A B S T R A C T S (click here for List of Participants)
"Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity" - A Case Study of Bipolar Disorder in Schiller's Der Verbrecher aus verlorener Ehre
In his story "Der Verbrecher aus verlorener Ehre," Friedrich Schiller gradually uncovers the various circumstances that lead to Christian Wolf's downfall to a life of crime. While it has been extensively argued that Schiller's narrator, acting as Wolf's lawyer, relates and subsequently blames the social milieu for Wolf's ruin, this paper will show that this story describes a medical case study of bipolar disorder, an illness left untreated and which culminates in Wolf's unjust punishment for crimes for which he should legally not have been penalized.
"The Something in you that is more than you": the objet a in Wong Kar-Wai's "In the Mood for Love"
Wong Kar-Wai's 2000 film, "In the Mood for Love," was a tremendous success in Europe following its premiere at Cannes and relatively unnoticed in the United States. This study proposes to examine the film medium in terms of Lacan's formulation of the objet a from Seminar XX, the seminar on feminine sexuality and the "other" jouissance, and to come to some understanding on the impact of Wong's work before asking why it speaks to European and American cultures in such a radically different way.
Maternity on Stage Between Veils and Curtains
The reading of Un souvenir d'enfance par Piero della Francesca by Hubert Damisch (1997) will be the pre-text for my paper, in which I will try to "unveil" the Madonna del Parto, a fresco in which the painter from Borgo S. Sepolcro represents the pregnancy of the Virgin Mary. The figure of this Madonna pointing to her pregnant womb is an uncommon one, and is at the same time extremely powerful and fascinating, to the point where it has become the protector of pregnant women. Whereas the numerous Announciations and Adorations in art history represent the moments immediately before and after the birth of Christ, in the Madonna del Parto Piero chooses to exhalt a maternal body caught in the moment of hesitation: the right hand of the Virgin points to something which is at the same time hidden and shown by the folds of her robe - a white hinge in her blue robe indicates "that within the body, growing as a graft, indomitable, there is an other. And no one is present, within that simultaneously dual and alien space, to signify what is going on" (Kristeva, "Motherhood According to Bellini"). The fresco is located in a dual, alien and also theatrical space: two angels at the sides hold a damask canopy in the act of opening (or closing) the curtain which delimits the holy place.
Chaos Theory, Control Theory, and Literature: Towards a Symptomatic Psychohistory of the Arts
The rococo, known for its decorativeness, was also characterized by loss of creativity (disappearance of the lyric, the epic, the tragic, the comic). In 1973, a structuralist study proposing the formula "metonymic reduction and hedonistic compensation" was complemented by a psychohistorical study entitled "The Mask of Pleasure and the Muting of Pain": the loss of creativity was seen as compensatory of decadence and the decorativeness as compensatory for the loss. In 1988 chaos theory was applied to formal analysis of the rococo, and the psychohistorical dimension was provided by control theory: the chaos (illusion of total disorder) of the birth trauma leaves a residual "disorder neurosis" that often results in a drive to control one's environment, sometimes in a veritable libido dominandi. One solution is to create the environment oneself, which woman does through reproduction and man can do only through the simulacrum of artistic creativity (hence womb envy).
Sylvia Plath's "Panic Bird" and Psychoanalysis in the Boston Year
This paper explores Sylvia Plath's return to psychoanalysis in 1957-58, when she and husband Ted Hughes decided to devote a year to full-time writing. Plath's Journals from that year show that she suffered greatly from writer's block -- what she calls her "Panic Bird" in several long entries of self-disparagement. She returned to psychoanalysis with Ruth Beuscher, and the notebooks she kept on her analysis link her writer's block with feelings toward both her parents, but especially her mother, whom she is given permission to hate by Beuscher. I analyze one of Plath's dreams and what it shows about her painful sense of guilt. I discuss Freud's views of guilt in obsessional neurosis and melancholia and how they may apply to Plath and her inability to write. In analyzing Plath's dream, I hypothesize fantasized incest with her father, but then speculate on the possibility of actual sexual abuse in Plath's childhood. The paper ends with Ted Hughes's poetic commentary on Plath's appropriation of a father-daughter incest narrative in "The God" and his tale of "Cinyras and Myrrha."
Joanna Montgomery Byles
Psychoanalysis and War
Accepting the violence that is within ourselves as well as the Other/Others, the so-called enemy, is a difficult lesson to learn, and learning to displace our instinctual aggression peacefully, enormously more difficult. To the extent to which the individual superego is connected to society, which assumes its functions particularly in wartime, the problem of war and terrorism brings into focus the psychoanalytic theory of defusion of eros and aggression brought about by specifically social processes.
Hysteria as Spectacle in John Huston's "The Night of the Iguana" (1964)
Adapted from a Tennessee Williams play, the film begins with Reverend Shannon (Richard Burton) having hysterics in his New England pulpit. Such fits continue in Mexico, where demoted to tour guide Larry Shannon, he proves incapable of coping with a busload of fussy old maids, a teenager with a crush on him, a rebellious driver, insufficient funds, and his own drinking. After the church and the bus, an isolated inn owned by a merry widow (Ava Gardner) provides another womb-like refuge. As the plot progresses, every character, male or female, young or old, behaves hysterically, except for one angel-woman (Deborah Kerr), who merely passes through their lives. My paper will analyze the film's comic treatment of the various hysterical symptoms and its ambivalent representation of humanity as infantile, frustrated and driven by hysteria.
Psychoanalytic Reconstruction in Wilkie Collin's The Moonstone
The unravelling of the mystery in Collins's The Moonstone turns on the use of methods that are strikingly similar to the classical psychoanalytic investigation of human neuroses. Reconstruction, common to both explorations, is the principal method by which we learn who did not steal the diamond as well as who did.
