Figures of the Pre-Freudian Unconscious from Flaubert to Proust

Figures of the Pre-Freudian Unconscious from Flaubert to Proust

by Michael R. Finn


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, January 27


An original, wide-ranging contribution to the study of French writing in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this book examines the ways in which the unconscious was understood in literature in the years before Freud. Exploring the influence of medical and psychological discourse over the existence and/or potential nature of the unconscious, Michael R. Finn discusses the resistance of feminists opposing medical diagnoses of the female brain as the seat of the unconscious, the hypnotism craze of the 1880s and the fascination, in fiction, with dual personality and posthypnotic crimes. The heart of the study explores how the unconscious inserts itself into the writing practice of Flaubert, Maupassant and Proust. Through the presentation of scientific evidence and quarrels about the psyche, Michael R. Finn is able to show the work of such writers in a completely new light.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107184565
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/25/2017
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 6.22(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.71(d)

About the Author

Michael R. Finn is Emeritus Professor of French in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Ryerson University in Toronto. He has written widely on the connection between literature and medicine including the books Proust, the Body and Literary Form (Cambridge, 1999) and Hysteria, Hypnotism, the Spirits and Pornography (2009), as well as an extensive range of articles.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Before Freud: The Quarrel of the Unconscious in Late Nineteenth-Century France; 1. Reflex action, unconscious cerebration, subliminal self; 2. The double brain and cerebral topography; 3. Hallucination and hypnotism; 4. The quarrel of the unconscious; 5. The French unconscious, Janet and Freud; Part II. Flaubert: Hysterical Duality, Hallucination and Writing: 6. The divided writer; 7. Flaubert bi-gendered; 8. Hector Landouzy, Salammbô and hysteria; 9. The critics and Flaubert's divided self; 10. Absorption, hallucination, writing stance; Part III. Maupassant, Charcot and the Paranormal: 11. Charcot, Le Horla and ambient psychic research; 12. 'Les magnétiseurs': Pickmann vs Donato; 13. Dualities and doubles; 14. Figuring the Maupassantian unconscious; Part IV. The Unconscious Female/The Female Unconscious: 15. Fictions of female physiology; 16. The late-century female brain and education; 17. Four female writers on the female brain; 18. Femme fatale, femme inconsciente; Part V. Hypnotism, Dual Personalities and the Popular Novel: 19. Experimental crimes, real crimes; 20. Dual personality, hypnotism and the French fin-de-siècle novel; 21. Sex, hypnotism and the unconscious; 22. A more sophisticated unconscious?; Part VI. Proust, the Intellect and the Unconscious: 23. Trials of the intellect; 24. The unconscious and creativity: 1900; 25. The 'natural' unconscious: Proust and Maeterlinck; 26. Toward the Proustian unconscious; 26.A Willpower and the creative; 26.B Unconscious anticipation; 26.C Deep, behind, within: articulating the unconscious; Postscript; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Customer Reviews