Germans grew reluctant to stay in communal ski lodges, fearing they might talk in their sleep. They postponed surgeries because of the lip-loosening effects of anesthetic. Dreams reflected the ambient anxiety. One German dreamed that an SA man came to his home and opened the door to his oven, which then repeated every negative remark the household had made against the government.
While the repression of a memory is a psychological process, the suppression of feeling is accomplished by deadening a part of the body or reducing its motility so that feeling is diminished. The repression of the memory is dependent upon and related to the suppression of feeling, for as long as the feeling persists, the memory remains vivid. Suppression entails the development of chronic muscular tension in those areas of the body where the feeling would be experienced. In the case of sexual feeling, this tension is found in and about the abdomen and pelvis
Since the experience is different for each individual, the tension will reflect that experience. In some persons the whole lower half of the body is relatively immobilized and held in a passive state; in others the muscular tensions are localized in the pelvic floor and around the genital apparatus. If the latter sort of tension is severe, it constitutes a functional castration; for, although the genitals operate normally, they are dissociated in feeling from the rest of the body. Any reduction of sexual feeling amounts to a psychological castration. Generally the person is unaware of these muscular tensions, but putting pressure upon the muscles in the attempt to release the tension is often experienced as very painful and frightening.
(Dorothy) Dunnett is the master of the invisible, particularly in her later books. Where is this tension coming from? Why is this scene so agonizing? Why is this scene so emotional? Tension and emotion pervade the books, sometimes almost unbearably, yet when you look at the writing, at the actual words, there's nothing to show that the scene is emotional at all. I think it is because Dunnett layers her novels, meaning that each event is informed by what has come before (and what came before that, and what came before that) but Dunnett doesn't signpost in the text that this is happening, leaving it to the reader to bring the relevant information to the table
I felt like I was some kind of primitive spring-loaded machine, placed under far more tension than it had ever been built to sustain, about to blast apart at great danger to anyone standing nearby. I imagined my body parts flying off my torso in order to escape the volcanic core of unhappiness that had become: me.