »….

« So that ‘s Neptune,’ Adamsberg interrupted in a thoughful voice. ‘OK, Danglard, thanks a million. Go home, go back to bed. My apologies for waking you up. » (Everything is in place for this to make sense, but still is missing  for Adamsberg to establish himself  the link between the character-Neptune- and the major symbol: the Trident, hence the intended meaning will emerge !).

p. 49 « Back home, Adamsberg looked through his haphazard collection of books to find one that might tell him more about Neptune/Poseidon. He found an old schoolbook where here the sea god appeared in all his glory, brandishing his divine weapon. He looked at it for a moment, read the little caption describing the bas-relief, then still holding the book, he collapsed on his bed, fully dressed but worn out with exhaustion and worry ». (The information becomes clearer, but is still insane … and the author still holds a dramatic episode …)

5/ “He was woken at about four in the morning by a cat miauling on the rooftops. He opened his eyes in the darkness and stared at the lighter rectangle of the window opposite his bed. His jacket, hanging from the window catch, looked like a broad-shouldered, motionless silhouette, an intruser who had crept into his bedroom to watch him sleeping. It was the stowaway who had penetrated his secret cave and wasn’t letting him escape. Adamsberg closed his eyes then opened them again. Neptune and his trident ». (Here we are, that’s it … almost … the meaning is very close ….).

“This time, his arms started to tremble, and his heart beat faster. This was nothing like the previous four attacks, but sheer stupefaction and terror.”

….

« Now that the alcohol had deadened his muscles, he could start thinking, begin again, and try to face the monster that the image of  Neptune had finally called up from his own vasty deeps. The stowaway, the dreadful intruder. The arrogant killer, whom he used to call ‘The Trident’. ((That’s it, here is the root of the past scheme that refreshes for the moment as an emotion, a feeling of distress and personal attack, but with a name that
summarizes a whole story).”
The murderer who always escaped, and who, thirty years earlier, had thrown his life off course : For fourteen years after that, Adamsberg had been chasing after him, following his tracks, hoping each time to catch him and then losing his moving target. He had run, fallen headlong, and run again.

And had ended by falling once more. In the course of this pursuit, he had given up hope and, above all, had lost his brother. The Trident had escaped, every time. He was a Titan, a devil, a Poseidon from hell. Raising his three-pronged weapon and killing with a single blow to the belly. Leaving his impaled victims with three bloody wounds in a straight line.

Adamsberg sat up in the chair. The three red drawing pins in his office, the three bleeding holes. Enid’s long three-pronged fork, echoing the trident three points. And Neptune raising his tridensceptre. These were the images which had given him such pain, dredging up a great sorrow, and then, in a single stream of mud, liberating his resurrected anguish.

He ought to have guessed, he thought now ». ((Typical : once the reflection is operated, what appears seems familiar, already known). “He ought to have linked these violent shocks to the long and painful trajectory of his pursuit of the Trident. Because no other living being had caused him more pain and dread, distress and fury than this man. Sixteen years earlier, he had had to close up the gaping wound the killer had made in his life, seal it up, cover it over, and forget about it ». (Psychological justification
forgetfulness and lack of immediate awareness). “
And suddenly, without rhyme or reason, it had opened up under his feet ». (The author prepares us in search of the missing piece, for the moment there is no reason to this episode. We have associative links to the trademark of the trident, but we do not know how it started, what is the trigger).

« Adamsberg stood up and paced round the room, with folded arms. On the one hand, he felt relieved and almost peaceful, since he had identified what lay at the eye of the cyclone. The tornadoes would not catch him out again. But this sudden reappearance of the Trident alarmed him. This Monday 6 october, he had risen up like a ghost bursting through the walls. It was a troubling revival, an inexplicable return. He put the bottle of gin back in the cupboard and carefully rinsed out the glass. Unless, that is, he did somehow know, unless he did understand why the old man had risen from the past. Between his calm everyday arrival at the office and the spectre of the Trident, there was some missing connection ». (We have the trigger event, which gives meaning to the intellectual feelings, but still no one has the current trigger of the event source of the appearance of these intellectuals feelings).