War and Peace
The problems of war and peace cannot be solved easily and will remain with us forever. Aggression in its various intensities is inborn. It is a necessary part of life, of pertinacity, of ambition, of serious advancement, of love-making, of creativity, as well as of destructiveness and war. How it is allowed to develop, to be expressed, to be modulated, managed and satisfied depends upon the particular tendencies of the individual, the family he happens to grow up in, the general culture in which he grows up and chance occurrences in the course of development. Some methods hold it in check, such as feeling loved and accepted, satiety, but also the threat of retaliation or of total annihilation. Other methods, such as threats or directing the hatred to the outside, work as long as these whips or outlets are maintained, but create problems for those outside the group and ultimately for the leadership exercising such techniques. Love works only on a personal level and on a small group level, where the contact with the leaders is personal and concrete but not on a large group level. It can work when there is the threat of extreme, external danger. Love has to be fostered at the individual level in caring for growing children and then fostered in small groups and by mixing with strange populations because one wants to, not as a result of force. For these reasons the problems of love and aggression, of war, and peace, are so problematic and remain constantly with us.
Speaking from the Flames: Representing the Holocaust Trauma as shown in a documentary film,"The Choice and Fate" by Tzipi Rienbenbach
The intensity of the traumatic experience of the Holocaust left humankind with the difficulty of describing, representing, and understanding it. I will examine rhetorical response patterns and the conceptual attitude towards the Holocaust in the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. Special emphasis will be placed on the attitude that considers the Holocaust as a negative sublime. This analysis will be examined in Tzipi Rienbenbach's documentary film, "The Choice and Fate."
J. Preston Fambrough
Reader, Narrator, and Dramatized Consciousness in Dostoevsky's Fiction
The paper explores Dostoevsky's use of quasi-omniscient narration in Crime and Punishment, illuminating and analyzing as they unfold the inner conflicts of characters desperately striving to suppress or deny unbearable truths. The paper seeks to shed light on what I believe to be one of Dostoevsky's major technical accomplishments, the creation of a scrupulously controlled narrative point of view which traps the reader in the character's immediate psychic experience and dramatizes as no novelist had done before the interplay between levels of consciousness of a psyche in conflict.
Translating Kristeva's Pedagogical Texts
Julia Kristeva's pedagogical work, "La revolte intime: Pouvoirs et limites de la psychanalyse II," provides insights into the development of her psychoanalytic thoughts as she addresses the paradoxical logics of modern culture dominated by technology and media. Kristeva argues for a revolt against the stereotypes present in the ghosts of our cultural memory, as they are often (re)presented in film and media images. This paper will also explore the pedagogical consequences for this reshaping of psychoanalytic discourse, and what effect this performance has in the classroom applications.
Psycho-Historical Contexts of Riviere and Klein's Book, Love, Hate and Reparation
Phyllis Grosskurth's biography of Melanie Klein describes the 1937 publication of Love, Guilt and Reparation as a much rewritten version of public lectures delivered in 1936 and titled "The Emotional Life of Civilized Men and Women." Grosskurth identifies 1937 as "the crisis and turning point in Klein's mourning" and emergence from depression. In a biographical sketch of Joan Riviere, Athol Hughes writes that in 1937 Riviere moved from being Translation Editor of The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis to concentrate on clinical work and writing. This paper locates Klein's and Riviere's lectures and book within the eyes of psychoanalytic and personal storms.
Identity As Process: Personal Cultural History, Legend and Myth
Everyone knows of Sigmund Freud's Graeco-Roman literary influences, but just how many and much are the questions (if we are at all curious about his own past). It would seem that King Oedipus is just the tip of the proverbial mythological mountain for Freud. This paper is a brief review of Freud's Graeco-Roman influences; his remonstrances upon a few topics from the Classical and Ancient past; his visitations to the world areas of interest; and his pedagogical influences outwardly and, inwardly, within his own life and work. Reviewing many of Freud's papers and essays, this short paper is an attempt to "go there", to follow a bit in the footsteps of the determined father of psychology, the great arm-chair philosopher/psychoanalyst himself.
Towards a Theory of Sympathy: Mimicry and Entertainment in "In the Mood for Love"
From Darwin to psychoanalysis, contemporary infant research and the phenomenological work of writers such as Lingis, "sympathetic" or mimetic communication has been foregrounded as a register subtending symbolic communication. This is the realm of what American psychologist, Silvan Tomkins, in his germinal four-volume work on Affect theory (Affect, Imagery and Consciousness) calls affect contagion. It is to this realm that both mimicry and some forms of identification belong. This paper draws on recent psychoanalytic thought, anthropological writings on mimicry, and textual theory in the framing context of Silvan Tomkins' affect theory to examine the complex and highly ambiguous activity of mimicry as it is enacted and explored in Wong Kar Wai's most recent feature film, "In the Mood for Love" (2000).
Steven Spielberg's "A.I".: Separation Anxiety
Steven Spielberg's "A.I." is a disturbing fairy tale about another of Spielberg's legion of lost boys, this one a robot searching for his human mother. There are various possible reasons for its failure: because it blends two dichotomous sensibilities, those of Stanley Kubrick, who began the project, and of Spielberg, who completed it; because it falls into three separate sections domestic melodrama, dystopian satire, and fantasy conclusion and does not cohere well; or because it provides an unsatisfactory solution to an oedipal dilemma.
Rae Beth Gordon
Synesthesia: Normal and Pathological
I will study the implications of theories on synesthesia for literature, theater, and painting in France between 1884 and 1910. Psychiatric case observations, experimental studies in psycho-physics, and psycho-physiological theory tried to distinguish between normal experiences of "colored hearing" (as well as other forms of synesthetic phenomena) and those sensory overlaps which should be seen as pathological. In question was the extremely vexed definition of hallucination and the even more problematic definition of sensory illusion. Pathological synesthesia, observed in epileptics and hysterics interned at the Salpetriere, was also at the heart of symbolist and decadent literature and theater.
