Chapter

Sense and Nonsense in the Psychic Machine

Lydia H. Liu

in The Freudian Robot

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780226486826
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226486840 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226486840.003.0004
Sense and Nonsense in the Psychic Machine

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This chapter reconsiders literary modernism by focusing on some of the most radical theories of language and writing that have emerged at the threshold of sense and nonsense. One of these views is grounded primarily in a mathematical figuring of alphabetical writing and a speculative treatment of the unconscious mechanism of language, which is taken to function automatically like a psychic machine. The chapter reestablishes some of the forgotten linkages among the radical theories and experiments across the disciplines, especially those bordering on nonsense and schizophrenia. It reflects on the problem of sense and nonsense between the communication machine and the psychic machine, and offers an interpretation of Joyce's approach to alphabetical writing.

Keywords: psychic machine; alphabetical writing; modernism; schizophrenia; nonsense; sense

Chapter.  21664 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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