« He sat on the floor, back to the radiator, hugging his knees and thinking of his great-uncle, curled up like that in the rocks. He needed to concentrate, peer into the deepest recesses of his mind whithout giving up ».  ((A full evocationprocessing technique) “Return to the first appearance of the Trident, the initial tornado. So, he had been talking about Rembrandt while he explained to Danglard what he saw as the flaw in the D’Hernoncourt case. He tried to relive this scene again. Although he always found it difficult to remember words, images invariably imprinted themselves on his memory like pebbles on soft mud. He saw himself sitting on the corner of Danglard’s desk, and he saw the grumpy face of his deputy, under the sailor’s cap with its remains of a pompom. He saw the plastic cup of white wine, and the light falling from the left. And he was talking about light and shade. How was he sitting ? With arms folded ? Hands on knees ? Hands on the table ? Or in his pockets ? What had he been doing with his hands ?

He had been holding a newspaper. He had picked it up off the table, and had been leafing through it, without really reading it, during their conversation. Had he really not been reading it ? Or had he seen something there ? Something so powerful that a tidal wave had surged up out of his memory ? »

(It is 4 am, but he leads to the Brigade and go into the Danglard’s office)

« He switched on the desk lamp and looked for the paper. Danglard was not the sort of man to leave it lying around and Adamsberg found it in the in-tray. Without bothering to seat down, he turned the pages looking for a Neptune-type incident. It was worse than that. Here, under the headline ‘Girl murdered with three stab wounds in Schiltigheim’, there was an indistinct picture of a body on a stretcher. And despite the fuzziness of the photograph, it was possible to make out that the girl was wearing a light-blue sweater, and that there were three wounds in a straight line across her abdomen.

Adamsberg went around the table to sit in Danglard’s chair. Now he held that missing piece of the jigsaw, the three puncture-wounds he had fleetingly glimpsed. The bloody signature, seen so many times in the past, and denoting the actions of the murderer, actions lying hidden in his memory and buried for over sixteen years. The photograph, briefly registered, must have awoken the memory with a jump, triggering the terrible feeling of dread and the sense that the Trident had returned ».

(The author then makes us believe that the story is over … but it only begins …)

« He was quite calm now. He tore out the page, folded it and put it in his inside pocket. The elements were all there and the attacks would not be able to trouble him again. Any more than the Trident would, the killer whom he had mentally exhumed because a mere echo from a briefly-seen press photograph. And after this shortlived misunderstanding, the Trident could be dispatched back into the cave of oblivion where it belonged ».

(In fact, part of the novel is laid and the Trident will occupy us for the next 300 pages of « Wash this blood from my hand ». Isn’t it beautiful ? Congratulations to Vargas !)
* * * * *

Okay, okay, it’s a novel, it is only a novel, and, therefore, there are all imaginary ingredients
to implement a progressive dramatization of the initial plot. Much in the way of the beginings of Vargas’s thrillers.

The author has first staged powerful intellectual feelings, then in a second time, she
decrypted these intellectuals feelings very clearly linked to past episodes, and which show desperate responses schemes to family trauma (loss of the brother), wider (other crimes  having the same signature), and to defeatist behavior (he never solved the riddle of the Trident’s murders), which mobilize powerful co-brother identities, young man, entry in the professionalization and this responsible commissaire but who failed. In a third time, Vargas, reveals how everything was triggered in the present (the crime picture in the paper, with the mark of Trident). It will take all the novel to see how Adamsberg’s new professional and personal schemata will mobilize
and counteract and contain the old patterns.

 

As part of the Explicitation Interview, we work mostly on intellectual feeling which are
softer, more benign. But it is the interest of the « psychology » of Vargas, played by its main character Adamsberg and contrasted with his deputy « left brain » Danglard (plus some other oppositions and complementarities linked to the original composition of the brigade), to emphasize the strength and dynamics of the Potential; to illustrate what is seized in  him as « J »
[1] is not aware (in the third person and not I am not unaware), otherwise indirectly by unexpected effects but which may remain unnoticed; of which it is recognized in him, that triggers, while « J » is not aware.

 

So these extracts invite reflection on the concept of Potential. Both basically invisible (hence the negative qualification in – aware) but manifesting its dynamism by its emerging spontaneous expression, as bodily feelings, emotions, decision information which stand out against the background but do not have yet sense. And above all, in the spirit of focusing and its relationship to Rogers, this potential, opens on information which can emerge for understanding the organization of the conduct that is lying under these intellectuals feelings. Behavior organization which is characteristic of the Potential. Other passages in
other novels, put much attention to make them available to those intellectuals feelings when they are fugitives, almost below the discrimination threshold, and need to be cought, which do not go without saying, requires discriminant special sensitivity in which Adamsberg excels and that we can learn to operate in the Explicitation Interview ! And now we learn to do the additional training to focusing, by the use of changes of point of view, by exploring the separated, by implementing techniques such as « cross-fertilization », the Feldenkrais and other strategies that geniuses learned from NLP and diverted in order to increase access to the description of experiences in the spirit of the Explicitation Interview.

