Freud And Forbidden Knowledge

Overview

The psychoanalyst dares to explore the most intimate recesses of the human soul, to throw open long-barred doors, and to confront the forbidden knowledge beneath the surface. In Freud and Forbidden Knowledge, nine exceptional essays use psychoanalysis to uncover the theme of forbidden knowledge in canonical works of the Western tradition, from the Bible to Hamlet. Psychoanalysis is a discipline that seeks to understand and alleviate human suffering. Its practice is therefore an inherently dangerous activity. The ...

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Overview

The psychoanalyst dares to explore the most intimate recesses of the human soul, to throw open long-barred doors, and to confront the forbidden knowledge beneath the surface. In Freud and Forbidden Knowledge, nine exceptional essays use psychoanalysis to uncover the theme of forbidden knowledge in canonical works of the Western tradition, from the Bible to Hamlet. Psychoanalysis is a discipline that seeks to understand and alleviate human suffering. Its practice is therefore an inherently dangerous activity. The psychoanalyst dares to explore the most intimate recesses of the human soul, to throw open long-barred doors, and to confront the monsters that may lie in wait. In facilitating the patient's process of self- discovery, psychoanalysis concerns forbidden knowledge.

Following Freud's lead, Rudnytsky and Spit approach works of art as constituting psychoanalytic knowledge. Divining that in literature we find the deposits of forbidden knowledge, this collection of nine exceptional essays pursues the theme of forbidden knowledge in canonical works of the Western tradition, from the Hebrew Bible to Boccaccio's The Decameron to Shakespeare's Hamlet. These papers pointedly address the canonical status of these works, positing that the canon must be re-visioned in order to recover the history of transgression. Freud and Forbidden Knowledge offers a series of wide-ranging meditations on the tragic dimensions of human experience; cumulatively, they invite reflection on the significance of forbidden knowledge to Freud.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This gathering of post-modern metafreudians is entertaining, provocative and thoughtful. The quality of thought is playful and kaleidoscopic...Looking at Sophocles' Oedipus, Shakespeare's Hamlet, or Augustine's Confessions, the essays consistently reveal (and revel in) the forbidden."

-Martin Gliserman,editor of American Imago

Booknews
From the Freudian perspective that literature and myth are sources of knowledge useful to the analyst and the patient, nine scholars from a wide range of disciplines examine works, from the Hebrew Bible through Boccaccio to Shakespeare, that explore the tragic dimensions of human experience. They reflect the feminist and post-colonial pressure both to re-examine and to expand the canon of western literature. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814774601
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1995
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 0.46 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter L. Rudnytsky is Professor of English at the University of Florida and a Corresponding Member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles.

Ellen Handler Spitz is an independent scholar and cultural critic who has published widely on the arts and psychoanalysis. She was a Gethy Scholar in 1989 and 1990 and has taught at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She currently holds an appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the Cornell University Medical College. She is the author of Art and Psyche and Image and Insight.

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Introduction 1
1 "And Rebecca Loved Jacob," but Freud Did Not 7
2 Promethean Positions 26
3 The Oedipus Rex and the Ancient Unconscious 42
4 Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus: Freud, Language, and the Unconscious 72
5 The Oedipus Myth: An Attempt at Interpretation of Its Symbolic Systems 96
6 Recognition in Greek Tragedy: Psychoanalytic on Aristotelian Perspectives 109
7 Freud and Augustine 128
8 The Architecture of Sexuality: Body and Space in The Decameron 153
9 On Hamlet's Madnesses and the Unsaid 164
Index 183
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