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Why War?: Psychoanalysis, Politics and the Return to Melanie Klein



Why War?: Psychoanalysis, Politics and the Return to Melanie Klein

Jacqueline Rose

ISBN: 978-0-631-18924-4 December 1993 Wiley-Blackwell 288 Pages


Over the past decade, psychoanalysis has been a focus of continuing controversy for feminism, and at the centre of debates in the humanities about how we read literature and culture. In these essays, Jacqueline Rose continues her engagement with these issues while arguing for a shift of attention - from an emphasis on sexuality as writing to the place of the unconscious in the furthest reaches of or cultural and political lives. With essays on war, capital punishment and the dispute over seduction in relation to Freud, she opens up the field of psychopolitics. Finally in two extended essays on Melanie Klein and her critics, she suggests that it is time for a radical rereading of Klein's work.

Introduction: Michael Payne.

Part I: Psycho-Politics:.

1. 'Why War?'.

2. Margaret Thatcher and Ruth Ellis.

Part II: The Death Drive:.

3. 'Where Does the Misery Come From?' - Psychoanalysis, Feminism and the Event.

4. Shakespeare and the Death Drive.

Part III: Returning to Klein:.

5. Negativity in the work of Melanie Klein.

6. War in the Nursery.

An Interview with Jacqueline Rose.

Jacqueline Rose: A Bibliography, 1974-1992: Nancy Weyant.

Appendix: Intellectual Inhibition and Eating Disorders: Melitta Schmideberg.


"In eloquent critiques, Rose explicates the complex, contradictory relations between gender and fantasy, feminism and psychoanalysis, and the dialogue initiated here certainly deserves a wide audience." Anthony Elliott, Times Higher Education Supplement
  • Controversial appraisal of the role of the unconscious in our political lives
  • Deals with the Thatcher phenomenon
  • Urges radical re-reading of Melanie Klein
  • Author enjoys celebrity for her controversial book on Sylvia Plath.