Unspeakable Secrets and the Psychoanalysis of Culture

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $17.68
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 34%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $17.68   
  • Used (5) from $17.68   


Explores the radical political potential of close reading to make the case for a new and invigorated psychoanalytic cultural studies.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
...[a] bold and entertaining study ... Rashkin makes a striking and memorable argument for utilizing the tools of psychoanalytic methodology, that have become unfashionable in some cultural studies circles, to reveal the unspoken horrors of atrocity, veiled anti-Semitism, and the guilty secrets of national history that lay beneath the surface of a range of cultural products.— Nineteenth-Century French Studies

"This is fascinating work. Esther Rashkin makes an impassioned case for an end to the marginalization of psychoanalysis within cultural studies ... Thought-provoking in both its content and its practice, this is truly a pleasure to read."— French Studies

"One of the preeminent theorists of our time, Esther Rashkin has produced an outstanding work that will recast the still vibrant yet often stealth culture of psychoanalysis. Her readings and intuitions, motivated by a distinguished critical and clinical praxis, make irrevocable claims on post-Freudian theories of the crypt, maladie du deuil, incorporation and effects of the phantom, crucially repositioning the agon between close reading and ideological critique. The range and depth of her inquiry present brilliant dossiers on the history of unconscious transmission systems."— Avital Ronell, New York University, and Jacques Derrida Professor of Media and Philosophy, the European Graduate School

"The psychoanalysis of culture is a formidable undertaking. Many try. Few succeed. Esther Rashkin, in this impressive new contribution, distinguishes herself as one who belongs in that elite group who can apply psychoanalytic thinking to cultural phenomena in a seamless and highly readable manner. Her use of leading Hungarian psychoanalytic thinkers is an auspicious choice that provides her discourse with a fresh perspective. I highly recommend this book to both students and scholars of interdisciplinary psychoanalysis."— Glen O. Gabbard, MD, Brown Foundation Chair of Psychoanalysis and Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine

"This is the most exciting work of psychoanalysis I've read in the last decade, and a stunningly brilliant argument about the relevance of psychoanalytic interpretation for cultural analysis. It's a groundbreaking piece of intellectual work that will have a deep impact on the future of literary and cultural analysis."— Georges Van Den Abbeele, Dean of Humanities, University of California at Santa Cruz

"This book is truly original, absolutely compelling, and brilliantly illuminating. One of the most important intellectual contributions it makes is its success in offering radically new and persuasive readings of texts we thought we had finished with and about which we thought there could be little left to say. Rashkin explodes that basically complacent assumption and makes familiar texts suddenly and breathtakingly new. The book is underpinned by a deep, implicit compassion for the ways in which human beings have attempted to come to terms with suffering, ways that are recorded by the fictions analyzed here."— Karen Edwards, University of Exeter"
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791475348
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2009
  • 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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

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

The Ghost of Cultural Studies


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)