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.
|Publisher:||State University of New York Press|
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About 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 ix
Introduction Vexed Encounters: Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies, and the Politics of Close Reading 1
Chapter 1 Devouring Loss: A Recipe for Mourning in "Babette's Feast" 25
Chapter 2 Tortured History: Crypts, Colonialism, and Collaboration in Last Tango in Paris 47
Chapter 3 Haunted Children, Cultural Catastrophe, and Phantom Transmissions in the "Dirty War" and the Holocaust 91
Chapter 4 Religious Transvestism and the Stigma of Jewish Identity 113
Chapter 5 Anticipating the Final Solution: Symbolism and the Occulted Jew in Villiers de l'Isle-Adam's Axëet;l 137
Chapter 6 Imperial Legacies and the Art of Abuse in The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray 157
Conclusion The Ghost of Cultural Studies 201