Joe has a faint memory of the importance of the signal from the "lover" for de Clerambault sufferers, but cannot quite place it at first.
And he feels better even though the conclusions are not necessarily reassuring in themselves, and do not appear to suggest that any such control is going to be possible: "Well over a half of all male de Clerambaults in one survey had attempted violence on the subjects of their obsessions" (142).
The definition of de Clerambault
syndrome given in the book, "a delusional conviction of being in amorous communication with another person" gives some sense of its plot.
In the novel's most interesting formal feature, in "documentation" regarding the syndrome named for Gaetan Gatian de Clerambault
, McEwan lends credence to the novel by pointing to its background in clinical descriptions and psychoanalysis as well.
JC: I'm going to show Helmut Newton's Sic Kommen - a diptych of five magnificent woman, eugenic prototypes, nude in one photo, dressed as executives in the other - next to photographs by Gaetan Gatian de Clerambault
, the '30s French psychiatrist who was fascinated by the draped fabric worn by Muslim women.
He brought de Clerambault
's syndrome to public attention three years ago through the book, Hidden Love, but the Parisian psychiatrist de Clerambault
was first to identify it 90 years ago.
Over at the Open Eye there are some vintage images from French photographer Gaetan de Clerambault