"'...mistrust everybody?': Surveillance, Scopophilia, and Projection in David Mamet's "The Spanish Prisoner"
Mamet's film, "The Spanish Prisoner" (1999), displays perceptive insight into the American cultural perspective of vigilance and surveillance in the 21st century. Ross, Mamet's anti-hero, is emblematic of the victim, or mark: waiting passively to be rewarded by his company for services he has already provided, he loses touch with what is truly important. Insecure and vulnerable, he descends into a projective crisis of class anxiety and cultural paranoia. By keeping the precise nature of Ross's invention ambiguous, Mamet focuses on the psychoanalytic processes of projection, voyeurism, and paranoia as they appear in contemporary culture. Ross's ambivalent object relations, his envy of American aristocracy, and his obsessive eroticization of trivial personal relations evoke a devastating portrait of contemporary American culture in a frenzy of surveillance and defensive anxiety.
The Music "Beneath the Surface" of The Picture of Dorian Gray
Dorian's wish is for his portrait to grow old while he remains young. This projection of his wish onto the canvas is one of the main elements of the story. However, it is the "haunting melody" of Dorian's music that lures us away from his portrait and compels us towards him through his piano playing. Throughout the story Dorian's character uses musical allusions to express his innermost feelings and the pleasure he receives from listening to the Prelude to "Tannhauser" where he discovers in it a "presentation of the tragedy of his own soul." Even his name "Dorian," through its historical association with the musical modes of ancient Greece, implies that the secret beneath the surface of Dorian Gray, and the psychological motivation behind his character, lies in his music.
George du Maurier's Peter Ibbetson: a version of Ernest Jones's "gaseous fertilization complex"?
In "The Madonna's Conception Through the Ear: A Contribution to the Relation Between Aesthetics and Religion," a now out-of-print and little-read essay first published in 1914, British psychoanalyst Ernest
Jones describes what he calls "the gaseous fertilization complex," which has "numerous feminine, anal, masochistic and homosexual implications." Intellectually dubious as it may be to read literature as illustrating a psychological "complex," my paper will nevertheless show the surprising congruity between what Jones describes on the one hand, and on the other hand the Punch cartoonist George du Maurier's belated first semi-autobiographical novel Peter Ibbetson (1891), now out-of-print and also little-read. For the novel is conceived as a defense and illustration of what its hero calls the "fine art" of "'dreaming true,'" which he discovers in the company of his female alter ego and distant cousin, Mary, once he has committed parricide and is serving a term of life imprisonment.
Impossible Love and Absent Eroticism In Two Russian Films, "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" and "God's Envy": What Does The Other Have To Do With It?
This paper will study sexual presentations (or their absence), and the obstacles to love in Menshov's hit, "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears" (1979) and his most recent film, "God's Envy" (2000). Has the perception and representation of sex changed in post-Soviet cinema? Sexual passion was only silently and shyly suggested on the Soviet screen. Were directors forced to avoid explicit sexual scenes by Soviet censorship or by an immature collective perception? In "God's Envy" viewers are gradually exposed to the erotic scenes of Sonya's affair with a French journalist as she awakens to her own sexual desire. I will argue that they are still timid and incomplete. Moreover, a third party, the Soviet authorities (the year is 1983), interferes to make the relation impossible. The main question this presentation will try to answer is, what does the Other have to do with all this?
Re-Erecting Medusa's Head: Locating Fetishism and the "Monstrous-Feminine" in the "Film Stills" of Cindy Sherman and "The Long Kiss Goodbye"
Feminist critics of visual representation in the 1970s and 1980s aborted ideas of essentialism, biological or social, and explored how images of women in constructions of sexual difference serve as signifiers of "femininity" as "lack." In 1975 Laura Mulvey published her seminal article, "Visual Pleasure and the Narrative Cinema," generally viewed as the inaugural moment of feminist psychoanalytic theories in feminist film criticism. Mulvey's complex analysis, which gleans key concepts from Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis, has been challenged for its theory of a gendered film spectatorship, i.e., its polarized view of active male and passive female subject positions; and spawned further debates regarding the shifting multiplicity of subject positions (debates outlined in The Female Gaze, ed. Gamman & Marchment, and Female Spectators, ed. Pribram). Recent feminist art history and film criticism have also been significantly influenced by Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, and Helene Cixous, who argue for further research on pre-oedipal feminine development that is not centrally based on the phallic phase. This paper will examine Sherman's post-modern "Film Stills" and scenes from "The Long Kiss Goodbye" in light of these debates, and argue that these images exemplify the female resistant gaze by offering a sophisticated and ironic exploitation of fetishism and the "monstrous-feminine."
Free Association, An Early Case: Rimbaud's poem, "Memory"
"Memory," written in 1872, is a well-known and controversial poem of the18 year-old Rimbaud. The five stanzas, each of eight alexandrines, strikingly illustrate how our memory works: interfering with past and present, mixing up localities, and, above all, associating images and ideas. Ever since its first appearance, "Memory" left its readers both spellbound and puzzled. Graham Robb writes about this poem: "It is only after a century of modernist literature and cinema that the mind's eye can perform the acrobatic feats that were apparently quite routine for Rimbaud". In spite of the obscurities of the poem it seems possible to analyse the process of mind and memory represented in this text. Many years after its making, Freud and the surrealists have called this process "free association". The association of images in "Memory" concentrate on visions of the river Meuse, the sunshine playing its games with the "clear water" which offers a mirror to the poet and produces manifold colours in and around the river. Metonymy and metaphor are intertwined, but it is mainly the metaphor that seems to be the origin of a world of ideas in which this process develops and which encompasses its own range of associations. The association of ideas has the fleeting marriage of sun and water as its center. Though most critics recognise here allusions to the divorce of the poet's parents, it seems more important to emphasize another aspect of this poem, "Memory," forming a striking illustration of what in a psychoanalytical perspective is called a "primal scene". The most intriguing aspect of the poem actually is the sudden appearance in the last stanza of an " I ", who becomes the fruit of this primal scene, and who calls himself the "toy of this dreary eye of water". At this point, associations with the mirror stage of a little child inevitably come to mind. But Rimbaud's mirror is special because it is constantly moving and, even more disturbingly, this "rimless eye of water" has no frame. This must be something Lacan never considered but cannot remain without consequences. It could explain why, in spite of the classical frame of alexandrines provided by the text itself, the young poet, who is also the author of "The Drunken Boat", ends up in this poem as a boat which is pulled into the mud, under the water, far from the sun.
