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Laurence Simmons

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Laurence Simmons

Freud’s Italian Journey takes the psychoanalytical texts of Freud on the visual arts and literature as its objects for analysis. While the biographical figure of Freud appears throughout its pages, it is not simply a psychobiographical reading of Freud, his personal circumstances and their relationship to his texts. Rather the processes of interpretation begun by Freud are turned on Freud himself, thus eventually displacing and questioning his theoretical mastery. Freud’s Italian Journey also argues that Freud’s interest in, frequent journeys to, and obsession with Italy profoundly shaped and informed his elaboration of psychoanalysis. The volume organizes its material around the major Italian cities which were the destinations of Freud’s travel, and the sites of the artworks he examined. Freud’s many Italian holidays were crucial for his self-analysis and methodology, but it is also argued here that his papers on Italian subjects must be read as texts marked by fascination and allurement, crossed with anxiety and resistance, inscribed by memory and forgetting. Journeys to Italy heightened Freud’s sense of the visual, and it is contended that the visual dimension of Freud’s writing is crucial to an understanding of his elaboration of the theory of psychoanalysis. The relation between image and text is at the heart of Freud’s analysis of works of art as he founds a critical methodology in which the two are interrelated, image illustrating idea and idea needing to express itself in image, but neither finally resolvable into the other. Thus the argument of Freud’s Italian Journey follows as its model the famous elaboration of the fort:da game by Freud, moving back and forth between Freud’s life and his texts, between psychoanalytical and philosophical systems, between the written and the visual. This leads to the broader conclusion that Freud might provide the key to a new practice of criticism, and a new way of ‘seeing’ and understanding visual images.
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Laurence Simmons

Edited by Philip Armstrong

In recent decades the humanities and social sciences have undergone an ‘animal turn’, an efflorescence of interdisciplinary scholarship which is fresh and challenging because its practitioners consider humans as animals amongst other animals, while refusing to do so from an exclusively or necessarily biological point of view. Knowing Animals showcases original explorations of the ‘animal turn’ by new and eminent scholars in philosophy, literary criticism, art history and cultural studies. The essays collected here describe a lively bestiary of cultural organisms, whose flesh is (at least partly) conceptual and textual: paper tigers, beast fables, anthropomorphs, humanimals, l’animot. In so doing, they investigate the benefits of knowing animals differently: more closely, less definitively, more carefully, less certainly.
Contributors include: Laurence Simmons, Alphonso Lingis, Barbara Creed, Tanja Schwalm, Philip Armstrong, Annie Potts, Allan Smith, Ricardo De Vos, Catharina Landström, Brian Boyd, Helen Tiffin, Ian Wedde.
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Laurence Simmons and Philip Armstrong

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Laurence Simmons and Philip Armstrong

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Laurence Simmons and Philip Armstrong