20th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
ON LITERATURE & PSYCHOLOGY
UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH
JULY 2 - 6, 2003
A B S T R A C T S
"The Stories of Our Creativity: Narratives of 'Crafty' Women in Midlife"
Many women become attracted to creative activities for the first time in midlife. Creative activities are relaxing and offer women the opportunity to be generative -- i.e., to produce something of lasting value. They create economic opportunities, and enhance identity. In this study, 35 women who were members of one of two online jewelry-making bulletins responded to an open-ended questionnaire about their craft experience. The women were asked how they got started in jewelry-making, and how they defined creativity in jewelry-making. Thematic analyses indicated that women viewed their entry into jewelry-making as slow and gradual, or sudden and life-altering. They viewed their craft as a major source of identity, self-esteem, and spiritual strength.
"Reconstructing Memories of Masculine Subjectivity in Memento: Narrative Form and the Fiction of the Self"
This paper explores the ways in which fictional subjectivity intersects with narrative form to produce a fiction of selfhood and masculinity in Christopher Nolan's film Memento (US, 2000). Drawing on psychoanalytic discourses of subjectivity and gender and trauma theory's work on memory, the paper argues that masculinity has become a culturally empty category that can be interrogated and problematised through efforts to reconstruct it through the textual representation of memory and its failure. As a narrative of the self, and bodily alteration have a central function in this narrative, enabling issues relating to the psychological dimensions of masculine subjectivity to be explored. The paper also explores the narrative effect on the film's spectator by considering the dimension of cinematic affect and its resonance with cultural and gender politics.
"A Scene of Mise en Abyme at Knossos: Freud's Moses the Egyptian and King Minos of Crete"
The application of psychoanalytic theories to works of art and literature is commonly practiced by clinicians and critics alike. In this paper, however, I propose to apply the concept of mise en abyme, a figure involving analogy introduced by André Gide, to the analysis of a psychoanalytic text: Sigmund Freud's Moses and Monotheism. Specifically, the discrete segment to be presented as an instance of mise en abyme--that is, synecdochal relation of part to whole based on resemblance--is a marginal historical reference: Freud's brief reiterated allusion to Minoan civilization. It is a traveling kind of reference, first appearing within a footnote and, then, moving from subtext to main text. Moreover, the footnote referring to the final destruction of the palace of Minos at Knossos may also be brought into the textual center insofar as it is shown to contain the thematic whole of which it forms a seemingly inconsequential part. At the same time, however, Freud's mention of King Minos subverts the temporal linearity of his psycho-archaeological quest for the origins of Judaism and the place of the Jews (and of himself) in Western culture. The rhetorical device of mise en abyme is literally realized in a vision of human time as a vortex rather than a continuum. The iconic figure placed en abyme thus turns out to be not only a corroborating analogy but also a disruption to the developmental story that Freud apparently set out to tell.
"Collaboration and Collusion as Survival Strategies in Iain Pears's The Dream of Scipio"
Iain Pears's The Dream of Scipio received high praise when it was published in mid-2002. The novel unites three stories, which all take place in the vicinity of Avignon, in 475, 1340, and 1943. Each story concerns a protagonist whose primary concern is to preserve the values of his civilization, which are in danger of extinction. The threat comes from another, more powerful, culture. The oppressing, triumphant, and barbarous groups are those of the Burgundians (during the decline of the Roman Empire), warring factions in the church during the Avignon papacy, and the Germans during the second world war. Each protagonist weighs the cost of serious compromises with the powers that oppress him, in the hope of preserving his personal safety and his civilization. The purpose of my paper is to explore the choices of these characters by comparing them with the survival strategies employed by victims of sexual abuse.
"O Mother Where Art Thou?: Maternal Deprivation in Elena Castedo's El Paraíso"
This paper merges classic object relational psychoanalysis with feminist psychoanalytic perspectives as well as clinical psychology in an examination of the problematic mother/daughter bond presenting itself in Castedo's novel. Feminine narcissism, ambivalence, denial, rage and other phenomena particular to the mother/child dynamic will be explored in an attempt to locate maternal deprivation within a larger paradigm of failed nuturance between women.
Joanna Montgomery Byles
"Freud and the Archeology of Memory"
The act of uncovering the past necessarily brings the present, both archeological and psychic into the present, into the questions of the present about the past civilizations for the archeologist, and about the past psychic life of the individual for the analyst, promising some sort of new understanding, and possibly transformation. The question of what can or cannot survive burial, what is or is not recoverable, and in what state it is recovered, cannot be asked without, Freud suggested, archeological awareness, because psychoanalysis, at its inception, was more or less an inquiry into memory.
"How a Poet Sees"
Why and how does a poet see things more clearly than others do? A quasischolarly, lighthearted essay on how a poet perceives everyday things and the joys and anguish of life. An unabashedly biased examination of quotations from psychologists and other creative writers, with both rational and presumptuous interpretations. Listeners may be appalled, entertained and/or transformed.
