"Asymmetry is often experienced as physical pain, as if a limb were missing or injured." (Heinrich Wölfflin, "Prolemena to a Psychology of Architecture", in Empathy, Form, and Space, p. 155) 

On the one hand, the "phantom limb" -- a kind of mourning for a pre-Oedipal (i.e. pre-castrated) body -- whose painful reality is well documented. On the other hand, the "counterfeit" limb, paralyzed and "cut off" from perception and recognition -- "internal amputation." "How could a thing like that belong to me? I don't know where a thing like that belongs." -- the syndrome of anosognosia. To the nurse clearing away the breakfast: "Oh, and that arm there, take it away with the tray!" (Sachs, A Leg to Stand On, p. 57) For Sachs, this was a "neuro-existential" pathology where some features which could easily have been "hysterical" -- the characteristic dissociation and bland or joking indifference -- were, in those instances extremely organic. 

And on the third hand, the prosthesis. (Is there a third hand?)

I have recently been undertaking parallel readings of books that suggested productive cross-readings. One of these readings consisted of A Leg to Stand On, by Oliver Sachs, and Railway Journey, by Wolfgang Schivelbusch. In A Leg to Stand On, Sach recounts his experience of paralysis of his left leg after an accident and the resulting anosognosia, or "counterfeit limb." Without sensation in the leg, Sachs no longer recognized it as his, no longer remembered what it was like to walk on it. As Sachs put it, his very frame of reference had changed without his being aware of it. The leg was gone, taking its place with it. He vivdly describes this change in his " body image", which returned almost as abruptly when he began to walk on it again. "Counterfeit limb" is the complement to "Phantom limb." In the latter the limb is gone, but sensation remains, while the counterfeit limb is still there but seems disconnected or alien. (if "castration anxiety" is a primal experiences of patriarchy, these "physiopathologies", neither fully organic nor hysteric, strike close to home.) 

In Railway Journey, Wolfgang Schivelbusch describes what we might now think of as a technological " prosthetic", the railroad, and its effect on "industrial consciousness." Schivelbusch describes the "disintegration of time and space," the transformation of the city and countryside, and a brief history of "shock." Nineteenth-century passengers likened railway travel to the flight of a speeding bullet. Their initial exhilaration was soon repressed into a personal withdrawal most often characterized by reading while travelling, punctuated occasionally by th e return of the repressed in the form of fear -- fear of accidents whose reminder was most often unexpected vibrations. 

After staying up late one night reading alternating segments of these two books, I fell asleep and dreamt that I saw the Brooklyn Bridge, which I see out of my window, collapse and disappear from view. Some visitors were coming to my place -- real estate agents or something -- but although I repeatedly reminded myself to do so, I kept forgetting to tell them what I had just seen. 

I often walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, usually as far as the first pier, despite the feeling of vertigo that it provokes in me. Friends of mine, structural engineers in fact, tell me that climbing up the cables is quite a thrill, (in fact they get a particular thrill from having sex on the tops of bridges) but I can only take their word for it. I find the prospect truly unthinkable. When I walk on the bridge, I am always struck by the optimism that built it and by the beauty of its prospects captured in photographs like Paul Strand's (?) Walking up the ramp, I can see my windows, in a small, three-story building with a backdrop of towers, and I feel a glorious sense of belonging, that New York is my home.

But the dream has stayed with me, not only for personal reasons, I think, but because it entertwines the issues of technology and subjectivity. 

phantom limb provides a transition to use of a prosthetic limb. 
Salle columns like casts around existing see also BAMFV painting 
intelligence located in legs of Rodney Brooks' robots. 
(see top down / bottom up)

It would have been hard to imagine the loss that would later actually occur in the neighborhood. I had occasionnally thought about the scenario of the first bombers of the WTC, who hoped to topple one tower into the other, making them both fall like dominos. As I live close enough to what is now called "ground zero" that the buildings could theoretically have fallen on our heads, I was unable to forget this idea, once it had entered my head, and I was sure that others would not forget it either.