Thomas Pynchon, from V.

Back around the turn of the century, psychoanalysis had usurped from the priesthood the role of father- confessor. Now, it seemed, the analyst in his turn was about to be deposed by, of all people, the dentist.

It appeared actually to have been little more than a change in nomenclature. Appointments became sessions, profound statements about oneself came to be prefaced by ``My dentist says . . .'' Psychodontia, like its predecessors, developed a jargon: you called neurosis ``malocclusion,'' oral, anal and genital stages ``deciduous dentition,'' id ``pulp'' and superego ``enamel.''

The pulp is soft and laced with little blood vessels and nerves. The enamel, mostly calcium, is inanimate. These were the it and I psychodontia had to deal with. The hard, lifeless I covered up the warm, pulsing it; protecting and sheltering.

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