"Re-reading the Book: A Reader's Response"
Reader-orientated theories examine the nature of the relationship between the reader and the text. I propose that the reader's response to the object begins even before any response to the text. Such readings of the medium may have significant implications regarding the communication of the text (in extremis, selection or rejection), and therefore any examination of the reader's response should include both an exploration of the reader's psychological involvement with the text and an examination of interactions with (and responses to ) both the physical object book and the environmental conditions surrounding the selection and interpretation of a book.
"Learning to Love Your Ambivalently-held Enemy"
This is study of the development of a therapist in dealing with various patients he hated and yet felt ambivalent about. First he withdrew into denial. Then he proceeded to use reaction-formation to sound fair and reasonable. Then he found he could refer people whose misery he enjoyed since he was busy. Then he found a woman, whose misery he could identify with. Then several other patients came along, who had aspects of life that he could identify with or interests that were his own pursuits. The sources for his being able to develop in this way had to do with childhood experiences and with training as an adult.
"Love, the Home, and the World: Theorizing an Alternative Globalism"
Rabindranath Tagore's trilogy, including Gora, Home and the World, and Char Adhyaha constitute a particularly rich exploration of the nature of subjectivity and a significant contribution to a theorization of an alternative globalization. Tagore, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, was a more provocative thinker than he is given credit for. I argue that Tagore's work thematizes love, or desire, as the basis of subjectivity, of individual sovereignty. But individual sovereignty is also for Tagore a node in the larger circuit of the inner and the outer, the home and the world, the national and the universal, the patriotic and the cosmopolitan. In Tagore we have not only an early emphasis on love or desire as the necessary locus of the subject's interiority, but also an early theorization of an alternative idea of the global and a conceptualization of an alternative, even cosmopolitical modernity.
"Werther's Suffering and Suicide"
Goethe's famous first novel, The Sufferings of Young Werther, tells the story of a young man's severe psychological pain from which he finds relief only by ending his life with a gun. The author asks his readers to respond with empathy to his protagonist's ordeal and thereby assumes a stance, which not only mirrors a fundamental principle of psychological inquiry, but which also helps the reader gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of human self destruction. In this paper, I argue that the novel can be read as a first, and remarkably insightful, attempt at suicide education and prevention despite the fact that it had been accused of its opposite. A self-psychological interpretation of the novel suggests the nature of the young man's suffering to be the result of a profound idealization and mirroring deficit.
Maria Aline Ferreira
"Immaculate Conceptions, Fantasies of Intra-Uterine Life and Pregnant Madonnas"
In this paper I wish to analyse some representations of the related fantasies of Immaculate Conceptions and Virgin Births, visions of intra-uterine life and pregnant Madonnas. What these representations share, I will argue, is a wish to make conspicuously visible what the Church and androcentric society in general have striven to keep under a veil, due to the heretical and transgressive potential of the scenes under examination. I will be looking at Max Ernst's collage novel La Femme 100 Tetes (1929), Andrew Breton and Paul Eluard's The Immaculate Conception (1930), selected works by Salvador Dali, as well as some recent paintings by Luso-British artist Paula Rego representing scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. All these iconoclastic, anti-clerical texts and paintings can be said to be informed by a drive to return to one's origins, to the first divisions of the cell, to the primal scene and the inaccessible moment of conception, as well as to the womb and to the moment of birth, making discernable what had remained hidden and repressed. In this analysis I will draw on Otto Rank's The Trauma of Birth (1929), a book which informed the writing of Breton and Eluard's The Immaculate Conception (1930), on Freud's many insights with relation to the issues under investigation as well as on the work of Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray.
"Big Mamas: The Devouring Feminine in Contemporary Cinema"
The contemporary cultural construct of the large woman as monstrous and out of control, driven by insatiable appetites, has been located in socio-political history as the post-feminist reaction to challenges of traditional gender and power paradigms. The image of the fearsome fat woman is thus seen as the collective social response to what Christopher Lasch describes as "the aggressive overtures of sexually liberated women." A psychoanalytic reading, however, directs us to an understanding of these gendered constructs within the context of such unconscious developmental processes as the preoedipal fear of the annihilating and devouring maternal. This paper will discuss the outsize female characters in such films as What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, Happiness, and Misery as embodied projections of primitive fantasies and anxieties onto the cinema screen.
"The Mythos of Terrorism With Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents as Conduit"
Is there a discourse to terrorism? What is the symbolic language of its sociopathic politics? This paper poses questions and looks at acts as symbolic language with the convoluted sense of good and evil seen through a prism, often as a matter of interpretation.
"Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: Science, Science Fiction or Autobiography?"
Mary Shelley's personal life was quite tragic and many modern critics, especially feminist ones, discuss Frankenstein in terms of the recurring themes of procreation and death. This paper will examine these issues more fully by applying Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development to Shelley's life. Most particularly we will examine how Shelley's lack of maternal and paternal care led her to conceive of her Creature. The audience will be encouraged to look beyond the exterior of the Creature and decide exactly who is the monster in this classic novel. Understanding identity issues is also critical to understanding Mary's life and fiction. Her husband's untimely death had adverse effects on Mary's identity and she tried, with varying degrees of success, to establish her own career beyond merely being Percy's literary executor. Indeed many people in her own time were convinced that Percy B. Shelly had actually written Frankenstein.
