Unspeakable Secrets and the Psychoanalysis of Culture

Unspeakable Secrets and the Psychoanalysis of Culture

by Esther Rashkin
     
 

Esther Rashkin argues that psychoanalysis galvanizes, as no other discipline can, an understanding of texts in their social, historical, and political contexts. Demonstrating that close reading can be a radical political practice, she exposes heretofore unseen ideologies concealed in works of film and literature, from Last Tango in Paris to The Picture of Dorian Gray,… See more details below

Overview

Esther Rashkin argues that psychoanalysis galvanizes, as no other discipline can, an understanding of texts in their social, historical, and political contexts. Demonstrating that close reading can be a radical political practice, she exposes heretofore unseen ideologies concealed in works of film and literature, from Last Tango in Paris to The Picture of Dorian Gray, from Barthes’s Mythologies and Balzac’s Sarrasine to Babette’s Feast. Psychoanalytic concepts such as identification with the aggressor, the crypt, cryptonymy, illness of mourning, and the phantom allow Rashkin to reveal how shameful and unspeakable secrets propel the narratives she examines. In the process, she convincingly makes the case for a new practice of psychoanalytic cultural studies, a practice that fully engages with the politicized discourses—anti-Semitism, racism, colonialism, censorship—that mark a text’s location in history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791475348
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
07/01/2009
Series:
SUNY Series in Psychoanalysis and Culture Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Esther Rashkin is Professor of French and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Utah and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice. She is the author of Family Secrets and the Psychoanalysis of Narrative.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction
Vexed Encounters: Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies, and the Politics of Close Reading

1. Devouring Loss: A Recipe for Mourning in “Babette’s Feast”

2. Tortured History: Crypts, Colonialism, and Collaboration in Last Tango in Paris

3. Haunted Children, Cultural Catastrophe, and Phantom Transmissions in the “Dirty War” and the Holocaust

4. Religious Transvestism and the Stigma of Jewish Identity

5. Anticipating the Final Solution: Symbolism and the Occulted Jew in Villiers de l’Isle-Adam’s Axël

6. Imperial Legacies and the Art of Abuse in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Conclusion
The Ghost of Cultural Studies

Notes
Index

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