Summary Of Patrick White's 'Twyborn Affair'

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Chapter Three The Eddie Twyborn Affair I am a kind of mistake trying to correct itself. —— Patrick White, The Twyborn Affair This is the element of the tragic built into psychoanalytic theory, whether Freudian or Lacanian: to become a civilized adult always entails the profound loss of an original unity, a non-differentiation, an unselfhood. —— Mary Klages, Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed …it is the use of women as exchangeable, perhaps symbolic, property for the primary purpose of cementing the bonds of men with men…Lévi-Strauss’s normative man uses a woman as a “conduit of a relationship” in which the true partner is a man. —— Eve Kosofsky Sedgewick, Between Men I. Eddie and Parents: The Real and Incestuous Desire In…show more content…
Eddie loves his father and is sexually attracted to him. As mentioned above, he used to project this desire to Angelos, and satisfying his incestuous desire by making love with Angelos. On the dinner table with his mother and father, Eddie tries to remind his father of the intimate experience they have had. “Do you remember—Father,”…“you took me with you when a court was sitting at—Bathurst I think it was. We shared an enormous iron bed with a honeycomb coverlet on it.” “I don’t remember,” the Judge said. (158) Eddie tries to give more detail, but his father criticizes that he is making it up. Eddie cherishes the memory of “pure contact with the Judge under the honeycomb bedspread” (392), and he “would not have regretted drowning in love with Judge Twyborn” (206). But his father doesn’t want to recall this memory, and asks that “must we be morbid” (159)? His mother also says: “You’re unnatural, Eddie” (159). Blamed by his parents, Eddie realizes that “he should not have come back; he should have kept his existence to himself, or only revealed it to strangers” (159). Failing to express his love to the parents, Eddie feels he is “a visitor” at home, and the ghost-like Mrs. Golson is to visit the Twyborns, haunting him again, so Eddie decides to work in the country to escape from
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