Antonie Ladan translated from the Dutch by Marjolijn de Jager

Walking Heads

On the Secret Fantasy of Being an Exception


Publication Date: Jul 17, 2005

160 pp

Trade Paperback

List Price US $22.00
ISBN: 9781590511343


“Walking Heads” refers to individuals especially entrenched inside their heads, without any instinctive contact with the rest of the body. Their childhoods were spent in situations difficult to endure and from which there was no escape. Therefore, and out of sheer necessity, they called upon their ability to fantasize to find a way out of their situation. Through these fantasies, children can become the adults that they think they will be in the future. In effect, they enter a fantasy world that seems to be far more tolerable than the real world in which they are living at that moment in time.

The price that these children pay consists of sacrificing their youth for a pseudo-adulthood. They live without the questions of helplessness, dependency, and feeling ridiculous. The uncontrollable and shameful desires of the body do not disturb their conscious life. Everything is under control. However, their autonomy stands or falls with their ability to maintain a situation in which the world where the ‘grown-up’ who was a child once, long ago, remains inaccessible: the door to the nursery must remain closed at all costs.



Excerpt from Walking Heads