 

So in the end we have a multitude of intellectual sentiments, like bodily feelings, strong emotions, then gradually partial sense (partial, because still incomprehensible) that connote these intellectuals feelings : despair, unknown, alien attacks, leaving devastated afterwards. Finally, the link appears intelligible with past events, the Trident, linked to a series of almost identical murders and unsolved. In the end, we have a present trigger, that is to say the details of the three red dots seen in the morning paper, which started intellectuals feelings.

 

The first of Adamsberg answers are purely reactive, he implements schemes to
erase stress, he usually knows how to do, rub his body, his head, walk, drink. With the
third burst, appear the first investigator patterns, find the moment, the information therein attached. These schemes will even mobilize Danglard in the midst of the night, as for a criminal investigation, and back to the root, at the office at 4 am. This is exactly what he could do in an investigation course. But still there, we have only the reaction patterns to stress. Then there will be other schemes of investigator: the murder series has continued, other murders will be searched to see if there is indeed a serial killer once again, the familiar scenario will be checked, since it is always the same: a drunken individual who do not remember what he did and who has in his possession a trident and is accused and can not defend himself ; the attentive measurement of the intervals of the trident marks shows constants that plead for the repetition of the process. The novel leaves us at this stage, without a good description of patterns (N4), it has given us the co-awakened identity of the past, the triggering events.  Therefore we must read the whole novel … Thanks Fred Vargas!

 

 

[1] I look for a new notation to contrast the « I » and « me » as a « him » that is to say to talk of
me in the third person, to accentuate this difference I note this « I » by a « J » capital without e). There is thus J and him.

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Levels of past lived experience description N3, N4

 by Fred Vargas :

The Adamsberg’s alerts (Version #2)

Pierre Vermersch

(quotations from « Wash this blood clean from my hand »)

Recall
I hereby designate N3 (short for « Level 3 », that is to say, « Level 3 description of the experience of the action »), the signs, symptoms, the invisible functioning of the Potential (Potential: that is to say, what is unconscious considered in its positive dimension, productive, constantly fed by my experiences and all that has an effect on me, whether conscious or not). Symptoms otherwise called « intellectual feeling » or for some others « intuition ». The N3 are not carriers of meaning by themselves, but indicate the presence of an underlying sense we need to decode. The excerpts that follow are essentially directed by the author of a N3 succession for the commissioner Adamsberg, and a first sense implementation to level 4.

So by N4, I designate the hidden meaning of the N3s. This sense may appear in different  complementary ways,  more or less explicit. Becoming aware of the scheme (s) at work will give sense to what seems to have not. That is to say that the meaning is not only given by  the past events but also they put in the context, they make the link with the present event which activates their remembrance, and also the driving patterns that have developed in response to these events (for example : escape, systematic search of an answer, renunciation to find). Similarly, the meaning not only illuminated by the identification, updating, of this co-identity, but also by patterns that characterize the organization of the action of this co-identity (for example here, the young man, the brother, the policeman, the superintendant). Here the meaning or N4, is considered essentially as revealed by the underlying organizer schema (s) and not reflexively conscious at the time of their implementation. But the purely  reactional nature of N3 will limit the demonstration, much clearer for N3 than for the N4. (We must also remember that it is a novel, not a description of an actual experience, probably with these passages, we learn more about the author than about the character …).

The whole work of Vargas (the author) is littered with examples of intellectual feeling, intuition, since the psychology of its main character, Adamsberg commissioner, relies on his way to welcome, encourage, solicit, spontaneous or sought intellectual feelings, then goes for a walk along the Seine to let show up the underlying patterns that will reveal the meaning of these signs of the Potential. Here, one will gradually active a research approach of the past event triggering the intellectual feeling, dramatically underlined by the intensity of intellectual feelings, both with invasive bodily feelings and very painful emotional climate. Long before the schemes or joint identities, we will have the emergence of acute bodily feelings, accompanied by a very negative, powerful emotional climate which will discreetly associate snippets of sense related to the details of the experienced situation in which the intellectual feeling appeared. But the meaning of these bits are not sufficient to make sense, it must appear the complete organization of what refers to the Potential.
Thus, the choice of this series of small extracts follows the particularly progressive staging developed by the author. By her will to surprise us in the « inexplicable », « unique » way which N3 sweep down on Adamsberg, then  find a resolution a few pages later in the revelation of a trigger event (N4) from his youth, which bear issues and very powerful feelings, then the current event trigger, the details of activated patterns will, in fact, be given only in the entire novel that follows this preamble.