Joseph Glicksohn (with Chanita Goodblatt)
"Interdisciplinarity in Practice: Cognitive Psychology and Poetic Metaphor"
In his book Practical Criticism (1929), I. A. Richards marks his standing as the herald of the empirical study of literature, affiliating with the experimental psychology of his time and with the rising prominence of Gestält theory within this discipline. In this manner, Richards was participating in a tradition of intellectual endeavor which is truly interdisciplinary. We distinguish between a weak and a strong version of interdisciplinary: The weak version enables one to bridge between disciplines: the strong version enables one to put to empirical test a jointly derived hypothesis, with implications to be drawn for both disciplines. We demonstrate the strong version by presenting an metaphor comprehension entails a process of problem solving. We have emulated Richard's empirical study of literature (though, with much tighter experimental control), while integrating this with his Interaction Theory of Metaphor.
Mark Goodman (et al.)
"Redefining the 'Proper' Roles of Women in Film"
A survey of over 100 participants liked actresses more as they aged than when they were young. Further, the study participants characterized the actresses as more feminine as they aged than when they were young.
[Click here for an online version of the paper.]
"Spielberg's Minority Report: Oedipus Redux"
Steven Spielberg's film Minority Report (2002; based on a 1956 story by Philip K. Dick) is a visually fascinating science fiction crime thriller propelled by an oedipal plot. Chief John Anderton heads a "Pre-Crime" squad that, aided by precognitive seers, stops murders before they occur. When these mutants predict that Anderton himself is about to commit murder, he flees. The "precogs" function like the divine oracle in Sophocles' play, and Anderton becomes Oedipus, the King who seeks a murderer only to discover that the murderer is himself. Also like Oedipus, Anderton attacks his eyes: he has his eyes surgically removed and replaced by another set to conceal his identity. Finally Anderton's real enemy, the man he ultimately must destroy, proves at the end to be his elderly boss, who had been like a father to him. But Spielberg deals in melodrama, not Sophoclean tragedy. He mars his oedipal fable with an improbable ending. His Oedipus does not lose his sight, kills no one, and is finally exonerated.
"Freud as the Writer of Leonardo"
At our eighteenth conference I reported that young subjects without any psychology education or previous information on the author judged a 1700-word excerpt from Freud's Leonardo to be remarkably readable and fictional, and found it as much a literary narrative as a scientific-expository text. I am now investigating how Freud could write such an astonishingly original story with deep dramatic turns in spite of (or because of?) his uncertain information, obvious biographical mistakes, mistranslations, and misinterpretations). The reader of Freud's Leonardo has two contradictory attitudes simultaneously: a willing suspension of his/her disbelief, as is usual with a literary work and maintenance of his/her doubt against anything that is not factually correct or testable, as is usual with a scientific work.
"James Joyce's Women on Film"
One could hardly imagine two more radically different biopics than Fionnula Flanagan's 1983 film James Joyce's Women and Patricia Murphy's millennial Nora. Though labeled an "erotic masterpiece" by Universal Studios, Flanagan's film, adapted from her one-woman theatrical performance, is decidedly the flawed production of a cinematic amateur. Patricia Murphy, in contrast, is a seasoned director whose professional virtuosity gives an aura of epic grandeur to the early connubial life of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. Whereas Flanagan relies on Richard Ellmann's biography and Joyce's letters, Murphy acknowledges her indebtedness to Brenda Maddox's more recent biography Nora. What these two directors have in common is a tremendous admiration for Nora Barnacle, who features as the "bright particular star" (U 12: 993) of both films. Flanagan and Murphy simultaneously celebrate Nora's heroism and daring, boldness and loyalty, even as they relish the erotic liberation of her sensuality and bohemian lifestyle. Both cinemateurs apparently desire not only to praise Nora, but to be her; and in the process of inhabiting her passionate subject position, to woo and to become, in turn, the artistic master who won Nora's heart. These two women film-makers focus a male-identified, scopophilic eye on the voluptuous body of Joyce's female consort, and thus implicate their viewers in a traditionally male spectatorial gaze. In objectifying and specularizing Nora's erotic figure, each director claims the paradoxical role of viewer and objet d'art, masterful artist and literary muse.
