Chapter

Back of Beyond: Anxiety and the Birth of the Future

Elissa Marder

in The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780823240555
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823240593 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823240555.003.0005
Back of Beyond: Anxiety and the Birth of the Future

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This chapter explores how in Inhibitions, Symptoms, and Anxiety, Freud links the concept of birth to that of anxiety and, in so doing, attempts to integrate anxiety into his general metapsychology. However, instead of presenting birth as the origin of a developmental linear trajectory that leads inexorably to death along a time-line which moves us forward from a past, through a present, towards a future, birth emerges as the primal trauma, and anxiety is the psyche's living response to that trauma. By ripping time open from birth, anxiety gives time to the psyche, gives the psyche time, thereby opening up the possibility of a future.

Keywords: traumatic anxiety; signal anxiety; birth; uncanny

Chapter.  5054 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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