Therefore, we have here is a story in three stages: the first which accumulates intense episodes of violent, painful and incomprehensible intellectual feelings; the second which appears as an a posteriori explanation, consistent to the origin in the past of all the inconsistent symptoms of the begining; the third, as an explanation of the current trigger of intellectual feelings. I number five violent episodes(unintelligible) that will appear successively.
1 / Commissaire Adamsberg is in the Paris Serious Crime Squad  with his deputy  p.19:

« You could’nt have mentioned it a it earlier, could you ?’ Danglard asked. ‘Before I’d typed out the whole report ?’

‘It only came to me in the night’ said Adamsberg, abruptly closing the newspaper, ‘I was thinking about Rembrandt. » (I sets out the passages that will make sense later, and which are crucial to the plot while it still seems anecdotal, secondary. My comments are in italics.)

« He folded the paper up hastily, thrown off balance by a sick feeling that had suddenly come over him, something like when a cat jumps on to your shoulders with its claws out. A feeling of shock and fright, sending sweat down the back of his neck, despite the cold air of the office. It would pass, surely, it was passing already ».

2/ Still in the office, having his coffee : (p. 32) :

« Sitting sideways on his office chair, he blew on his coffee, looking at the noticeboard covered with     reports, urgent messages and, in the centre, notes about the objectives of the Quebec expedition. Three sheets of paper, neatly lined up and attached with three red drawing pins… He smiled and sipped his coffee, feeling settled and even happy.

Then suddenly, he experienced once more that cold sweat on the back of his neck, the same dread coming over him, the cat jumping on to his shoulders. He bowed his head under the shock, and carefully put the coffee cup on the table ». (Second intellectual feeling, there we have the repeated manifestation of the same bodily felt sense). “The second sudden turn in less than an hour, an alien feeling of trouble, like the unexpected arrival of a stranger setting off an alarm or a panic button ». (A small advance in access to future direction, with the idea of the foreigner, the alert, the alarm). “He forced himself to stand up and take few steps. Apart from the shock and sweat, his body seemed to be behaving normally. He ran his hands over his face, relaxing the skin and massaging his neck. A sort of convulsive defense reflex. The sharp bite of some distress, a warning or a threat, making his body react to it ». (The perception of an  emotional climate is specifying, related to body feeling, but also the beginning of a vague understanding, reflecting
approximately schemas N4: defense, threat, distress, reaction in response. But due to what? As if schemes were ahead of the cause of their reactivation, and in doing, just appear weird.).
“And now he was able to move more easily, but was still left with an inexpressible feeling of sorrow, like a dark sediment that the wave leaves behind when it ebbs ». (Again, the meaning of these intellectual feelings settles, takes consistency, accuracy: pain sensation related to something that was abandoned, and when one already knows the content of the story, one sees quietly the summary of a story tragically unfinished).
« He finished his coffee and put his chin in his hands. He had many times failed to understand his actions, but now for the first time he felt he had lost touch with himself. It was the first time that he has reeled for a few seconds, as if some stowaway had slipped into his head and taken charge » (perception of indefinite co-identity that takes the helm : the stowaway). « For of that he was certain. There was a clandestine passenger aboard. Any sane person would have explained that this was absurd, and suggested he was coming down with flu. But Adamsberg diagnosed something different, the brief intrusion of a dangerous unknown being, who wished him no good ». (Decoding snippets :a clandestine on board, a stranger, a danger, a threat, and certainly not an ordinary disease like a flu). « 


3 / A little later, at home (p 35)