"Medusa, Mother, and Marnie: The Importance of the Terrible Mother and her Effect on Marnie"
Medusa was a truly beautiful young woman. Was it her outstanding beauty or her sexuality that meant that having been raped by Poseidon, she somehow evoked the awful wrath of the goddess and was cursed and transformed into a terrible primitive monster? Doomed forever to turn men into stone by her gaze. And what does Medusa have to do with Marnie? The "terrible mother" is a real archetypal and psychological force that has many women in its grip. What is it about Medusa that we dare not look at? We will be looking deeply if we dare in Marnie and Her Mother in the film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Gordon Hirsch & Louella Hirsch
"Cognitive Processing in Two Novels by Anthony Trollope"
In The Last Chronicle of Barset, the Reverend Josiah Crawley is falsely accused of having stolen and cashed a check for twenty pounds. An impoverished, disappointed clergyman--put "into antagonism with all the world" and having "never-dying grievances"--Crawley is neither able to account for how the check came into his possession nor willing to propitiate those who criticize his obstinate rectitude. In He Knew He Was Right, Louis Trevelyan is irrationally certain that his wife has formed an improper intimacy with another man and sends her away, despite nearly universal condemnation. Both characters are rigid, bitter, aggrieved, and widely regarded as "mad." They process all new information as if it confirmed their previous beliefs. This paper discusses the cognitive processes represented in these characters--their compulsive personalities, consistently negative thinking, refusal to change as a result of interactions with others, and indications of dysthymia. It also examines formal features of the novels which manifest similar kinds of fixation and recurrence.
"Does Hamlet Have a Big Toe? Neuroscience and Literary Character"
Discussions of the reality of literary characters polarize into two positions. One, a literary character is a tissue of words, a poetic construct. Two, we can treat literary characters as having all the attributes of real people. We can infer past, present, motives, and neuroses, whether or not these are mentioned in the text. A combination of linguistics and neuroscience offers a solution. Literary characters in books or on stage (like all perceived realities) are processed through two coacting but different pathways in the brain, a "what" and a "where" system.
"`We are poor indeed if we are only sane': Romantic Origins of the Madness/Creativity Debate"
This paper will explore some of the ways in which pre-20th century accounts of the so-called creative imagination and its social uses prefigure much of the more recent work done on the genetic origins of the relationship between so-called "madness" and creativity. In particular, I want to look carefully at what Shelley and others have to say about poets and poetry in documents like The Defense of Poetry (1818) to see how they prefigure the contemporary work of psychologists and psychiatrists like Gordon Claridge (Sounds from the Bell Jar, 1995) and Daniel Nettle (Strong Imagination: madness, creativity, and human nature, 2001) and even Roland Littlewood's work on the relationship between religious charisma and social transformation (Pathology and Identity, 1993). Psychoanalysts like Freud, Jung, and Winnicott have always given artists credit for anticipating their work to a greater or lesser degree. This paper will explore more recent developments in the psychology of creativity and how it has been anticipated by earlier artists themselves.
"Cultural Politics of Fantasy in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream"
A Midsummer Night's Dream synthesizes disparate source materials and intertexts into dramatic and metatheatrical transformations of oral fusion and primal scene fantasies. These fantasies underlie and motivate the hierarchial structure of Shakespeare's patriarchal world and threaten its stability. The play enacts these fantasies in shape-shifting fullness while containing them within a dramatic form that both collapses and maintains Elizabethan hierarchy. The play's multiple staging of scenes involving porous boundaries effects a style of subversive conservatism. By transmitting the unseen in visible form, A Midsummer Night's Dream alchemically brings suppressed Celtic imagination into dynamic harmony with an early modern linguistic and social sensibility. The Celtic imaginary in the play parallels what psychoanalysis calls the infantile unconscious. Occulted power transforms and deconstructs the violent heterosexual yoking comprising patriarchal dominance.
"Re-visioning Rage: Flannery O'Connor and Me"
This paper examines the dialogic relation between personal conflict and professional research and writing through an autobiographical narrative that interweaves the experiences of writing a dissertation with analytic therapy. I interrogate the bond between writing subject and the object of her research, the meaning of a writing block, its relation to the Ph.D. for a woman in the sixties, and strategies that dissolve the block but keep the subject of conflictual writing alive.
"The Good Liar: Notes Toward a New Theory of Deception"
The possible reach and complexities of daily, humdrum deception continue to fascinate us. Recent books by Jeremy Campbell, John Vignauz Smyth, David Nyberg, Dariuz Galasinski, and Harles V. Ford attempt to grasp the phenomenon of social deception in all its literary, philosophical, and psychological complexity, but leave us without any firm answer to the question of what unifies ethical deception. I propose to develop a brief theory of deception that weaves together the answers to three interdependent questions: (1) What is the ethical basis for justified deception? (2) How does a person's character interact with deceptive practices? (3) How does the eventual outcome of a deceptive act interact with (1) and (2)? By answering these questions, we can develop a consistent explanation of how an ethical liar operates in the real world of flesh and blood, a world often better explored in literature than in traditional philosophy.
