Freudian Mythologies: Greek Tragedy and Modern Identities

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In any culture, there are typical stories-mythologies-through which people understand their place in the world as men or women, their origins and their possible futures. A hundred years ago, Freud started a new mythology by suggesting that Oedipus, in Sophocles' tragedy the legendary perpetrator of shocking crimes, was a kind of Everyman: in reality, every boy once passionately hated a father and adored a mother. The triadic 'Oedipus complex' suited the concentrated, nuclear families of the middle decades of the 20th century. But today, new family forms and new modes of parenthood have changed the facts and myths of early identity. As Freud did with Oedipus, this book juxtaposes old and new mythologies-classical Greek tragedy and present-day issues, as well as Freud's own writings-to think about changing stories and conditions of human identity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199270392
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/19/2007
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

After a PhD in Comparative Literature at Yale University, Rachel Bowlby taught at the universities of Sussex, Oxford, and York. In 2004 she moved to University College London where she is Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature. She has written books on the history of shopping (Just Looking, Carried Away), on psychoanalysis and feminism (Still Crazy After All These Years, Shopping with Freud), and on Virginia Woolf (Feminist Destinations and Further Essays on Virginia Woolf). She has also translated a number of works of contemporary French philosophy, by authors including Jacques Derrida and Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard. In Freudian Mythologies she draws on her background in classical studies.

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Table of Contents

1. Freud's Classical Mythologies
2. Never Done, Never to Return: Hysteria and After
3. Fifty Fifty: Female Subjectivity and the Danaids
4. The Other Day: The Interpretation of Daydreams
5. A Freudian Curiosity
6. The Cronus Complex: Psychoanalytic Myths of the Future for Boys and Girls
7. Oedipal Origins
8. Playing God: Reproductive Realism in Euripides' Ion
9. Retranslations, Reproductions, Recapitulations

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