« Cleansed, exhausted and showered, Adamberg decided to eat a meal at the Liffey Water, a dark bar whose noisy atmosphere and acid smell had often punctuated his excursions round Paris… and the barmaid Enid, whom he asked to bring him some roast pork and potatoes. Enid served the dishes up using an ancient metal fork, which Adamsberg liked, with its polished wooden handle and three irregular prongs. He was watching her put his meat on the plate, when the stowaway in his mind suddenly returned, but now with the force of a rapist. This time, he seemed to detect the attack a fraction of a second before it struck. Fists clenched on the table, he tried to resist the intrusion. He tensed his whole body, calling up different thoughts and the sense of dread swept throught him like a tornado detroying a field, sudden, unstoppable and violent.  And then carelessly, it abandones its prey, going on to wreak havoc elsewhere ». (Here we have a summary yet enigmatic to the reader, of the story which actualizes and leaves Adamsberg devastated.
You wanted the bodily feeling! Well, here it is: nothing less than a tornado! )
————–

Interlude, the author introduces the reference to a psychiatrist to show that all this does not make sense for Adamsberg and that this professional probably would not help with his know-how or interpretation grids.


P. 37  « His friend Ferez, the psychiatrist, would no doubt have tried to identify the mechanism that was provoking the intrusion. (To find the cause…) He would try to probe the hidden chagrin, the unavowed pain walled up inside Adamsberg and shaking its chains like a prisoner, causing these sudden sweats, clenched muscles and a singing in his ears that made him flinch.  That’s what Ferez would have said, with the sympathetic pleasure he took in unusual cases. He would say, now what were you talking about when the first clawed cat jumped on to your shoulders ? Perhaps about Camille ? Or about Quebec ? » (The author gently mocks psychoanalysis and other psychological decoding, but follows the same intelligibility wire later, by searching the shutter in the experience of the day).

« Adamsberg stopped on the pavement, searching his memory, trying to think what he had been saying to Danglard when the first cold sweat had broken out his neck. Rembrandt, yes, that was it. He had been thinking about Rembrandt, and the absence of shades of dark and light in the D’Hernoncourt case ». (Early stages of a search for the cause of the intellectual feeling, he searches his memory what happened in the first case, and he happens to find the context, maybe even the trigger off the intellectual sense but he lacks some of the elements, and if that was the case, it would have an immediate liberating effect).  “It was just then . So, it was well before any talk of Camille or Canada. Above all, he would have had to explain to Ferez that never before had any worry of that kind made a vicious cat spring on his back. This was something new, never experienced, quite unprecedented. And the shocks had recurred at different times and in different circumstances, without any apparent link between them ». ((The author adds a little in the register totally incomprehensible to point out how that happens is meaningless).  “What connection could there be between his kindly Enid and Danglard, between the table at the Liffey Water pub and his own bulletin board ? Between the noisy crowd in the bar and his quiet office ? None at all. Even someone as quick on the uptake as Ferez would be quite lost. And he would refuse to believe that an alien had climbed on board. »

(The author has thickened the mystery, a recap of times without finding meaning, commissioning the scene of  the powerless psychology, the following three lines are a dramatic transition, the calm before the storm …)
« Adamsberg ran his hands throught his hair, then rubbed his arms and legs energetically, trying to revive his body. He set off once more, making an effort to use his normal inner ressources : walking around quietly, observing passers-by with detachment, letting his mind float like a log on the surface of the river. ((In response to these brutal intellectual feelings, Adamsberg always reacts with the same scheme for restoring his balance by physical contact : he rubs and walks, the sovereign remedy).

4/  « The fourth tornado pounced on him about an hour later, as he was going up the boulevard Saint-Paul, a few yards from home ». (The burst is staged here without contextual elements other than the location, preparing the detailed and illuminating analysis that follows, by a provisional nonsense supplement). “He flinched under the attack, and leaned against a lamp popst, freezing like a statue as the wind passed over him. He closed his eyes and waited.  Less then a minute later, he slowly lifted his head, shifted his shoulders, and flexed his fingers in his pockets, but was then assailed by the feeling of profound unease the storm had left in its wake for the fourth time that day. A distress which brought tears to his eyes, a sorrow without a name ». Nice double meaning : grief has no limit (first sense of the phrase « without name »), and is not recognized (it does not yet have a name).

« He had to put a name to it. To this red alert, this torture he was undergoing. Because the day that had begun so normally, with him walking in as he did every day to his headquarters, had left him a changed man, unable to contemplate resuming his routine. An ordinary human being in the morning, and by the evening a nervous wreck, paralysed by a volcano that had opened up under his feet, its fiery mouth containing an undecipherable enigma.