Transforming Words: Poetry and Psychologies of Change
The theme of "transformation" is proposed as a structure for exploring the interrelationships between poetry and psychology. Transformative processes are integral to psychological perspectives on poetry -- how poetry is written, what poetry reflects, and what it has the potential to evoke. Poets' transformations of experience and perspective, along with transformative use of language, underlie the making of poetry. Transformation is reflected in the functions and appeals poetry can have for readers and writers of different ages, and it is sought in the practice of poetry therapy. There is a long tradition of psychological study of poetry and the transformations entailed in its making. Poetry, in turn, can be a powerful and evocative vehicle for understanding and communicating transformative processes as studied by various psychological subdisciplines. This presentation will expand upon the theme of transformation in poetry and psychology, including description of a first offering of an interdisciplinary undergraduate course organized around these same inquiries.
The Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Neurology
One can subdivide the phenomenon Coleridge described into three inhibitions: 1) no awareness of one's body; 2) no awareness of what surrounds the literary work; and 3) no reality testing, plus one disinhibition: we feel toward what is represented as though it were really happening. Ego-psychology explained the phenomenon as a regression to orality and mother-infant fusion (Holland 1968). We can now add a neurological explanation. Although more complicated, it may provide a clue to the nature of what psychoanalysis calls regression.
Keats and Mood Disorder -- The Biological Roots of His Poetry
The recent spate of books on the relations between tempermentally based "mental illness," especially mood disorders, and artistic creativity (Claridge et al's Sounds from the Bell Jar, 1990; Thomas Caramagno's The Flight of the Mind, 1992; Kay Jamison's Touched by Fire, 1993; Daniel Nettle's Strong Imagination, 2001; supplemented by Geoffrey's Miller's sexual selection theory of the origins of creative intelligence in The Mating Mind, 2000) has opened up a new area of study for scholars and others interested in relations between psychology and literature. This paper focuses on the life and work of the English poet John Keats from this perspective. What Keats called his "horrid Morbidity of Temperament," which manifested itself in periods of lassitude and "depression" alternated by periods of strong creative output, must have had biological roots as well as roots in the traumas of his childhood and early adolescence. This paper examines the cyclic, often seasonal, rhythms of Keats' poetic output through his Letters and how those rhythms become one of the chief topics of his poetry.
The Man in Black
In the context of demonic and violent male muse representations in North American women writers coming of age in the late 1950s and early 1960s--including Adrienne Rich, Diane Wakoski, Joyce Carol Oates, and Margaret Atwood, this paper analyzes Sylvia Plath's imagination of damned and damning masculinity in her Journal account of the St. Botolph's party where she first met her husband. Strands of imagery informing Plath's account suggest that her model of the inspiring man filters Dionysian and orgiastic Paganism through a Puritanical Christian sensibility. Her view of Ted Hughes classes him with beatniks and existentialists in black turtlenecks, Teddy Boy delinquents dressed in black leather jackets, Jack-the-Ripper, and sexual partners as dark and aggressive adversaries.
Reading Freud's Readers: Peter Brooks's "Freud's Masterplot" and D.M. Thomas's The White Hotel
Peter Brooks's essay, "Freud's Masterplot" (1977), and D.M. Thomas's novel, The White Hotel (1981), offer (apparently) independent readings of Freud's central work, Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Brooks reads Freud's Beyond as a paradigm of narrative. Desire in narrative is desire for the end, or death, the cessation of desire which comes with the ending. Readers are implicated in the desire of narrative for its end, because it is the ending which makes meaning possible. Unending narrative is meaningless for Brooks. Readers are impelled forward by "anticipation of retrospection" through a series of repetitions, suggestive of Freud's repetition compulsion. D.M. Thomas offers a narrative whose central figure, Lisa Erdman, is Freud's analysand at the very time in which he was conceptualizing the Beyond. The White Hotel represents the Beyond thematically through the analysis of Lisa Erdman as an hysteric. Thomas's novel offers an uncanny example of a plot in which the sections are free-standing representations themselves of the repetition compulsion.
9/11: The Uncanny as the Real
While the real attack on the World Trade Center may have been an "original" event historically, paradoxically the image of the event which many of us witnessed in real time was extraordinarily familiar. Watching the plane crashing into the skyscraper, many found ourselves incredulous that such a familiar fantasy, one that has been given form in so many films, could be happening in actuality. What was "unheimliche" was the disappearance of the line between fantasy and reality. I propose to reconsider in this context Freud's essay on the uncanny, and how it might help us rethink our private and public responses to traumatizing images of the real. From the other direction, I hope to bring into the discussion traumatizing works of imaginative literature that also unmoor the real and confound the borders between it and fantasy, thus unmooring the ego itself. What are the cultural consequences of such confusions?
Emily Fox Kales
Body Double / Body Politic: Psychoanalysis and Cultural Binary in "Fatal Attraction"
Reaction to the powerful woman in post-feminist culture has found expression in images of bodily duality. The stigmatization and rejection of the outsize woman and idealization of the slender "waif" is one contemporary manifestation of such historic dichotomies as the madonna/whore and the maternal/femme fatale, in which unresolved intrapsychic and socio-political conflicts literally get "embodied" in contrasting images of the feminine. In this paper I will use the model of the Kleinian split between aggression and loving connection in the paranoid-schizoid state to discuss the images in the film "Fatal Attraction." In the primitive psychic territory it re-creates, where the experience of persecution cannot co-exist with safety or love, the two female protagonists -- maternal passive wife and seductive "liberated" mistress who shadow each other throughout the film -- serve as projections of the husband/lover's inability to manage aggression while maintaining relationship and trust.
