Rachel Bowlby

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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The fact that people keep intruding into their own investigations of antiquity can, depending on the questions one asks, appear to be a nuisance. But many approaches turn this into a virtue by making their own presence in the examination of the Hellenic world the immediate object of their study. Freudian psychoanalysis, as this article argues, is a programmatic example of the process because, while it is fundamentally introspective, it is articulated through a reading of the classics. To this extent, though, Freud is only applying to the individual what cultures as a whole have done through their appropriation of Greece for their own past. Moving beyond the Freudian Oedipus, classical scholars too could turn their twenty-first century attention to ways in which Greek literature may offer new insights into post-Freudian subjective predicaments.

Keywords: Freud; Freudian psychoanalysis; Hellenic world; ancient Greece; Oedipus

Article.  4229 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Philosophy ; Classical Reception

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