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Amnesiac Passages : Melville’s Pierre, Blanchot and the Question of Psychoanalytic Reading

Cohen, Josh. 2010. Amnesiac Passages : Melville’s Pierre, Blanchot and the Question of Psychoanalytic Reading. Synthesis, 2, pp. 17-28. ISSN 1791-5155 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

As a mode of knowledge, psychoanalysis is caught in a singular paradox. It is, on the one hand, an undeniably momentous chapter in the history of human self-understanding. It makes available to systematic description and inquiry a clandestine region of psychic life, hitherto revealed only in the scattered intimations of poets and philosophers. Not content with casting light on this uncanny territory, psychoanalysis cultivated an instrument to bring it under the rule of knowledge, “to enable the ego to achieve a progressive conquest of the id” (Freud, The Ego and the Id 56). The scale and gravity of this achievement is aptly conveyed in Freud’s imperial metaphor: the id’s recalcitrant indigenes, ferociously resisting the incursions of the knowing ego, are painstakingly induced to yield to it. The conquistador’s abundant reward is nothing less than knowledge of the fundament of psychic life itself.

Item Type:

Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature

Dates:

DateEvent
2010Published

Item ID:

9324

Date Deposited:

28 Oct 2013 12:59

Last Modified:

18 Jul 2018 05:12

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/9324

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