Peeling himself away from the lamp post, he examined his surroundings, a he would a crime scene of which he was himself the victim, seeking to identify the killer who had stabbed him in the back ». (New research strategy of what will be able to make sense, the common identity of the co-investigator and his patterns appear, applied to his own situation. But the N4, the organizing scheme is still absent, how will he become aware? He will choose to watch carefully where and when it is located, updating the schema of the investigator, to find meaning with the help, initially, of the universal science of Danglard !)
« He retreated a metre or so and stood again in the exact spot where he had been at the moment of impact. He looked along the empty pavement, the darkened shop window on the right, the advertising hoarding on the left. Nothing else. Only the advertising poster was clearly visible throught the dark, since it was lit up inside its glass case. That must have been the last thing he saw before the assault. He looked at it carefully. It was a reproduction of a classical sort of painting, with a strip across it announcing ‘Nineteenth-century paintings in the academic tradition. Temporary exhibition ».

« The picture represented a muscular guy with pale skin and a dark beard, sitting comfortably on the ocean, surrounded by nymphs and enthroned on a large shell”. (Description at this time flatly insane for preparing the discovery of the represented character, and its name, which will be the key of the organizer scheme of the distress). “Adamsberg stared for a long moment at the picture, trying to work out what it might have done to unleash the whirlwind, in the same way as his conversation with Danglard, his office armchair and the smoke-filled Liffey Water bar ». (The meaning is hidden, beyond the facts gathered, it lacks an organizing principle.) “But surely a man can’t fall from normality into chaos with a snap of the fingers. There must be some kind of transition, some way through. Here, as in the D’Hernoncourt case, what was missing was the set of nuances, the bridge between the two river banks, one deep in shadow, the other brightly sunlit. Sighing with frustration, he bit his lip and peered out into the darkness, in search of a cruising taxi. He called one, climbed into the cab and gave the driver the address of Adrien Danglard ».

« He had to ring the bell three times before Danglard, befuddled whith sleep, opened the door… ».

(He will wake Danglard at night, put him in a taxi back to the scene. That’s really the Adamsberg character! …)
« – ‘Here,’ said Adamsberg pointing at his own chest. ‘Just give me an answer. What is it ? »

«  And only Adamsberg was capable of squeezing ordinary life to extract these escapades, these shafts of weird beauty. So what did it matter that he had been woken up in the middle of the night and dragged off in the freezing cold to stand looking at a picture of Neptune ?

‘Who’s that man ?’ Adamsberg was repeating, without letting go of his arm.

«Neptune rising from the waves’ Danglard said with a smile »

….

« In the picture, Danglard went on….Here are Neptune’s benign actions, here is his power to punish mortals, represented by his trident and the evil serpent who drag men under the sea »….

« So that ‘s Neptune,’ Adamsberg interrupted in a thoughful voice. ‘OK, Danglard, thanks a million. Go home, go back to bed. My apologies for waking you up. » (Everything is in place for this to make sense, but still is missing  for Adamsberg to establish himself  the link between the character-Neptune- and the major symbol: the Trident, hence the intended meaning will emerge !).

p. 49 « Back home, Adamsberg looked through his haphazard collection of books to find one that might tell him more about Neptune/Poseidon. He found an old schoolbook where here the sea god appeared in all his glory, brandishing his divine weapon. He looked at it for a moment, read the little caption describing the bas-relief, then still holding the book, he collapsed on his bed, fully dressed but worn out with exhaustion and worry ». (The information becomes clearer, but is still insane … and the author still holds a dramatic episode …)

5/ “He was woken at about four in the morning by a cat miauling on the rooftops. He opened his eyes in the darkness and stared at the lighter rectangle of the window opposite his bed. His jacket, hanging from the window catch, looked like a broad-shouldered, motionless silhouette, an intruser who had crept into his bedroom to watch him sleeping. It was the stowaway who had penetrated his secret cave and wasn’t letting him escape. Adamsberg closed his eyes then opened them again. Neptune and his trident ». (Here we are, that’s it … almost … the meaning is very close ….).

“This time, his arms started to tremble, and his heart beat faster. This was nothing like the previous four attacks, but sheer stupefaction and terror.”

….

« Now that the alcohol had deadened his muscles, he could start thinking, begin again, and try to face the monster that the image of  Neptune had finally called up from his own vasty deeps. The stowaway, the dreadful intruder. The arrogant killer, whom he used to call ‘The Trident’. ((That’s it, here is the root of the past scheme that refreshes for the moment as an emotion, a feeling of distress and personal attack, but with a name that
summarizes a whole story).”
The murderer who always escaped, and who, thirty years earlier, had thrown his life off course : For fourteen years after that, Adamsberg had been chasing after him, following his tracks, hoping each time to catch him and then losing his moving target. He had run, fallen headlong, and run again.