"Arthur Schnitzler's Dream Novella and Stanley Kubrick's Film Eyes Wide Shut Reconsidered"
Arthur Schnitzler's Dream Novella and Stanley Kubrick's film Eyes Wide Shut have much in common and are at the same time very different from each other. Stanley Kubrick sets the story of the novella in present-day New York. The main protagonists are the married couple, Fridolin and Albertine, renamed William (Bill) and Alice and portrayed by Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Taboos and problems of secondary relationships in marriage in Vienna at the turn of the century (also frequently referred to as the age of decadence) are transferred to modern-day New York. In doing so, a not inconsiderable part of the mood, atmosphere and fantasy of the Viennese novella is estranged and thus translated into a new message by setting it in present-day New York. Certain questions regarding to what extent fantasy and reality in their mutual dependencies are concretized by the film and conveyed to the viewer can be raised. Schnitzler's attribution of the reality of the dream to Albertine and the testing of fantasy in Fridolin's reality is also sensitively put into question by Stanley Kubrick. The film and the novella are to be reconsidered by means of an exemplary juxtaposition. The marital drama from the turn of the century possesses a present-day relevance which, despite liberalization, the breaking down of taboos and changes in moral values, has not lost any of its intensity the yearning for intimacy in a satisfying relationship, but also its simultaneous endangering by our unconscious desires, feelings and fantasies. Arthur Schnitzler, who was a medical doctor by profession, was admired by Freud for his knowledgeable descriptions of psychic processes. They were not friends, but had great respect for each other. It is said that it was only the children of Freud and Schnitzler, who played together with each other, who gave occasion for correspondence between the two.
"The Private Correspondence between Beatrice and her Psychoanalyst"
This essay consists of an exchange of letters between Beatrice and her psychoanalyst. Beatrice seeks help because marriage has become a "merry war." Her psychoanalyst uses the contents of Beatrice's journal - Beatrice's words as imagined by Shakespeare -- as material for the psychoanalysis. In contrast to the usual essays applying psychoanalysis to fictional characters, Beatrice is given a chance to talk back.
"The Mother, the Son, and the Ghost in the Mirror"
Albert Cohen's Le Livre de ma mere is one of the author's best known works from all of his fictional and autobiographical texts. It is a beautifully written lyrical ode to his mother. However, when examined closely, it becomes clear that this, like his other literary creations, is an exploration of the self, more so than a devotional message to his maternal figure. Cohen and his Mother are only two of the three main protagonists in this multi-dimensional text. The mirror, torturing Cohen on the psychological as well as the physical levels, completes the triad.
"Experimential Understanding - The Possibilities and Limits of Literature in Education for the Health Care Professions"
The paper explores the use of narrative fiction in the education of health care and medical professionals. Literature's having a place in this curriculum is justified, among other things, by its potential to enhance in-depth psychological understanding and to develop empathy--a quality which both in real life and in literature requires responsiveness and emotional involvement. Following a discussion of the theory of reading as it applies to my own experiences in teaching health care professionals, I will suggest that in order to make best use of literature in fostering empathy, "aesthetic" reading (Rosenblatt 1978) should be encouraged. Though it is difficult to influence a reader's characteristic way of interacting with a text, much of the quality of the experience in fact depends on the text itself. In this paper I will explore the ways in which narrative fiction, by presenting characters for the reader to construct, can provoke a feeling of empathy and the development of a capability for "otherness."
"Who Killed "'Stevie'"?
This paper will discuss the variables that lead to the death of "Stevie" in Joseph Conrad's book The Secret Agent. It will consider the conflict model proposed by Freud, with his death reflecting the failure of the "family romance." It will also consider an object relations view of Verloc placing the cause of Stevie's death on Verloc's underdeveloped ability to deal with mature adult object relations (Kernberg). Finally, it will briefly consider Conrad's identification with "Stevie" in terms of his own life, history, and his parents' inability to protect and care for him during his childhood in Poland using appropriate biographical studies of Joseph Conrad.
"Trauma and Creativity: the Autobiographical Space in the Work of Sarah Kofman"
In this paper I will examine two autobigraphical texts, Rue Ordener, rue Labatö by the French philosopher Sara Kofman and W ou le souvenir d'enfance by the French writer Georges Perec. I will try to show how traumatic childhood experiences are present in these two texts, concentrating on the fact that trauma also trigger creative forces that find an outlet in narratives.
Reinhart Lutz & Hanh Nguyen
"Psychoanalysis and Dreams of Displacement: The Case of Lan Cao's Novel Monkey Bridge"
When viewed from the vantage point of Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams, the dreams of the young female protagonist of Monkey Bridge offer rich insight into the novel's vision of the mind's strategies for coping with displacement, the abject, trauma of violence, family conflicts and culture shock. Lan Cao's text adds a new protagonist and her family cross boundaries of geography, culture, and economies. Dreams are internalized conflicts, and Cao does so in remarkable accord with classic Western psychoanalytical findings and hypotheses while basing her characters firmly on the foundations of Vietnamese culture.
