Psycho-analysis and textual production

Cox, Donna

Literature; Mass media; Performing arts; Psychology
February 2000

Thesis or dissertation

© 2000 Donna Cox. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

As its title suggests, this study is divided into two separate but related parts. Each part of the thesis is then sub-divided into sections. Part I is evolutionary in nature, building its argument in a more linear and expository style than those sections which comprise Part II which stand in a more dialogical relation to each other and are self-sufficient in form. The title of the thesis uses the term 'psycho-analysis' as it was first introduced by Freud with reference to a systemic methodology. It should be noted that the 'textual production' to which I refer in the title should not suggest a Marxist-based analysis. Instead, it refers to the activation of the text in conjunction with its encounter with the reading subject. As such, it does not refer to the creation of an author, nor to the material production via institutions in the strict historical sense. It does, however, refer to a material affect of the signifier in its interpretative rendering by emphasizing its bodily interlinking with the imaginary of the reader in a scene which is analogous to that of hysterical symptomatology. Part I is entitled 'Psycho-Analysis' and consists of three sections which explore the beginnings of psychoanalysis, its main theories on hysteria and the relationship between Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud. The theoretical base of hysteria is considered to be illuminating to analyses of critical procedures such as those employed in literary criticism. Part II is entitled 'Textual Production' and is comprised of six sections of textual readings. These readings are presented as discrete in themselves yet of an interlocking character. This study of psycho-analysis and textual production has attempted to examine the mechanisms of critical encounter in relation to the psychoanalytical text and the literary text. Theories offered by psycho-analysis formulated with reference to hysteria are considered to offer an illuminating parallel to those processes which occur in critical practice.

Department of English, The University of Hull
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