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A Concise Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Culture

Laura Marcus (Editor), Ankhi Mukherjee (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-8860-9
450 pages
June 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
A Concise Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Culture (140518860X) cover image


This concise companion explores the history of psychoanalytic theory and its impact on contemporary literary criticism by tracing its movement across disciplinary and cultural boundaries.

  • Contains original essays by leading scholars, using a wide range of cultural and historical approaches
  • Discusses key concepts in psychoanalysis, such as the role of dreaming, psychosexuality, the unconscious, and the figure of the double, while considering questions of gender, race, asylum and international law, queer theory, time, and memory
  • Spans the fields of psychoanalysis, literature, cultural theory, feminist and gender studies, translation studies, and film.
  • Provides a timely and pertinent assessment of current psychoanalytic methods while also sketching out future directions for theory and interpretation
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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors viii

Acknowledgments xiv

Introduction: Psychoanalysis at the Margins 1
Laura Marcus

Part I Histories 13

1 The Freudian Century 15
Stephen Frosh

2 The Case Study 34
Andrew Webber

3 Modernity, the Occult, and Psychoanalysis 49
Carolyn Burdett

4 Back to Frankfurt School 66
Laurence A. Rickels

5 The Exception of Psychoanalysis: Adorno and Cavell as Readers of Freud 82
Daniel Steuer

Part II Literatures 103

6 Freud’s Textual Couch, or the Ambassador’s Magic Carpet 105
Jean-Michel Rabaté

7 Freud’s Double 122
Nicholas Royle

8 Medieval Dreams 137
Nicolette Zeeman

9 Queer Desire, Psychoanalytic Hermeneutics, and Love Lyric 151
Tim Dean

10 Psychoanalysis, Literature, and the “Case” of Adolescence 167
Pamela Thurschwell

Part III Visual Cultures 191

11 Intimate Volver 193
Frances L. Restuccia

12 Psychoanalysis, Popular and Unpopular 216
Catherine Liu

13 Primetime Psychoanalysis 233
Ankhi Mukherjee

14 The Art of the Symptom: Body, Writing, and Sex Change 250
Patricia Gherovici

15 The Desert of the Real 271
Todd McGowan

Part IV Transformations 287

16 “One of the Most Obscure Regions of Psychoanalysis”: Defamiliarizing Psychic Economy 289
Anna Kornbluh

17 Chronolibido: From Socrates to Lacan and Beyond 312
Martin Hägglund

18 Psychoanalytic Animal 328
Maud Ellmann

19 On the Right to Sleep, Perchance to Dream 351
Ranjana Khanna

20 Freud on Cultural Translation 367
Robert J.C. Young

21 Psychoanalysis and Pedagogy: Narratives of Teaching 385
Isobel Armstrong

22 Touching and Not Touching 410
Naomi Segal

Index 425

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Author Information

Laura Marcus is Goldsmiths’ Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. She was previously Regius Professor of Rhetoric and Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Her research and teaching interests are in nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first century literature and culture, with particular focus on modernism, Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury culture, life writing, literature and film, the history of psychoanalysis, and contemporary fiction. She is the author of several books, including The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period (2007) and the forthcoming books Dreams of Modernity: Literature, Psychoanalysis, Cinema (2014) and Autobiography: A Very Short Introduction (2014).

Ankhi Mukherjee is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oxford. She was previously a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Faculty of English. Her research interests include nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first century British, Anglophone, and world literatures, with particular focus on critical and cultural theory, intellectual history, the novel, postcolonial studies, and psychoanalysis. She is the author of What is a Classic? Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon (2013) and Aesthetic Hysteria: The Great Neurosis in Victorian Melodrama and Contemporary Fiction (2007).

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"This stimulating and wide-ranging collection resituates psychoanalysis firmly in the contemporary world.  A series of brilliantly conceived and complementary chapters—-on adolescence and asylum, Freud’s magic carpet and medieval dreams, primetime TV and the psychoanalytic animal, translation and teaching (to name only a few)—-builds a powerful case for the continuing purchase of psychoanalytic thought on literary and cultural studies today."
Mary Jacobus, University of Cambridge

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