"Destroyed but not defeated: Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea: A Psychotherapeutic Story"
We used this exceptional story as a therapeutic aid for hopeless and depressed people who needed a powerful force for continuing struggles of life against fate. They should say as the boy Manolin, "I'll bring the luck by myself." In the story the old man tells us "It is silly not to hope...besides I believe it is a sin." Hemingway draws a distinction between two different types of success: outer-material and inner-spiritual. While the old man lacks the former, the importance of this lack is eclipsed by his possession of the later. He teaches all people the triumph of indefatigable spirit over exhaustible resources. Hemingway's hero as a perfectionist man tells us: To be a man is to behave with honor and dignity, not to succumb to suffering, to accept one's duties without complaint, and most importantly to have maximum self-control. At the end of the story he mentions, "A man is not made for defeat...a man can be destroyed but not defeated." The book finishes with this symbolic sentence: "The old man was dreaming about lions."
"(good) Images + (some) Psychology (items) = (good) Advertising?"
The paper I propose is based on images used in advertising and the way some of them influence people, in a psychological perspective, to buy the advertised product or service. Advertising uses four different basic principles known as AIDA: Attention (calls the attention to the product/service), Interest (it provokes and maintains the interest), Desire (awakens it), and Action (leads people to buy or use the product/service). These principles, plus mechanisms like dream, motivation, acceptance, empathy, seduction and other theories like the psychoanalytical, for example, will tell us why an image is more effective than another. I will bring examples of some printed advertisements to show my point of view.
"The Psychological Impact of the Plague: Then and Now"
Albert Camus's La Peste has often been read as a fictional allegory of 1940 depicting the Nazi invasion and death camps. In this novel, where disease runs rampant and permeates all aspects of society, the role of doctors changes from one who treats to one who tries to contain the disease. In a world where physical remedy is suspect, psychological treatments gain an even greater importance. Reading La Peste as a study of human behavior under extreme circumstances that include being faced with one's own mortality, I will begin by examining the original allegorical and historical contexts, which suggest psychological impacts of such an ordeal. I will then examine what we can learn from this text as we look at today's "plagues." As the world's problems shift, even more meaning might be gleaned from this 1947 narrative.
"Versions of the 'Modern Subconscious': Mina Loy on Freud and the Avant-garde"
In 1922, American artist and writer Mina Loy (1882-1966) met Freud and drew a portrait of him in Vienna. Although she did not pursue the idea of treatment, her meetings with Freud had an impact on her. This paper is an attempt at approaching Loy's ideas on the unconscious and her critique of the avant-garde's use of Freud's new science. Loy was very familiar with Surrealism, as is demonstrated in her only novel, Insel. In fact, the latter can be read as a satire on the whole surrealist endeavor. Through a reading of part of Loy's poetry and of Insel, I will try to situate Loy in the midst of what she had previously called the "crisis of consciousness," and to examine her forceful response to the avant-garde's misogynist stance toward women.
"A Psychoanalytic Perspective on Recent Holocaust Survivor Narratives"
As they enter the last phase of their lives, Holocaust survivors are writing narratives of their life experiences in unprecedented numbers. These narratives add new dimensions to our understanding of the relations between history, memory and trauma. My paper will explore the relations between narrative structure, memories or rupture and the rupture of memory in several recent survivor stories, among them Paul Steinberg's Speak You Also and Ruth Kluger's Still Alive.
"The Use and Misuse of Psychoanalysis: The Case of Adam Phillips"
It is part of literary discipline to apply psychoanalytic theories to literature and see how they help us to read. It is also part of psychoanalytic discipline to apply its theories to clinical practice. What happens when an attempt is made to wed the two? Can it work? Does it work? How must this marriage proceed in order for it to work in both literary analysis and psychoanalysis? By looking at essays of Adam Phillips, noted literary critic and child analyst, I would like to explore these questions through the suggestion that use of psychoanalytic concepts in this way may turn out to be a misuse in both disciplines.
"A Concordance: T. S. Eliot's 'Waste Land' and [Lacan's] 'Function and Field of Speech and Language'"
"'Hurts So Good': Secretary in the Context of Mary Gaitskill's Fiction"
What has been lost in the translation from Gaitskill's short story "Secretary" to the film based on it? Gaitskill's nervy short story collection Bad Behavior focuses on women who like to be abused and the men who like to abuse them--while managing to arouse reader sympathy for both sides of this equation. Gaitskill brings the skills of a literary fiction writer to bear on plot material that is essentially sado-masochistic. The result is both erotic (at times) and highly unsettling. The film Secretary reframes this situation by embedding it in a conventional romance plot. Gaitskill's sexual pairs may be intricately involved with each other, but they are not candidates for domestic partnership or marriage. In contrast, the film Secretary wants to convince us that a woman who willingly submits to physical abuse from her partner can actually come out on top--by shedding her socially unacceptable habit of self-cutting, escaping her oppressive family environment and marrying up.
