Subjectivity: Psycho-literary Aspect

Essay by qalaghCollege, Undergraduate April 2004

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In some instances the "subject" will appear to be synonymous with the "individual", the "personal". In others - for example, in psychoanalytical discourse - it will take on a more specialized meaning and refer to the unconsciously structured illusion of plenitude which we usually call "the self". (Paul Smith, 1988)

Emphasis on the role of language in the construction of identity

The position of subject from which language is articulated, from which speech acts, thoughts or writing appear to originate, is integral to the structure of language and, by extension, to the structure of conscious subjectivity which it constitutes. Language ...exists in historically specific discourse which inhere in social institutions and practices and can be organized analytically in discursive fields. (Chris Weedon, 1987)

How the subject comes into being? What difference it'll make to our reading of literature?

Psychoanalysis transformed any belief in the subject as a coherent, rational and conscious being.

Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan's theories have been most widely used in relation to literary studies, but [keep in mind that] they are not the only schools of psychoanalytical thought.

The relationship btw Psychoanalysis and literature can be looked at in different ways, but we can reduce it to a question of what is being subjected to the analytical process, and what repressed meaning we thereby hope to uncover.

Psychoanalysis: active Literature: passive

While literature is considered as a body of language - to be interpreted - psychoanalysis is considered as a body of knowledge, whose competence is called upon to interpret. Psychoanalysis, in other words, occupies the place of a subject, literature that of an object... (Shoshana Felman, 1982)

However, she explains that psychoanalysis can also be interrogated by literature, as well as the other way round.

Critic text witer

Analyst patient

There are...