Article

The Modernist Road to the Unconscious

Matt Ffytche

in The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199545445
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199545445.013.0024

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

The Modernist Road to the Unconscious

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This article examines the relation between psychoanalysis and modernism. It highlights the shift in the understanding of the encounters between modernism and psychoanalysis, which was based on the views of Sigmund Freud. The article discusses the focus of recent work on psychoanalysis and modernism in the works of Melanie Klein, who published throughout the 1920s and who, by the early to mid-1930s, had begun to develop a conceptual focus on mourning and anxiety in the earliest years of infancy. It suggests that while the psychoanalytic criticism of modernist literary texts in classical Freudian terms has long seemed to be in eclipse, new psychoanalytic readings of modernism and archaeologies of modernist contact with psychoanalysis are still in the process of unfolding.

Keywords: psychoanalysis; modernism; Sigmund Freud; mourning; anxiety; infancy; Melanie Klein

Article.  9357 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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