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Literary Theory

by: Carleton Osinski I

Literary Theory SPAN 7100

Carleton Osinski I
GPA 3.8

Gustavo Pellon

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Gustavo Pellon
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carleton Osinski I on Monday September 21, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SPAN 7100 at University of Virginia taught by Gustavo Pellon in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see /class/209563/span-7100-university-of-virginia in Spanish at University of Virginia.


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Date Created: 09/21/15
Reading Notes Psychoanalysis Freud Sigmund Trans Iames Strachey The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism Ed Vincent B Leith New York WWNorton and Company 2010 Impreso Biographical Information and Theoretical Orientation Freud was born in what is now the Czech Republic to poor Jewish parents he was educated almost completely in Vienna but was forced to leave after the Nazis annexed Austria psychoanalysis has been controversial from the beginning because unlike experimental science it cannot be adequately tested falsi ed or objecti ed It inspired thenior fall short ofiobj ective veri ability because it is a study of the very limits of objectivity itself 807 Even as rates theories have become less and less useful within the discipline of psychology to retain their interest for literary critics literature exists for Freud as a form of evidence the play s Oedipus Rex centurieslong hold over the attention of viewers must respond correspond to it s depiction of something universally fascinating and repressed Summary From The Interpretation of Dreams Freud uses the examples of Oedipus Rex and Hamlet to analyze what he calls the common lst sexual impulse quotit is debatable with us perhaps to direct her lst sexual impulse towards her mother and her lst hatred and our lst murderous wish against her father 816 o The difference of course in Hamlet is that Hamlet39s desire for his mother is actually repressed Freud does not see such repression in the play of Oedipus Rex In this book Freud also handles the issue of interpreting dreams He distinguishes between dreams obvious material and also their latent content which he calls dream thoughts o Dream thoughts are essential to the interpretation of dreams and it is essential to consider the relationship between these objects in order to fully know what dreams stand for o Condensation this is the concept that explains why so many different elements can appear in a dream they are more or less condensed I Because dreams are so condensed Freud admits that it is impossible to assure that a dream has been completely interpreted 0 Displacement Freud argues that what may appear primary in a dream may in fact be secondary Dream content does not always signify the meaning ofa particular dream because it is dream thoughts that do this From From 0 Over determination this is related to the factor of displacement where secondary elements appeared to take primacy over the most obvious elements Interpretation since dreamscannot interpret themselves it is the work of the psychoanalyst to make the connections between the various dream thoughts that take over quotFor the most part dreams disregard all these conjunctions and it is only the substantive content of the dream thoughts that they take over and manipulate The restoration of the connections which the training work has destroyed is a task which has to be performed by the interpretive process 821 I It is obvious that these elements in dreams are connected because the dream reproduces quotlogical connection by simultaneity in time 8 2 2 My comment I am stillnot exactly sure how this interpreting dreams can be applied to literature Is it that we are to interpret literature in the same way as we interpret dreams 0 quotThe Uncanny quotI will say at once that both courses lead to the same result the uncanny is that class of the frightening which leads back to what is known of old and long familiar 825 Freud notes of the word for uncanny in German has a strange relationship to the word for homelike Heimlich has an identical meaning to unhel mlich E 27 This is the notion of something that is hidden and dangerous that is this is one possible meaning ofhel39mll39ch Schelling defines the uncanny as quotsomething which ought to have remained hidden but has come to light 833 quotFetishl39sm Experience is that the fetish is a substituted for the penis quotTo put it more plainly the fetish is a substitute for the woman39s the mothers That little boy once believed in and for reasons familiar to us does not want to give up 842 0 The young boy recognizes on an intellectual level that his mother does not have the same genitals as him but he does not want to let go of this fact 0 Freud does say that hugely some people become homosexuals as a consequence of their fear of castration produced by the experience of seeing the female sexual organs 0 quotIt seems rather than one that finishes instituted some process occurs which reminds one of the stopping ofmemory and traumatic amnesia As in this latter case the subject39s interest comes to a halt halfway as it were it is as though the last impression before the uncanny and traumatic one is retained at fetish That39s the footwear shoe owes its preference of the fetish or a part ofit to the circumstance that the inquisitive boy peered the woman39s genitals from below 843 Reading Notes Lacan Lacan Jacques Trans Alan Sheridan The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism Ed Vincent B Leith New York WWN0rton and Company 2010 Impreso Biography and Theoretical Orientation Trained as a psychoanalyst in France 0 In uenced by Freud Iakobson LeviStrauss and Saussure I My reaction Do we accept Lacan s reading of Freud or not I He was especially proud of the fact that he read Freud quotagainst the grain 0 Also connected his work with that of surrealists including Dali First publishes mirror theory in 1936 Most in uential workis 900page Ecrits which comes from a series of lectures I Out of this there is the reading of Edgar Allen Poe s story quotThe Purloined Letter here we gain our most significant application of Lacan for literary theorists o It is a commentary on Freud s quotrepetition compulsion which Lacan translates as quotrep etition automatism o Argues that the letter s position amongst the characters and not the psychology of the individuals is what determine what each personage will do I Three dimensions of the psyche OO 0 The Real 0 Avecesaparece en los sue os peruum t 439 ildeterminarlo o The Symbolic 0 Has to do with language the way that we quottranslatequot our world into words le nom du perele non dupere 0 He unlike Freud sees the unconscious as something that this quotlike a language it is a system of rhetorical devices that disguise and also repress human desires o quotSs Signifiersignified think about the example with the bathroom doors 0 The Imaginary 0 Important for mirror recognition theory the Imaginary is formed when the baby first sees its face in the mirror He was quotexcommunicatedquot from the professional societies of France because of his unorthodox teachings and practice he refused to follow standard procedure of 50min sessions when seeing his patients Lacan s substantial corpus ofwritings speeches and seminars can be read as an attempt to unify and reground what are the four interlinking aspirations of Freud s theoretical writings o a theory ofpsychoanalytic practice as a curative procedure the generation ofa systematic metapsychology capable ofproviding the basis for the formalization of a diagnostic heuristic ofmental illness and the construction of an account of the development of the quotcivilizedquot human psyche Lacan engages significantly with philosophy which is something that Freud obviously did not do 0 O 0 Summary quotThe Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I As Revealed in Psychoanalytic Exp eri en ce From Lacan theorizes that the mirror stage development lasts up until 18 months of age quotI am legend therefore to regard the function of the mirror stage as a particular case of the function of the imago which is to establish a relation between the organism and its reality or as they say between the Innenwelt and the Umwelt 1166 At some point however the specular 1 turns into the social 0 It is at this moment that desire for the other is born quotThe Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious Here Lacan sets up the structure of quotSs that being Signifiersignified 1171 o Borrows this from Saussure Writes that quotthe whole structure of languagequot can be discovered in the unconscious through psychoanalysis He disagrees with the idea that the unconscious is the site purely ofinstinct and desire He talks of the 39letter39 as the quotmaterial support that concrete discourse borrows from languagequot quotthe unconscious is structured like a language What is it that speaks through us 0 The unconscious or the discourse of the Other This 39big39 Other is language or the symbolic order It is an 39otherness39 and can never be integrated with the subject But it forms the base of our unconscious


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