And had ended by falling once more. In the course of this pursuit, he had given up hope and, above all, had lost his brother. The Trident had escaped, every time. He was a Titan, a devil, a Poseidon from hell. Raising his three-pronged weapon and killing with a single blow to the belly. Leaving his impaled victims with three bloody wounds in a straight line.

Adamsberg sat up in the chair. The three red drawing pins in his office, the three bleeding holes. Enid’s long three-pronged fork, echoing the trident three points. And Neptune raising his tridensceptre. These were the images which had given him such pain, dredging up a great sorrow, and then, in a single stream of mud, liberating his resurrected anguish.

He ought to have guessed, he thought now ». ((Typical : once the reflection is operated, what appears seems familiar, already known). “He ought to have linked these violent shocks to the long and painful trajectory of his pursuit of the Trident. Because no other living being had caused him more pain and dread, distress and fury than this man. Sixteen years earlier, he had had to close up the gaping wound the killer had made in his life, seal it up, cover it over, and forget about it ». (Psychological justification
forgetfulness and lack of immediate awareness). “
And suddenly, without rhyme or reason, it had opened up under his feet ». (The author prepares us in search of the missing piece, for the moment there is no reason to this episode. We have associative links to the trademark of the trident, but we do not know how it started, what is the trigger).

« Adamsberg stood up and paced round the room, with folded arms. On the one hand, he felt relieved and almost peaceful, since he had identified what lay at the eye of the cyclone. The tornadoes would not catch him out again. But this sudden reappearance of the Trident alarmed him. This Monday 6 october, he had risen up like a ghost bursting through the walls. It was a troubling revival, an inexplicable return. He put the bottle of gin back in the cupboard and carefully rinsed out the glass. Unless, that is, he did somehow know, unless he did understand why the old man had risen from the past. Between his calm everyday arrival at the office and the spectre of the Trident, there was some missing connection ». (We have the trigger event, which gives meaning to the intellectual feelings, but still no one has the current trigger of the event source of the appearance of these intellectuals feelings).

« He sat on the floor, back to the radiator, hugging his knees and thinking of his great-uncle, curled up like that in the rocks. He needed to concentrate, peer into the deepest recesses of his mind whithout giving up ».  ((A full evocationprocessing technique) “Return to the first appearance of the Trident, the initial tornado. So, he had been talking about Rembrandt while he explained to Danglard what he saw as the flaw in the D’Hernoncourt case. He tried to relive this scene again. Although he always found it difficult to remember words, images invariably imprinted themselves on his memory like pebbles on soft mud. He saw himself sitting on the corner of Danglard’s desk, and he saw the grumpy face of his deputy, under the sailor’s cap with its remains of a pompom. He saw the plastic cup of white wine, and the light falling from the left. And he was talking about light and shade. How was he sitting ? With arms folded ? Hands on knees ? Hands on the table ? Or in his pockets ? What had he been doing with his hands ?

He had been holding a newspaper. He had picked it up off the table, and had been leafing through it, without really reading it, during their conversation. Had he really not been reading it ? Or had he seen something there ? Something so powerful that a tidal wave had surged up out of his memory ? »

(It is 4 am, but he leads to the Brigade and go into the Danglard’s office)

« He switched on the desk lamp and looked for the paper. Danglard was not the sort of man to leave it lying around and Adamsberg found it in the in-tray. Without bothering to seat down, he turned the pages looking for a Neptune-type incident. It was worse than that. Here, under the headline ‘Girl murdered with three stab wounds in Schiltigheim’, there was an indistinct picture of a body on a stretcher. And despite the fuzziness of the photograph, it was possible to make out that the girl was wearing a light-blue sweater, and that there were three wounds in a straight line across her abdomen.

Adamsberg went around the table to sit in Danglard’s chair. Now he held that missing piece of the jigsaw, the three puncture-wounds he had fleetingly glimpsed. The bloody signature, seen so many times in the past, and denoting the actions of the murderer, actions lying hidden in his memory and buried for over sixteen years. The photograph, briefly registered, must have awoken the memory with a jump, triggering the terrible feeling of dread and the sense that the Trident had returned ».