"Black Statements: The Death Figure in Paul Celan's 'Death Fugue' and Sylvia Plath's 'Little Fugue'"
I will compare Paul Celan's personification of death in "Death Fugue" with Sylvia Plath's "Little Fugue." Celan's influence on Plath, psychologically, historically, and poetically will be analyzed with an examination of rhythm, allusions, imagery, and personification. How Plath's poem derives its approach to death in terms of World War II will be compared to Celan's experience in the concentration camps. Questions to be raised are: can authenticity of voice and feeling in Plath's "Little Fugue" be accepted if she did not experience the Holocaust? Does Plath borrow Celan's collective imagery and his rhythms to put forth her own individual suffering? How does the father figure, as death, represent individual vs. collective oppression and suffering in each poem? What is the relation of the father to evil?
Annelies van Hees
"A Tale by Hans Christian Andersen"
In my paper I would like to show how "Psychoanalysis and Literature," in the manner of Soshana Felman ("To open the Question," 1980) can be regarded as intertwined, interrelated or juxtaposed, so the "and" implies coordination of the two, instead of subordination of one by the other. To this end I will analyse the rhetorical means by which Hans Christian Andersen in his tale about "The Shadow" makes use of simili, i.e. as-if-metaphors to demonstrate the simili-character of his shadow-figure. In psychoanalysis a shadowy character could be Winnicott's "false self" or Chasseguet-Smirgel's comparable "faux."
"Coetzee's Youth: Anxiety and Isolation in England"
The central character of J.M. Coetzee's Youth is in flight from the racism and political unrest of South Africa as well as from the emotional pressures of his family. In his experiences in England, however, he continues to re-enact the emotional struggles of his childhood in love affairs, in tepid friendships, in his work as literary scholar and in his job as a computer programmer who, at one point, assists in the targeting of nuclear weapons. Anxiety and alienation remain as personality issues after his escape from South Africa to England.
"The Mirror Cracked: Femininity and the Rhetoric of Castration in Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece"
During the Renaissance, a paranoid sense of masculinity arose from men's inability to completely master their spouses. In Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece, both the structure of the complaint and its subject matter emphasize this imaginary physical dominance, and its source from castration anxiety. Jacques Lacan, in his Mirror Stage, discusses the ego's attempt to find an ideal version of itself by projecting a unified image of itself onto an object. However, this form of identification inevitably leads the subject to recognize its own castration. The drama of the mirror stage gives the reader insight into the predicament of the renaissance husband who is unable to totally control his wife. The Rape reveals that without the feminine other to underprop the masculine subject, masculinity's imaginary understanding of itself as autonomous and unified is threatened.
"The Aesthetic, Scientific, and Psychosexual Implications of Thoreau's Puns"
Nineteenth-century linguistics encouraged Thoreau to believe that words were organisms, with a quasi-biological life of their own deriving from the speaker's. Hindu tradition led him to flirt with the notion the seminal retention enhances creativity, so that sexual fluids denied a genital outlet by chastity could be sublimated and sprinkled verbally as seminal inspiration, seeds of thought. Sexual ambivalence colored his attitude toward style. Scientific language aiming at fixed, uniform, and unequivocal terminology was too dry. Its antidote was dry humor (an etymological oxymoron, for humor comes from Latin humor meaning moisture). Subtle punning was his favorite form of dry humor. Believing that "a history of animated nature must itself be animated," Thoreau preferred the works of Elizabethan nature-writers whose love of their subject stamped their style with vitality. They echoed nature's own generative energy by employing words with an awareness of their roots, which exfoliated in etymological wordplay.
"Dances with Bears: Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian and the Pleasures of Violence"
A band of mercenary scalp-hunters traverse the American southwest in the 1840s. Suddenly they surprise a huge grizzly bear. When the nearest horse rears up, the bear seizes the rider in its jaws, pulls him from the saddle, and carries him off as "the man dangling from the bear's jaws looked down at them cheek and jowl with the brute and one arm about its neck like some crazed defector in a gesture of defiant camaraderie." Indian scouts follow the trail, but after three days turn back. "If much in the world were mystery," McCarthy then writes, "the limits of that world were not, for it was without measure or bound and there were contained within it creatures more horrible yet and men of other colors and beings which no man has looked upon and yet not alien none of it more than were their own hearts alien in them, whatever wilderness contained there and whatever beasts."
What are the mysteries and alien consanguinities that empower McCarthy's exploration of atavistic violence in his epic novel, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West (1985)? How does this grotesque and amazing book represent and comprehend the dark gratifications men find in the great Dance of Death called war? "He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die."
"Imperialism, Individualism, and the Collective Reader Response: Proposing a Context for Sir James Thornhill's Painted Hall at Greenwich"
This lecture explores the proposition that Reader-Response and Reception Theory are a product of Romantic and post-Romantic perceptions of creativity and reception, where the emphasis has tended to be on the artist and audience as individuals, rather than as members of a social group. I shall consider a selection of pre-Romantic texts which have patriotism and empire as their central preoccupations; texts whose appeal to a collective consciousness resist individual interpretation. The main text for discussion in this respect will be Sir James Thornhill's Painted Hall at Greenwich (1708-27). I will consider it in relation to the discourse of Imperialism represented in 17th and 18th century literary and visual art. I shall discuss the extent to which the artists and audiences associated with these works may justifiably be seen as functioning differently from artists and audiences in the Romantic and post-Romantic eras.
