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Ro Spankie

One of the original uses of the word ‘interior’ was to describe that which belongs to or exists in the mind or soul, that is, the mental or spiritual, as opposed to that which is bodily. The etymology of the term gives a clue as to how interior space functions in a manner that is different from the architecture that contains it. This article explores the analogy of architecture as body and the interior as mind through the act of drawing out Sigmund Freud’s study and consulting room, with reference to Freud’s diagrams of the mind. Working with diagrams, the article will demonstrate a relation between Freud’s conceptual shift from descriptive anatomy to hypothetical structures of psychoanalysis and the diagrammatic ordering of the spatial arrangement of his practice.

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Uncanny History

Temporal Topology in the Post-Ottoman World

Charles Stewart

through intellectual surprise alone, but, as Freud contended, on account of the shocking immediacy of the encounter with powerful ideas and emotions from the past. 3 The post-Ottoman world has no monopoly on uncanny histories, yet the violent recent past

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Sartre, Lacan, and the Ethics of Psychoanalysis

A Defense of Lacanian Responsibility

Blake Scott

One of the main threads of continental philosophy in the last century was the interpretation of those whom Paul Ricoeur famously called the masters of suspicion, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. With respect to Freud, it could be said that one of the

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Marie-Andrée Charbonneau

This article attempts to answer this general question : does the Freud Scenario present us with a Sartrian Freud or a Freudian Sartre? Consequently, the article is divided into two parts. First of all, I examine the three principal themes of the Scenario in order to show how the Freud Sartre depicts is truly a Sartrian character and that, furthermore, the story Sartre presents us with has the moral plot of a man's progress to authenticity. Secondly, I attempt to clarify what is at stake in the following question: did the writing of the Freud Scenario modify Sartre's position vis-à-vis psychoanalysis? In order to do this, I examine the evolution of his position over the years and discover within it, once again, various moral considerations.

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A Secular Alchemy of Social Science

The Denial of Jewish Messianism in Freud and Durkheim

Philip Wexler

This essay presents a reading of the work of two central figures of modern social theory that locates their work within not simply mainstream Jewish thought, but a particular Hasidic tradition. Further, I argue that lying behind this, in a repressed form, is an even older tradition of Jewish alchemy. I make no claim to have evidence that either Freud or Durkheim were directly influenced by Hasidism or alchemy, but I examine the parallels between the structure of their thoughts and those of the two traditions. Both Freud and Durkheim display a social psychology that is analytically similar to the dualism of Hasidism's Tanya and the general transformational models of alchemy. This formal model is in opposition to the messianic tradition in Jewish thought and analyzes Freud and Durkheim as anti messianic social psychologists. Hasidism offers a template for modern theories of social psychology, social interaction and the relation between the social and the individual, that is, collective identity. This essay also considers more generally how modern social theory might make sense of contemporary social phenomena by opening itself to the messianic and mystical traditions in Jewish thought. I suggest that the social and structural transformation associated with the information or network society requires new analytic tools that allow us to explain social energy differently to the way Freud and Durkheim have guided social theory. Contemporary analyses of individualization, social movements and sacralization as forms of and reactions to alienation are inadequate. Instead, I ask whether we should not 'restore a messianic, truly utopian "lost unity", which the alchemical, secular gnosis of modern social science displaced, and so renew social theory?'

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Norman N. Holland

Metafictions tell stories in which the physical medium of the story becomes part of the story as, classically, in Tristram Shandy or Don Quixote. In our times, both metafiction and metafilm have proliferated. Examples of metafilm include Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr., Woody Allen's Purple Rose of Cairo, Alejandro Amenábar's Abre los Ojos, Ingmar Bergman's Persona, the Marx Brothers' Horse Feathers and, in particular, Spike Jonze's Adaptation. In my experience and that of others, metafilmic movies have a peculiarly disconcerting effect, sometimes arousing fear, sometimes seeming comic. Why? Metafilms play tricks on the levels and kinds of our belief (or our suspension of disbelief). To explain the effect, we need to understand how our brains are functioning when we are, as we say, "absorbed" in a film. The answer lies in the fact that reality testing depends on activity in the motor regions of the frontal cortex. But in experiencing the arts, we are not moving or even planning to move. As a result, as Richard Gerrig's experiments show, we momentarily believe (or suspend disbelief in) the film we are perceiving. Metafilm, however, introduces another, more real reality, the physical medium of the film. Metafilm thus sends conflicting messages to the brain about moving. The result is what Freud called "a signal of anxiety." If the metafilmic effect is brief, we laugh. If it persists over time, it can arouse anxiety.

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Peter Caws

On the back cover of the original French edition of Sartre's Le scénario Freud (The Freud Scenario), the promotional blurb poses the question: "Est-ce ici Sartre qui analyse Freud ou Freud qui analyse Sartre?" (Is Sartre analyzing Freud here, or is Freud analyzing Sartre?). We do not, for obvious reasons, have anything of Freud's on Sartre, but we do have quite a lot of Sartre on Freud, and great quantities of Sartre on Sartre. It has sometimes seemed to me that reading through everything that Sartre wrote—not just the autobiographical material but everything, including the carnets and the cahiers and the letters—might be a bit like having him in analysis. The speed and apparent openness with which he produced his texts, page after page in that quick yet legible script that French writers seem to turn out so effortlessly, mimic some of the conditions of free association, and an analytically sensitive eye, like the analyst's ear in therapeutic sessions, could no doubt piece together a plausible account of the Sartrean unconscious.

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Tareq Zuhair

Freudian neurosis, despite being a psychological disorder rather than a literary topic, has been used in literature to conceptualise characters’ suffering. Freud contends that the suppression of desires due to hidden and unhidden causes leads to neurosis. Being unable to succeed in life, individuals feel neurotic and tend to displace their frustrations onto other persons or objects. Starting with the Renaissance, this article explores how displacement in Shakespeare’s Hamlet is tacitly approached and how this reaction has become a recurrent case in Willa Cather’s A Lost Lady (1923) and Laila Al Halaby’s Once in a Promised Land (2007). The article analyses the incentives of neurosis in each work, how these reasons lead to the onset of displacement and how literary works share relatively similar implications about displacement despite being about different issues.

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Meyer Fortes

The Person, the Role, the Theory

Adam Kuper

came to theory, Fortes remained faithful throughout to a limited set of authorities, while reading each in a rather idiosyncratic fashion. The key figures in his personal theoretical pantheon were Malinowski, Durkheim, Radcliffe-Brown and Freud. Henry

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Roland Littlewood

One hundred years after the publication of Totem and Taboo, Freud’s book is summarized, and its reception and current status noted.