28 January 2010

Reich; Salinger

Wikipedia | Wilhelm Reich

He tried to reconcile Marxism and [Freudian] psychoanalysis...
So, he worked on the two most over-rated intellectual trends of the 20th century? What a guy. Why not just combine the four humors with Lamarkian evolution? He couldn't fit phlogiston or luminiferous aether into the mix?
He said he had discovered a primordial cosmic energy, which he said others called God, and which he called "orgone." He built "orgone energy accumulators" that his patients sat inside to harness the reputed health benefits, leading to newspaper stories about "sex boxes" that cured cancer.
Oh. Looks like Reich was a step ahead of my snark on the aether front.

And what brings me to the page of the illustrious crank Dr Reich? Apparently J.D. Salinger was a big believer in orgone boxes. I always knew he was a crackpot. Other gems from Salinger's obit: he drank his own urine and was "obsessed" with homeopathy. Charming.

The best thing to come out of Salinger's life was his fictional self in W.P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe.

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