Broken Mirrors Mirroring Broken Mirrors: "Christabel," "Kubla Khan," "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and the Game of Seduction
The approach is of a hybrid nature since it brings together Baudrillardian concepts and psychoanalytic positions in order to highlight the workings of seduction in the major Coleridgean poems, not only in what regards the relationship of their heroes to each other but also in the construction of the poems' mirror structure. Fragmentary images are reflected on fragmented surfaces which return a part of themselves to the mirrored one. Monosemanticity and "holosemanticity" are hindered by the multireflections and fragmentariness which become crucial elements of the game wherein (in)definitions and resistances seduce.
About New Aspects of Psychocorrective Music Hearing
The aim of this paper is to deliver the interdisciplinary approach to the problem of psychocorrective musical hearing. This approach is based on the contemporary achievements in music theory, music cognition, and practical psychology. The paper will present the most psychologically influential patterns both of the classical and contemporary music language. Among them: synesthetical components in music listening; basic trance elements in music; music examples for getting psychological resources, both toning up and relaxing; and types of compositions which promote to improve self-concept by means of positive thinking during the music listening. The selection methodology can prove that music may be effectively applied not only for clinic purposes (as it is used in the frame of music therapy) but also for a social psychocorrection based on creative imaginary and holistic thinking. One possible application is the establishment of "music self-improvement" seminars in high schools and colleges.
Dreams in Mythology and Religion
Both the Bible and world mythology contain many dreams and visions, for example the dream of Jacob and the ladder, Joseph's dreams, Nebukadnezar's dreams, the dream of Enkidu in the epic of Gilgamesh, and so on. In some cases the dream's "meaning" is made explicit in the text, whereas in other cases the reader appears to be expected to understand the symbolic language of the dream in question on his or her own. Jungian dream theory neatly fits in with biblical and mythological experience, but also transcends it. After a short theoretical introduction, a Jungian analysis will be presented of some of the dreams mentioned above.
Psychological Realism Regained: Cognitive Psychology Versus Phenomenology in Modern Literature
Modern literature portrays the instabilities of perception and memory, the vagaries of belief-attribution, and other phenomena that demonstrate how human behavior and its explanation is volatile moment-to-moment. Literary critics influenced by the phenomenological tradition often trace these instabilities without appreciating that the very doubt by research in cognitive psychology. But if the status of introspection has been demoted, the result may surprise us: we are forced back to psychological realism as an important dimension in critical assessments of literary characters. A plausible modern character lives in a world crisscrossed by elements such as deception, manipulation, lies, truths, emotions, conflict, cooperation, all of which contribute to the unstable hypotheses we form concerning someone's "true" beliefs and intentions, as well as the character constructed from them.
Summary Remarks on Thomas Mann, Death in Venice
The main theme of Thomas Mann's novel, Death in Venice, is the role of the artist. The tragedy is that the artist Aschenbach, in spite of the dangerous illness in Venice, can't leave the town because he is totally fascinated by the Polish adolescent boy. The story deals on one hand with the end of the life of the old artist, and on the other with the attractiveness and vitality of the young man, who is nevertheless faint, skinny, and seems to be in a state of disease. I will consider what Thomas Mann said about this novel and its possible function for himself, as well as the perception of this novel by many literary critics. I want to consider both the analytic point of view and the literary one in order to enlarge the horizon of understanding of this novel.
Gottfried Benn and American Poetry
A poet and a doctor like W. C. Williams, Gottfried Benn (1886-1956) was quite well known among American intellectuals, as extracts from his essays covering anthropology and aesthetic theory appeared in "Transition" in the thirties. Henry Miller quotes from them in Plexus (1949). Because of his unlucky flirtation with the Nazi movement, Benn was a forbidden author until 1947. His grandiose come-back after World War II earned him international renown: see Frank O'Hara's poem, "To Gottfried Benn" (1958). My paper will concentrate on his late poetry and aesthetic criticism and discuss the influence of American poetry.
A Kinder, Gentler Volumnia in Shakespeare's Tragedy of Coriolanus?
Psychoanalytic literary critics understandably hold Volumnia responsible for her son's hyperagressive personality, a reading based on Volumnia's own words as imagined by Shakespeare. These words include such provocative statements as (to her son), "Thy valiantness was mine, thou suckedst from me, and (proudly to her friends), to a cruel war, I sent him." In this presentation, I argue that this reading of Volumnia is incomplete because it overlooks Shakespeare's representation of more maternal layers beneath her abrasive exterior as well as suggestions in the text of constitutional factors operating within her son, quite apart from Volumnia's influence. Such constitutional factors have recently been emphasized by recent longitudinal studies of hyperactive, hyperagressive children and adults. Thus in this, as in so many other areas, Shakespeare's intuitive capacity permitted him to anticipate the findings of modern psychology.
Puzzled Masculinity II: Rape on/of Hawaii - Michael Bay's War Film, "Pearl Harbor"
Michael Bay's film, "Pearl Harbor," recounts the story of the Japanese attack on Hawaii as the story of a rape: the Japanese, who are depicted as exceedingly virile, overpower the American naval fleet in its shell-shaped harbour "from behind"; the military action is staged as a sexual act, as the penetration of ships by torpedoes and bombs. And the projected American counter-attack against Japan and Nazi-Germany is also visualized as a penetration: President Roosevelt keeps a little Hitler-figure on his desk, whose behind takes the shape of a small cushion in which needles can be stuck. The paper is concerned with the sexual subtext of the belligerent action which brings the homosexually-tinted relationship between the two male protagonists to a standstill. It will also deal with the representation of masculinity that "Pearl Harbor" puts on display.
Psychology of a Rooftop Killing: The Murder of the Father in Tran Anh Hun's film noir, "Cyclo" (1995)
Classic psychoanalysis shows root causes for The Poet's (Tony Leung) drawn-out revenge killing of the client who has deflowered his virginal girlfriend (Tran Nu Yen-Khe) in spite of their agreement to keep his paid-for activities limited to fetishism and voyeurism. Beaten by his rural father with a belt in front of his mother for his sexual transgressions with other women, The Poet fails to reach the genital phase with the one woman he loves. Seeking Oedipal pleasures, smoking and with an older woman abandoned by the father of her retarded son (filmed in dark and light blue tones), and indulging in the anal pleasures of collecting money he never spends from drab Communist officials and nouveau riche businessmen, to whom he provides a bevy of young girls, The Poet remains virginal with his idealized girlfriend, suffering psychosomatic nosebleeds when he observes his clients indulging in fetish play with her.
