Chapter

The Walking Man and the Talking Cure

Jean-Christophe Agnew

in After Freud Left

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780226081373
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226081397 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226081397.003.0012
The Walking Man and the Talking Cure

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This chapter addresses the link between modernism and Freudianism in relation to the concept of “the American Century,” and also reports on the complex cultural changes from the 1940s to the 1980s. It is noted that Sigmund Freud the scientist was also Freud the moralist, and the century-long “modernization of sex” about which cultural historians have written was always in intimate conversation with the sexual “modernism” of Freudians. Freudian modernism enabled Lionel Trilling to exercise a version of the close reading that New Criticism demanded without at the same time sacrificing himself to its textualist or formalist insularities. The social geography of modernism is then addressed. Postmodernism—and especially poststructuralism—can be nearly as severe in its attitude as the modernism and humanism it replaced.

Keywords: modernism; Freudianism; Sigmund Freud; Lionel Trilling; social geography; postmodernism; poststructuralism

Chapter.  5092 words.  Illustrated.

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