First Things

First Things

by Mary Jacobus
     
 

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

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.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415903844
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
03/07/1996
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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