Mystery and Obsession in the Modern Short Story
One of the basic reasons the short story has always been less respected by critics than the novel is the suspicion that too often it depends on some sense of mystery that cannot be explained or some inescapable obsession that cannot be understood. Flannery O'Connor once suggested that the short-story writer only begins at a depth where adequate motivation and psychology have been exhausted. If, as Freud once noted, obsessed neurotics turn their thoughts to subjects upon which our knowledge and judgements remain open to doubt, the short story has always dealt with these basic human anxieties by the creation of a highly formalized and ritualized aesthetic object. Although I will support my arguments by citing influential early stories by Poe, Hawthorne, Gogol, Melville, and Chekhov, I will focus primarily on contemporary stories by Raymond Carver, Annie Proulx, Andre Dubus, David Malouf, Alice Munro, Antonio Tabucchi, and William Trevor.
"No people are cold!": On the Denial of Metaphorization by Young Children
Drawing on the theory of conceptual metaphor as well as on empirical research and on recent psychoanalytic thinking about metaphor, this paper will focus on the tendency of nursery school children to deny, often vehemently, the very possibility of metaphorization. It will suggest that there exists an unconscious fear both of the content of many conceptual metaphors and of the process of metaphorization itself. In developing this idea, the paper will consider how memories of very early experience might be constructed. It will conclude by proposing four inter-connected hypotheses about the relation between conceptual metaphor and the pre-verbal experience of the individual.
Are Men from Mars? Not Exactly
Do the components of male gender identity resemble an intrinsic 'model of manhood' or relate more to satisfaction at 'not being female'? This paper reports the results of research exploring gender identity in adult men (N=121). Results were compared to a similar study on characteristics of female identity (N=175). The results challenge many theoretical assumptions of development. Both samples also reported perceptions of aspects of their parents. The conclusions suggest ways in which identification can be understood and related to gender satisfaction and dissatisfaction, and also 'penis envy'.
Elektra in Saigon: The Play of Passion in Jean-Jacques Annaud's adaptation of Marguerite Duras, The Lover (1992)
Combining Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytical theory with Postcolonial and Orientalist readings yields a multilayered analysis of the transgressive relationship between an impoverished, fatherless French teenage girl (Jane March), and her older Chinese lover (Tony Leung Kar-Fai) in the colonial society of French Indochina in the 1930s. Annaud's film relishes the visualization of a passion born out of mutual fascination with the Other, which is driven by conflicting psychological impulses to obtain pleasure, pain and cultural/material/sexual status. While the girl feminizes the softness of the body of the older Asian Other, with the hardness of his sex as tantalizing, the anti-hegemonic representation of his masculinity, her lack of socioeconomic status due to the absence of her biological father enables the lover to intercourse with her body until his own father uses the privileges of patrimony to terminate their relationship.
Jane Austen at Home and Abroad: Remaking the Past in Popular Culture
All the Austen film adaptations inscribe an attempted "return home" as a strategy through which spatial, social, and familial enclosures articulate the interconnections of domestic intimacy. I will explore the paradox implicit in the mapping of these enclosures of domestic intimacy onto the virtual space of film and onto the Austen web sites of the ether-or inter-net. Such an encounter between borderless cyber space and early 19th-century domestic space dramatizes the issues at stake in the near mania of adapting Austen's fiction to the screen within the social, familial, and filmic spaces of contemporary culture.
Patient or Doctor?: A Study of the Analyst / Analysand Positions in Andre Breton's Nadja
This presentation examines the double role that Andre, the narrator, plays in Nadja. The novel might be read as the transcript or case study of Nadja and her "talking cure." As a psychiatrist, Andre claims to base the narrative on medical observation and analyzes several moments in the course of their "therapy." However, after further examination, these moments reveal more about Andre and his preoccupations than those of the purported analysand. The writing actually functions as a self-styled therapy through which Andre hopes to relieve himself of his obsession with this "patient" and of guilt for actions he knows to be suspect. The act of writing, what I call the "writing cure," initially achieves minimal success. Therefore, in 1962, still plagued by the "failed" therapy, Andre edits the text in an attempt once again to work through the situation. The analyst becomes the analysand in an interesting turn of events.
Writing, Pathology, Myth in Lawrence Durrell, the Quatuor of Alexandria
The writing of The Alexandria Quartet is based on two principles at once: a Freudian quotation and the memory of a mythic town as it is reflected through the four principal characters. However, the interplay between Alexandria and these characters, as described by the narrator, represents a network of physical and psychological wounds, sometimes veritable mutilations, from Justine's autism to Clea's pierced hand. These wounds, whether sexual or imaginative, constitute the pattern of a quest for meaning. Thus the narrator creates a fictional world in which the quest for truth takes us from the psychological level of discourse to the mythological. He moves from Freud to Aphrodite, trying to integrate the world of the rational analysis of the different neuroses into the symbolic mystery of myth. The author institutes a specific tension between writing, pathology and myth. To the extent that every character either writes or plans to do so, he looks for his identity in several ways, which are reflected in the image of Alexandria and lead to a problematic confrontation. Wounds and death mean the possibility of a new birth, like a new writing of one's life, without eliminating the dialectical tension between an immanent reality and a spiritual truth, as if the novel could only from this archaic confrontation, from this "opalescent complexity".
"Not One of Us": The Grammar of Negation in Kate Chopin's The Awakening
Kate Chopin's masterpiece, The Awakening (1899), has evolved in critical regard from a novel regarded as scandalous, to an admired "local color" narrative, to canonization as a subversive -- even transgressive -- classic. I argue that a powerful contributing element of its subversive dimension is the language itself. The text is marked by what I term the grammar of negation, a pattern of nullification and cancellation that not only describes Edna Pontellier's psychological transformation but that is precisely constructed through the actual language of the text. This marked language functions like an oceanic undertow that undermines the trajectory of Edna's apparent self-affirmation, operating not only within her psychological realm but also in the social world and in the text's narrating voice. However, paradoxically, the grammar of negation is ambiguous, inflecting both the advances and the reversals that distinguish Edna Pontellier's psychological and moral unfolding.
