Literature And The Relational Self

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Overview

"Literature and the Relational Self is a tribute to the rich complexity of human nature—as poets, novelists, and relational models of contemporary psychoanalysis mutually attest."
Psychoanalytic Psychologist

While psychoanalytic relational perspectives have had a major impact on the clinical world, their value for the field of literary study has yet to be fully recognized. This important book offers a broad overview of relational concepts and theories, and it examines their implications for understanding literary and aesthetic experience as it reviews feminist applications of relational-model theories, and considers D. W. Winnicott's influential ideas about creativity and symbolic play.

The eight incisive essays in this volume apply these concepts to a close reading of various nineteenth and twentieth-century literary texts: an essay on Wordsworth, for instance, explores the poet's writing on the imagination in light of Winnicott's ideas about transitional phenomena, while an essay on Woolf and Lawrence compares identity issues in their work from the perspective of feminist object relations theories.

The cultural influences that have led to the development of the relational paradigm in the sciences at this particular historical moment have also affected contemporary art and literature. Essays on John Updike, Toni Morrison, Ann Beattie, and Alice Hoffman examine self-other relational dynamics in their texts that reflect larger cultural patterns characteristic of our time. The author reviews feminist applications of relational-model theories and applies these models to works by William Wordsworth, Virginia Woolf, John Updike, Toni Morrison, and others.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In eight close readings of texts from the 19th and 20th centuries, provides a broad overview of relational concepts and theories of applying psychoanalytic perspectives to the understanding of literature in particular and aesthetics in general. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814780220
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Series: Literature and Psychoanalysis Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Ann Schapiro is Associate Professor of English at Rhode Island College. She is the author of The Romantic Mother: Narcissistic Patterns in Romantic Poetry and coeditor with Lynne Layton of Narcissism and the Text: Studies in Literature and the Psychology of Self.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
The Relational Paradigm 1
Psychoanalytic Relational Concepts: An Overview 5
The Relational Model and Feminist Theory 14
Transitional Phenomena, Creativity, and Culture 20
Applications to Literary Criticism 22
2 Wordsworth and the Relational Model of Mind 29
3 The Rebirth of Catherine Earnshaw: Splitting and Reintegration of Self in Wuthering Heights 46
4 Gender, Self, and the Relational Matrix: D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf 62
5 Boundaries and Betrayal in Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea 84
6 Updike, God, and Women: The Drama of the Gifted Child 105
7 Internal World and the Social Environment: Toni Morrison's Beloved 127
8 Ann Beattie and the Culture of Narcissism 144
9 Desire and Uses of Illusion: Alice Hoffman's Seventh Heaven 160
10 Afterword 180
Notes 183
Works Cited 189
Index 197
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