First Things

Overview

In First Things Mary Jacobus combines close readings with theoretical concerns in an examination of the many forms taken by the mythic or phantasmic mother in literary, psychoanalytic and artistic representations.

She carefully explores the ways in which the maternal imaginary informs both unconscious processes and signifying practices at all levels. Her fierce analysis of specific texts and paintings raises questions about the the symbolic and biological maternal body and how ...

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Overview

In First Things Mary Jacobus combines close readings with theoretical concerns in an examination of the many forms taken by the mythic or phantasmic mother in literary, psychoanalytic and artistic representations.

She carefully explores the ways in which the maternal imaginary informs both unconscious processes and signifying practices at all levels. Her fierce analysis of specific texts and paintings raises questions about the the symbolic and biological maternal body and how they relate to each other in literary and psychoanalytic terms. The invocation of writings by Kleist, Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Malthus and de Sade, along with analysis of French revolutionary iconography and Realist and Impressionist paintings by Eakins and Morisot, make this wide-ranging text a truly interdisciplinary study.

First Things sees literary theory and psychoanalysis as mutually illuminating practices. The work of Freud, Klein, Kristeva and Bion shape an inquiry into such topics as population discourse, surrogate motherhood, AIDS, mastectomy and psychoanalysis itself. In addition, Jacobus elaborates on Freud's oedipal preconceptions, Klein's missing theory of signs, memory, melancholia, narcissism and maternal reverie.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An investigation into how the myths of motherhood and mothers are born, and the ideological work that they do in politics, art, literature, and psychoanalysis. Jacobus (English, Cornell U.) challenges these familiar symbols and ideas, studying maternal imagery in the work of Freud, Klein, and Kristeva. In a tour de force of scholarship, she considers how representation, signs, and symbols shape our ideas about population control, surrogate motherhood, AIDS, mastectomy, the French Revolution, and Impressionist painting. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415903844
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/7/1996
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jacobus is John Wendell Anderson Professor of English at Cornell University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
1 Freud's Mnemonic: Screen Memories and Feminist Nostalgia 1
2 In Parenthesis: Immaculate Conceptions and Feminine Desire 23
3 Russian Tactics: Freud's "Case of Homosexuality in a Woman" 43
4 In Love with a Cold Climate: Travelling with Wollstonecraft 63
5 Malthus, Matricide, and the Marquis de Sade 83
6 Replacing the Race of Mothers: AIDS and The Last Man 105
7 "Tea Daddy": Poor Mrs. Klein and the Pencil Shavings 129
8 "'Cos of the Horse": The Origin of Questions 153
9 Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog 173
10 Incorruptible Milk: Breast-feeding and the French Revolution 207
11 Baring the Breast: Mastectomy and the Surgical Analogy 231
12 Narcissa's Gaze: Berthe Morisot and the Filial Mirror 269
Index 297
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