"Parente déguisé du Théâtre": Psychoanalysis, the Theatre and Dora Liberata
In the one hundred years since Freud's Bruchstück einer Hysterie-Analyse (1905) has appeared, commentary on the Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (or The Dora Case) has ranged from comic condescension (she was called "one of the most repulsive hysterics" [Deutsch, 1990, 43]) to her appropriation as feminist heroine (Dora, the "pearl of hysterics" is an "urtext in the history of woman" [Clément, 1986, 48]). Scholarship on Dora has been particularly useful in showing how psychoanalysis, in the words of Hélène Cixous and my title, is a distant relation of the theatre. That is, Freud's narrative model for psychoanalysis was, in its inception and early formulation, classically dramatic. Interrogating the stage as the topos of hysteria, this paper examines one of the many rewritings of Freud's Dora, Cixous's Portrait de Dora, as a way of rethinking the often confusing and shifting boundaries between theatre and psychoanalysis.
Puzzled Masculinity I: Beyond the Symptom -- David Fincher's Cult Movie, "Fight Club"
David Fincher's movie, "Fight Club," projects a cosmos without fathers, a cosmos beyond authority-producing forces that bestow consistence on the symbolic order. The protagonists evade the law and are therefore moving, to put it with Zizek, in a sphere "beyond the symptom", in a purely autistic sphere, a sphere of psychical suicide, of submission to the death drive, that leads to the complete destruction of the symbolic universe. The paper will describe the protagonists' refusal to position themselves within the symbolic order as acts of denial, therefore, that reveal the principles constituting masculinity.
Hamlet's "It": Trauma and Identity
This paper is an interpretation of Hamlet's transformation during his sea voyage and in the graveyard of Act V. Against critics who celebrate only Hamlet's achievement, I argue that Hamlet's manic defense masks a traumatized personality in a traumatized world.
Freud and Dora, to be continued...
This is an attempt at reading between the lines of Freud's famous first case study. Although his patient interrupted the analysis after only eleven weeks, the 120 pages of this "fragment of analysis" constitute an incredibly valuable material. Freud may have followed what appears as "wrong tracks" today -- as he readily admitted several years later -- yet his analytic gift was such that in several instances he nevertheless pointed out some of the directions the analysis might well have followed had it lasted longer. It is now for us to take up those hints and find out where they will lead us.
Crying at the Movies: C.S. Lewis and "Shadowlands"
"Crying at the Movies" is a memoir-based exploration of the Richard Attenborough film, "Shadowlands," which, in turn, is based on the life of C.S. Lewis. Sprengnether explores the impact of the death of Lewis' mother when he was nine years old on his subsequent emotional attachments. She also uses aspects of Lewis' biography to explore her reactions to her own father's death when she was nine years old. Her reading of "Shadowlands" draws on the work of Maxine Harris, author of "The Loss That Is Forever," and that of Melanie Klein.
Shakespeare's Pericles, Nameless Dread or Renaissance Metaphor
Among Shakespeare's plays, the French poet Yves Bonnefoy prefers Pericles, because the process of redeeming is one of its main themes. In her excellent analysis of the play, Ruth Nevo (1987) interprets the Pericles figure as "always already death-driven," falling into a recurrent melancholy, fixed in a "thralldom of desire and dread." In the present paper, we shall refer ourselves to the pattern of "nameless dread" proposed by W.R. Bion (1962); the child may experience such a nameless distress when his or her projections have not been contained by the mother. The fact of dying, for instance, "is divested of any form or substance, existing only as an unknown and unknowable internal danger" (Ehud Koch, 2000).
"My name is John Freud. I am a director of westerns": From The Secrets of a Soul to "The Searchers"
Nobody noticed that in John Ford's movie "The Searchers" there are clear quotations of Pabst's The Secrets of a Soul. Psychoanalysis and Freud are both present to Ford and the references to Freudian ideas are often hidden in his films. We try to explain what is the meaning of both the presence and the concealing of Freud's ideas in Ford's movies.
Sara Van den Berg
Reason to Live: The Psychological, Social, Moral and Aesthetic Meanings of the Renaissance Court Dwarf
The paper is a chapter from a book I'm writing about early-modern English art and literature, and depictions of the human body. The paper will feature slides of paintings by Van Dyck, Mytens, and Velasquez. I deal with real court dwarfs (especially Geoffrey Hudson, Dick Shepherd and his wife) as well as fictive figures (in The Faerie Queene, Gulliver's Travels -- Gulliver in Brobdingnag --with special attention to Per Lagerkvist's The Dwarf). I also glance briefly at Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop and even some films -- Herzog's "Even Dwarfs Start Small," "The Terror of Tiny Town," "Under the Rainbow." My argument, in brief, is that the Renaissance court dwarf was not primarily a figure of entertainment, but a complex figure who defined the contradictory nature of the ruler, the subject, and the artist. The dwarf was an emblem of the human, and the dwarf's body represented at once a moral icon of human imperfection and compensation, and an aesthetic challenge to the ideal human form celebrated by the Renaissance. The vexed relationship of physical form is reflected in the troubled life of Geoffrey Hudson and in the autobiographical fictive narrative of Lagerkvist's Dwarf. In surveying images of the Renaissance court dwarf, I try to show how the dwarf was used to represent others (the king, the subject, the artist), to serve as a sign of ideas about the human, and also to exert a claim as an autonomous self.
Stephen Crane's Depictions of the Enemy Other
Stephen Crane made forays into tough New York City slums, and he made extended journeys to the American west, Mexico, England and Ireland, as well as to wars fought in Greece and Cuba. In writing about these experiences, he depicts encounters with the other as enemy, and he records both patterns of violence and processes of negotiating with rage and terror. Recently, some of his writings depicting the other have been read as instances of the bigotry and contempt for the foreign, the hispanic, and the black which were part of the "nativist" political agenda in late 19th-century America. Comments by Christopher Bollas and Julia Kristeva are useful in clarifying Crane's purposes and his achievements in depicting the other.
