Making a case for castration: literary cases and psychoanalytic readings

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Abstract

This chapter presents three sets of interrelated questions regarding literature, psychoanalysis, and the reading publics of each field. It first explores why does psychoanalysis read literature; what kind of audience or public does psychoanalysis present for literature; and how does psychoanalysis read literature. The chapter questions that if when Sigmund Freud reads literature, how does he construct a case. It also examines in which way is this exchange between literature and psychoanalysis an open process; and how does the psychoanalytic interpretation impact on any subsequent reading of a literary case. The chapter addresses how Freud and Lacan approach literature and thereby formulate their respective theories concerning castration. Literature and psychoanalysis produce a tight web in which a conversation about cases is developed. The chapter also suggests that psychoanalysis is unable to do away with literature, Freud and Lacan urge their reading publics to consider literary cases alongside clinical cases.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCase Studies and the Dissemination of Knowledge
EditorsJoy Damousi, Birgit Lang, Katie Sutton
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter11
Pages188-202
Number of pages15
Edition1st
ISBN (Print)9781138815339
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Cultural History
PublisherRoutledge

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