African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture A salient take on psychoanalysis as a cultural phenomenon, intersecting with African American literature This thought-provoking cultural history explores how psychoanalytic theories shaped the works of important African American literary figures. Freud Upside Down explores the relationship between these authors and intellectuals and the psychoanalytic movement emerging in the United States over the course of the twentieth century. Examining how psychoanalysis has functioned as a cultural phenomenon within African American literary intellectual communities since the s, Ahad lays out the historiography of the intersections between literature and psychoanalysis and considers the creative approaches of African American writers to psychological thought in their work and their personal lives. Bergner, author of Taboo Subjects:
Open the gate and step into the hall, and it is still a respectable middle-class home of the attractively old-fashioned kind. The curtains are closed and the lights are low. On the bookshelves, Egyptian mummy masks hang near volumes of Poe.
In glass cases, in cabinets and on shelves are objects from Egypt, Greece, Rome and China. The leather is worn and darkened by prolonged contact with the back and buttocks that supported the most controversial mind of the 20th century.
On the lawn in front of the house where he lived briefly after fleeing the Nazis inyellow flowers spell out with quiet defiance, for Freud has been pummelled and battered out of court by contemporary science. In recent years he has been accused of everything from suppressing evidence of child abuse to being a sloppy scientist with delusions of grandeur.
All of which means it is time for us soft-headed art lovers to stand up and defend Freud. I think this constitutes evidence. While Freud is still taken seriously by writers on art and literature, he is no longer respected by the scientific community - if he ever was.
Freud believed he had made the third great assault on human pride. His own scientific heroes, Copernicus and Darwin, dethroned first our conviction that our planet is the centre of the universe, and then our belief that we are something other than a biological animal.
Freud claimed to have demolished our final illusion, that of sovereign reason. A Historywhich begins with Copernicus, gives a key position to Darwin and refuses to mention the man who thought himself their heir.
I want to stand up for the scientists on this one, and on their own terms. If human experience constitutes empirical evidence, then that experience has to include the cultural activity that takes up so much time for so many - making art, writing books, going to the cinema, and all the other things we do.
This may sound theoretically dry, but that scarcely describes Dali. Surrealism is the most popular modernist art because it is so human: It is a unique case of a dogmatic, theoretical art that reveals ordinary emotional truths. I felt this with a new intensity revisiting the Freud Museum. The anniversary exhibition draws attention to a singular fact: He acquired hundreds of antiquities, including fragments of Roman fresco paintings, a Roman portrait sculpture and several parts of mummy cases.
The cultural legacy of Egypt, Greece and Rome filled his waking hours; no wonder it filled his sleeping ones, too. Freud relates many of his own dreams in The Interpretation of Dreams, and they are the fantasies of an art lover.
He even summarises them using art as shorthand: His masterpiece The Island of the Dead was painted in Florence for a woman who was in mourning; it is a macabre image of death as a seductive slumber, as a boat ferries the departed to a cemetery island on a black sea, with black cypresses against the black sky, and tomb doors in the silent cliffs.
This is the painting Freud dreamed about one night in the s, except that he pictured a man on the cliffs. The painting is not only a deathly fantasy; it is a neoclassical deathly fantasy. The world it so hauntingly creates is a Mediterranean, Greco-Roman one, not a Christian cemetery but a classical gateway to Hades, with its tombs and cypresses.
There is a marble frieze of the burial of Hector from the Iliad, a wonderful image of the dead hero carried aloft by his comrades. Nearby are Egyptian artefacts used in the burial of the dead.
Do the trails of association Freud finds in such images constitute science? Not as most scientists would recognise it, and that is why Freud remains such a great and unique modern thinker. Perhaps he will be understood one day - like one of his heroes, Leonardo, who as Freud says in his book on Leonardo was an "enigma" to his contemporaries.
Leonardo was both artist and scientist: Freud admires Leonardo because he, too, wants to synthesise science and art. The most famous proposition of psychoanalysis is rooted in Greek drama: Freud said that all human curiosity begins with "the riddle of the Sphinx - that is the question of where babies come from".
Freud did not merely like art, he loved it; and however much he is discredited we will come back to his writings because they illuminate it and are based on a deep understanding of it. I think it is this that makes him a good scientist.Sigmund Freud (froyd) is undoubtedly one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century; the concept of the individual would be unthinkable without his psychological analyses of the self.
Freud Upside Down African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture. A salient take on psychoanalysis as a cultural phenomenon, intersecting with .
Freud Upside Down African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture. A salient take on psychoanalysis as a cultural phenomenon, intersecting with African American literature.
This thought-provoking cultural history explores how psychoanalytic theories shaped the works of important African American literary figures. Psychoanalytic literary criticism is literary criticism or literary theory which, in method, concept, or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis begun by Sigmund Freud.
Psychoanalytic reading has been practiced since the early development of psychoanalysis itself, and has developed into a heterogeneous interpretive tradition.
Frosh articulates the ways in which Freud’s work channels culturally Jewish modes of argument and interoperation, as well as exploring the political and culture complications of the association of Jewishness and psychoanalysis, in . Psychoanalysis was founded by Sigmund Freud ().
Freud believed that people could be cured by making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations, thus gaining insight. The aim of psychoanalysis therapy is to release repressed emotions and .