(The author then makes us believe that the story is over … but it only begins …)

« He was quite calm now. He tore out the page, folded it and put it in his inside pocket. The elements were all there and the attacks would not be able to trouble him again. Any more than the Trident would, the killer whom he had mentally exhumed because a mere echo from a briefly-seen press photograph. And after this shortlived misunderstanding, the Trident could be dispatched back into the cave of oblivion where it belonged ».

(In fact, part of the novel is laid and the Trident will occupy us for the next 300 pages of « Wash this blood from my hand ». Isn’t it beautiful ? Congratulations to Vargas !)
* * * * *

Okay, okay, it’s a novel, it is only a novel, and, therefore, there are all imaginary ingredients
to implement a progressive dramatization of the initial plot. Much in the way of the beginings of Vargas’s thrillers.

The author has first staged powerful intellectual feelings, then in a second time, she
decrypted these intellectuals feelings very clearly linked to past episodes, and which show desperate responses schemes to family trauma (loss of the brother), wider (other crimes  having the same signature), and to defeatist behavior (he never solved the riddle of the Trident’s murders), which mobilize powerful co-brother identities, young man, entry in the professionalization and this responsible commissaire but who failed. In a third time, Vargas, reveals how everything was triggered in the present (the crime picture in the paper, with the mark of Trident). It will take all the novel to see how Adamsberg’s new professional and personal schemata will mobilize
and counteract and contain the old patterns.

 

As part of the Explicitation Interview, we work mostly on intellectual feeling which are
softer, more benign. But it is the interest of the « psychology » of Vargas, played by its main character Adamsberg and contrasted with his deputy « left brain » Danglard (plus some other oppositions and complementarities linked to the original composition of the brigade), to emphasize the strength and dynamics of the Potential; to illustrate what is seized in  him as « J »
[1] is not aware (in the third person and not I am not unaware), otherwise indirectly by unexpected effects but which may remain unnoticed; of which it is recognized in him, that triggers, while « J » is not aware.

 

So these extracts invite reflection on the concept of Potential. Both basically invisible (hence the negative qualification in – aware) but manifesting its dynamism by its emerging spontaneous expression, as bodily feelings, emotions, decision information which stand out against the background but do not have yet sense. And above all, in the spirit of focusing and its relationship to Rogers, this potential, opens on information which can emerge for understanding the organization of the conduct that is lying under these intellectuals feelings. Behavior organization which is characteristic of the Potential. Other passages in
other novels, put much attention to make them available to those intellectuals feelings when they are fugitives, almost below the discrimination threshold, and need to be cought, which do not go without saying, requires discriminant special sensitivity in which Adamsberg excels and that we can learn to operate in the Explicitation Interview ! And now we learn to do the additional training to focusing, by the use of changes of point of view, by exploring the separated, by implementing techniques such as « cross-fertilization », the Feldenkrais and other strategies that geniuses learned from NLP and diverted in order to increase access to the description of experiences in the spirit of the Explicitation Interview.

 

So in the end we have a multitude of intellectual sentiments, like bodily feelings, strong emotions, then gradually partial sense (partial, because still incomprehensible) that connote these intellectuals feelings : despair, unknown, alien attacks, leaving devastated afterwards. Finally, the link appears intelligible with past events, the Trident, linked to a series of almost identical murders and unsolved. In the end, we have a present trigger, that is to say the details of the three red dots seen in the morning paper, which started intellectuals feelings.

 

The first of Adamsberg answers are purely reactive, he implements schemes to
erase stress, he usually knows how to do, rub his body, his head, walk, drink. With the
third burst, appear the first investigator patterns, find the moment, the information therein attached. These schemes will even mobilize Danglard in the midst of the night, as for a criminal investigation, and back to the root, at the office at 4 am. This is exactly what he could do in an investigation course. But still there, we have only the reaction patterns to stress. Then there will be other schemes of investigator: the murder series has continued, other murders will be searched to see if there is indeed a serial killer once again, the familiar scenario will be checked, since it is always the same: a drunken individual who do not remember what he did and who has in his possession a trident and is accused and can not defend himself ; the attentive measurement of the intervals of the trident marks shows constants that plead for the repetition of the process. The novel leaves us at this stage, without a good description of patterns (N4), it has given us the co-awakened identity of the past, the triggering events.  Therefore we must read the whole novel … Thanks Fred Vargas!

 

 

[1] I look for a new notation to contrast the « I » and « me » as a « him » that is to say to talk of
me in the third person, to accentuate this difference I note this « I » by a « J » capital without e). There is thus J and him.

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