LITS2307 MODERN CRITICAL THEORY

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WEEK 3:  PSYCHOANALYTIC AESTHETICS / CRITICAL THEORY

Required Readings:

Lecture 1: Authorship

  • Sigmund Freud "Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming" [1908] (pp.  711-716 in Adams)

Lecture 2: Literary History

  • Harold Bloom:
    • The Anxiety of Influence [1973]: "Introduction: a Meditation Upon Priority, and a Synopsis" (pp. 1797-1804 in Leitch)
    • A Map of Misreading [1975]: "The Dialectics of Poetic Tradition" (pp. 1183-1189 in Adams)

Tutorial:

  • Prepare the questions on Freud (see Week 1) and Jung (see Week 2).
Discuss this question: Compare and contrast Freud's views on the psyche with Jung's.

Praxis:

  • Marie Bonaparte The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe: a Psycho-analytic Interpretation [1933] (see extracts in The Purloined Poe, ed. Muller and Richardson)

Recommended Readings:

  • Elizabeth Wright "Modern Psychoanalytic Criticism" (in Modern Literary Theory, ed. Ann Jefferson and David Robey)

PhilWeb:

Notes:

Questions:

Freud "Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming":
  1. What analogies does Freud perceive between a literary work and a dream? 
  2. How useful in this respect is an understanding of Freudís concepts of condensation and displacement?
  3. What is the nature of the relationship which exists between a literary work and its author, according to Freud? 
  4. How different is Freudís view in this regard from the conventional view of authorship (compare his view, for example, to the Romantics')?
  5. What function does literature, according to Freud, perform, and how does it accomplish this?
Bloom The Anxiety of Influence / A Map of Misreading:
  1. What do you understand by the term literary history
  2. How does Bloom conceptualise the progression of literary history? 
  3. To what extent is Bloom's model of literary history indebted to Freudís notion of the Oedipus Complex?
  4. Define the following terms as used by Bloom: the anxiety of influence; belatedness; misreading; and revisionism.