Translating Song(e): Spenser, Dream Vision, and the Nodal Point
Is there such a thing as a past that can speak? Or can the past only ever be the product or "present" of the enunciating moment? This is the vexing question upon which all poetic complaints meditate in their vain attempts to master or make sense of past suffering. Edmund Spenser's largely ignored "Ruines of Time" is no exception to this rule. Spenser addresses the fundamental problem of narrating lost time in a particularly significant and unusual fashion, however. Spenser's complaint translates prior experience by taking a dream as its pretext, and consequently produces a poetic structure that cannot be accounted for by the work of psychoanalysts Abraham and Torok. I argue that the nodal point of the dream is phonic rather than semantic in nature. It is based on the semantically empty fundamental unit of sound: the phoneme.
Playing Hide-and-Seek with Holden Caulfield
Using Freud's "Fort-Da" game and Winnicott's string theory, I sketch the dynamic emotional geometry of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, in terms of specific narrative incidents, character psychology, writing style, and reader response. I also trace my own evolving relations to the novel, and hazard some hypotheses about authorial beliefs and behaviors.
Still Singing after 3000 Years: Orpheus and the Orphic Tradition: His Psychological Impact
The myth of Orpheus teaches the principles of loyalty, dedication, and fortitude that are pertinent to just rulership and to social responsibility in general, as well as the power of love. The tale provides the basis of an ordeal tale, the psychological archetype of venturing into the subconscious for discovery and return. It has inspired, since classical times, countless creations in every art form. Orpheus is the musician, poet, preacher, lover, the singer of truth and lament and lyric, the artist who, while losing his life, remains the inspiration for others of the need for courage to love, of confrontation of and acceptance of loss. This paper reviews the use of this symbolic tale and examines its psychological significance which remains as cogent and fruitful a theme today as it was three thousand years ago.
Gender and Identity Creation in Late-Life Holocaust Memoirs
Late-life memoirs can shed light on identity creation of Holocaust survivors. Elie Wiesel (1995-1999) and Gerda Weissman Klein (Klein and Klein, 2000) have amplified their 1950s accounts. Temperamental and gender differences mark all their writing. Wiesel, in common with many male memoirists, privileges the public over the private. He depreciates his rich family life in Night (1958), dramatizing instead his tribulations with his father in concentration camps. In contrast, vivid memories of family cohesion sustain Klein (1957) even in slavery. Wiesel elaborates on his prewar life in the beginning of his later memoir, but gradually reinvents himself as the representative of those Jews who died unsung during the war. The letters that Klein and her husband exchanged immediately after the war reproduce their lost families in the new one they would create together.
Crows Screamed: Ted, Sylvia, and Lucas Myers, a Reflection on the Cambridge Years
This presentation will explore the intertwined relationship of three poets: Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, England's poet laureate, and Lucas Myers, Ted Hughes's close friend and mine as well. Having known all three at Cambridge (1956-57), I may be enabled to shed some light on their youthful striving, having known Myers since the early 1940s in Sewanee, Tennessee, and having some personal acquaintance of Sylvia's temperament. Myers's memoir, entitled Crows Screamed, Bergs Appeared (Proctor's Hall Press, 2001), offers a very personal examination of Hughes's "Birthday Letters" and the rootedness of his poems in his personal experience with Sylvia Plath. The 80-odd poems, which Myers insightfully explores in this work of limited circulation, chronicle Hughes's bewilderment, anguish, fascination, and exasperation during his life with her. In treating their poetry, including Sylvia's work, the memoirist offers a sensitive discussion of how poetic creativity intermingles with the horrors of mental deterioration and loss.
Transposing, Translating, Converting: The Interpretation of Dreams or Milton's Dream of Interpretation
In the divorce tracts, Milton's reading practices reveal an astonishingly "overdetermined" use of biblical commentators (e.g., Calvin and Rashi) and scriptural prooftexts (both Hebraic and Christian) to advance the argument he wishes to secure: that divorce be permissible on the grounds of incompatibility. Along the way, however, Milton's "dream of interpretation," his analysis of "fit matrimony" and "fit wives," reveals the complex turns of unconscious desire, desire that both shapes and is shaped by the texts on which Milton claims to rely. In focusing on Milton's use of a minor Hebrew prophet (who condemns the practice of divorce), as well as key coordinate prooftexts, I shall show not only how the poet's analysis of matrimony condenses, converts, represses, and is shadowed by the scriptural passages on which he draws, but also the way his very reading practices bifurcate the very gender position Milton may be said to occupy. Moving at a startlingly rapid rate between Hebrew and Christian prooftexts, Milton is at once the hating Hebrew husband who would divorce his wife, and the unfairly treated Hebrew woman who would be loosed from a treacherous man.
Resounding Fl-Oral Echoes in Obscure C(r)aues: On the Archaic Structure of the Oneiric Signifier in William Smith's "Chloris: The Complaint of the Passionate Despised Shepheard" (1595)
Sherry Lutz Zivley
The Phenomenology of Space -- Huts
In contrast with characters who retreat or are banished to upper rooms, where they may reexamine their conscious and subconscious selves, characters who leave their families and society to retreat to huts, cabins, or other retreats in nature do so to escape intolerable situations in their families or societies. They may retreat alone or be accompanied by others with similar problems. Characters who retreat to huts to reconsider their roles in their family or society and to decide to flee permanently or to return and reconfigure their roles in order to gain more autonomy or authenticity. Examples will include "The Orange Bears," The Grass Harp, Huck Finn, Walden, Michelson's Ghosts, "The Bear," Trout Fishing in America, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Surfacing, Housekeeping, What I'm Going to Do, I think, In the Lake of the Woods, "Five Essay Pieces," and poems by Gary Snyder.