Cultures of the Death Drive: Melanie Klein and Modernist Melancholia

Cultures of the Death Drive: Melanie Klein and Modernist Melancholia

by Esther Sánchez-Pardo
     
 

ISBN-10: 0822330458

ISBN-13: 9780822330455

Pub. Date: 05/01/2003

Publisher: Duke University Press Books

Cultures of the Death Drive is a comprehensive guide to the work of pioneering psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960) and to developments in Kleinian theory to date. It is also an analysis and a demonstration of the distinctive usefulness of Klein’s thought for understanding modernist literature and visual art. Esther Sánchez-Pardo

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Overview

Cultures of the Death Drive is a comprehensive guide to the work of pioneering psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960) and to developments in Kleinian theory to date. It is also an analysis and a demonstration of the distinctive usefulness of Klein’s thought for understanding modernist literature and visual art. Esther Sánchez-Pardo examines the issues that the seminal discourses of psychoanalysis and artistic modernism brought to the fore in the early twentieth century and points toward the uses of Kleinian thinking for reconceptualizing the complexities of identity and social relations today.

Sánchez-Pardo argues that the troubled political atmosphere leading to both world wars created a melancholia fueled by “cultures of the death drive” and the related specters of object loss—loss of coherent and autonomous selves, of social orders where stability reigned, of metaphysical guarantees, and, in some cases, loss and fragmentation of empire. This melancholia permeated, and even propelled, modernist artistic discourses. Sánchez-Pardo shows how the work of Melanie Klein, the theorist of melancholia par excellence, uniquely illuminates modernist texts, particularly their representations of gender and sexualities. She offers a number of readings—of works by Virginia Woolf, René Magritte, Lytton Strachey, Djuna Barnes, and Countee Cullen—that reveal the problems melancholia posed for verbal and visual communication and the narrative and rhetorical strategies modernist artists derived to either express or overcome them. In her afterword, Sánchez-Pardo explicates the connections between modernist and contemporary melancholia.

A valuable contribution to psychoanalytic theory, gender and sexuality studies, and the study of representation in literature and the visual arts, Cultures of the Death Drive is a necessary resource for those interested in the work of Melanie Klein.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822330455
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
05/01/2003
Series:
Post-Contemporary Interventions
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
504
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations of the Works of Melanie Klein
Introduction: Anxieties and Their Vicissitudes1
1Itineraries23
2Kleinian Metapsychology55
3Femininities: Melancholia, Masquerade, and the Paternal Superego72
4Masculinities: Anxiety, Sadism, and the Intricacies of Object-Love94
5Kleinian Melancholia118
6The Death Drive and Aggression137
7The Setting (Up) of Phantasy162
8Modernist Cultures of the Death Drive193
9Framing the Fetish: To the Lighthouse: Ceci n'est pas un roman218
10Funereal Rites: Melancholia, Masquerade, and the art of Biography in Lytton Strachey273
11Melancholia Reborn: Djuna Barnes's Styles of Grief306
12Melancholia, the New Negro, and the Fear of Modernity: Forms Sublime and Denigrated in Countee Cullen's Writings343
Afterword: Modern(ist) Cultures of the Death Drive and the Melancholic Apparatus386
Notes395
Bibliography451
Index475

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