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Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Reappraisal, 2nd Edition

Psychoanalytic Criticism: A Reappraisal, 2nd Edition

Elizabeth Wright

ISBN: 978-0-745-66923-6 May 2013 Polity 232 Pages




What is psychoanalytic criticism and how can it be justified as a type of criticism in its own right? In this new and thoroughly revised edition of her classic textbook, Elizabeth Wright provides a cogent answer to this question and a wide-ranging introduction to psychoanalytic criticism from Freud to the present day.

Since each school of psychoanalysis has its own theory of the aesthetic process, the field is complex. Adopting a critical perspective, Elizabeth Wright focuses on major figures and texts in psychoanalysis and in literary and art criticism: classical psychoanalysis; Jungian analytic psychology; objects-relations theory; French psychoanalysis; French anti-psychoanalysis; feminist psychoanalytic criticism. Across these divisions certain problems recur, problems which conceal themselves in a wide range of surprising places, from Shakespearean tragedy to performance theatre from magic realism to detective fiction, from the German Lied to Wagner. These areas are investigated with reference to rival psychoanalytic theories, while connections are traced between the aesthetic process and the psychoanalytic approach.

Already established as the leading introduction to the field, this new edition of Psychoanalytic Criticism will be essential reading for students of literature and literary theory, psychoanalysis, feminism and feminist theory, cultural studies and the humanities generally.



Part One. .

1. Classical Psychoanalysis: Freud.

2. Classical Freudian Criticism: Id-Psychology.

3. Post-Freudian Criticism: Ego-Psychology.

4. Archetypal Criticism: Jung and the Collective Unconscious.

Part Two.

5. Object-Relations Theory: Self and Other.

Part Three. .

6. Structural Psychoanalysis: Psyche as Text.

7. Post-structural Psychoanalysis: Text as Psyche.

Part Four. .

8. Psychoanalysis and Ideology I: Focus on Subversion.

9. Psychoanalysis and Ideology II: Focus on Dialectic.

Part Five.

10. Feminist Psychoanalytic Criticism.



Further Reading.


"In this new edition of her indispensable Psychoanalytic Criticism, Elizabeth Wright not only brings the story up to date by sketching the major developments of the last fifteen years but prepares psychoanalysis and its readers for the centenary of the movement in the year 2000. Wright asks all the key questions about psychoanalysis as an instrument of cultural criticism, explores the whole range of schools and tendencies and is unfailingly alert and judicious in her own critical judgements. Her book helps us to grasp the essential paradox of psychoanalysis today: the more insistently it is exposed to attack, the more profound and provocative its central insights seem." Malcolm Bowie, All Souls College, University of Oxford

"Elizabeth Wright's Psychoanalytic Criticism is the only place I know where two vital discourses, psychoanalysis and literary criticism, can achieve more than a passing acquaintance with each other. Professor Wright's central concern, the problematic relation of art to psychoanalysis, shapes the confrontations she carefully stages between the various Freudian and post-Freudian theories and their literary-critical counterparts. The new chapters that include contemporary work by Zizek, feminists, and the new Lacanians maintain this book as crucially relevant." Juliet Flower MacCannell, The University of California

"Psychoanalytic Criticism provided a judicious and indispensable guide to this often bewildering and complex field of literary studies ... This second and updated edition, therefore, is to be welcomed. Wright has not just reissued the book but has used the opportunity to take stock of the field and reappraise the current state of play in psychoanalytic studies." Psychoanalytic Studies

'One cannot but admire its breadth and energy.' Psychoanalysis, Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory

* A clear and extensive study of psychoanalytic criticism.