Delegates will subsequently have the opportunity to view the Painted Hall, and have it `read` to them by the official guides.
"Frank Lloyd Wright: Power, Powerlessness and Charisma"
Frank Lloyd Wright established charismatic relationships with many who knew him personally and/or professionally. Wright had the capacity to turn an internal object relationship where he is passive victim of a dominant other into one of activity and power over the other who becomes admiring and subservient. Despite his narcissism, Wright had an uncanny ability to attract people who should have known better.
"A Philosopher of Narrative Looks at 'The Franklin's Tale'"
After a brief outline of my narrative theory ("The Story of the Story," Literature & Psychology, IPSA 11th Conference, ed. Frederico Pereira, Lisbon, 1994, pp. 47-52), I proceed to an examination of recent research into "The Franklin's Tale." The aim is to bring out the interplay between the Franklin's story, the implied author's story, and the stories being told by modern critics about those stories. Of particular note is the absence in current work of any psychoanalytical input. To use Lacanian terms, one can detect in modern criticism a prejudice for Symbolic ideologies and a neglect of the Real.
"Psychoanalytic Outcomes for Holocaust Survivors: Two Case Studies"
Holocaust scholars often fail to realize how much survivors of trauma were affected by childhood and postwar experiences. Youthful difficulties frequently have led to repressed or distorted memories regarding events outside the camps themselves. Two cases: Viennese-born Ruth Kluger and Gerda Lerner were both nurtured in prosperous but unhappy families. Kluger's youth led to a maternal dependence in the camps and afterwards. A few years senior, Lerner masterminded her escape to America. Both faced poverty in the new land, but Kluger's adjustment has been more problematic. A disastrous psychiatric encounter damaged her self-esteem and heightened maternal resentment. She married unhappily but successfully reared sons. In contrast Lerner married happily and underwent a successful psychoanalysis after her husband's premature death. In their memoirs Kluger remains emotionally entangled with the memory of her difficult mother, whereas Lerner has discovered new affection for her deceased parents. We must take account of whole lives.
"Dark Raven Days of Sorrow: Modern Southern Writers and Despair"
Literary critics--Allen Tate in particular--have generally explained the emergence of a Southern literary "Renascence" as a sociological and political awakening resulting from the Great War. I contend that the modernistic transformation of art, with Faulkner and company in the lead, grew out of a tradition of regional artists' experience with affective disorder that stretched back to the 1830s. Arnold Ludwig, Kay Redfield Jamison, Nancy Andreasen, Felix Post, and the late Anthony Storr illuminate the interconnections of art, emotional turbulence, and creative, disciplined incentives to override yet another resurrection of hopelessness. The death or abandonment of one parent and a troubled relationship with the other have been common ingredients in the early lives of Southern writers. Genetic factors governing emotional stability played a role in the family histories of such notables as Ellen Glasgow, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Conrad Aiken, Gail Godwin, Kaye Gibbon, and many others.
"Masculine Jealousies in The End of the Affair"
This paper draws on psychoanalytic and cultural theories to explore the representation of masculine jealousies in Neil Jordan's film The End of the Affair (US, 1999). Jealousy provides a useful case study to explore the shifting unconscious underpinnings of Western masculinities, because male jealousy has historically played a key psychosocial role in defining and guarding the emotional and cultural boundaries of men. However, throughout the twentieth century, the rules of entitlement and possession have changed, and the cultural codes surrounding male jealousies are now often ambiguous and uncertain. There are a number of competing views about the representation of masculinities in popular culture. On the one hand, it is argued that the changes and uncertainties of late modernity have provoked a defensive response and a paranoid cultural "backlash" in the media. Yet on the other hand, it is argued that contemporary culture has opened up new hegemonic spaces that facilitate the construction of less rigid, and more fluid male subjectivities. This paper uses selected examples taken from The End of the Affair to argue that contemporary representations of masculinity also potentially straddle something in between. This ambiguity reflects the jealous doubts and fears about the loss of possession and entitlement, which also accompany a new reflective awareness of the contradictions and costs of more traditional definitions of masculinity.
Sherry Lutz Zivley
"The Madwoman Isn't in the Attic After All: Phenomenology of Attic Spaces"
Since Gilbert and Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic, critics have assumed that attics house madwomen. But they use that concept as a metaphor for their thesis, that women writers were isolated and treated with approbation. In most literature, attics are dark, dusty, seldom-visited storage areas, like that of the Tulliver house in The Mill on the Floss--a "great attic under the old high-pitched roof," with "worm-eaten floors," "worm-eaten shelves," and "dark rafters festooned with cobwebs"--a place thought to be "weird and ghostly." Attics do not house humans (not even mad ones) they warehouse artifacts that carry personal and familial history--often a history that has been suppressed. And that history is what makes attics interesting.