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From:
        "Gary Kuchar" <[log in to unmask]>

3:22 PM

Marv Krims wrote:
As I see it, this is the justiication for treating literary charcters as if
> they real and had an unconscious. The art of the great author is to do
create
> this private psychology by using words that resonate with unconscious
> processes.

  I think it's helpful to bear in mind the literary-historical relationship
that exists between Shakespeare and Freud when we think about psychoanalytic
character analysis in general. The emergence of a mode of characterization
that creates the effect of a withiness that passes outward show
participates -- in the strongest sense --- in the history of psychoanalysis
and as such it's not simply verification of the theory itself, but in many
respects its beginning. What happens, then, when we think seriously about
Freud as an epiphenomenal consequence of changes in representation that we
might for the sake of simplicity identify with Shakespeare, rather than
seeing Freud as a theorist who explains Shakespeare as though he stands
outside or beyond the history that Shakespeare had a hand in setting in
motion? One implication of this, I think, is that we recongize the
historical and literary contingency of the Shakespearean/Freudian subject;
we recognize, that is, that way we think of sexual difference, of the
private-interior self, of the unconscious, is set in motion if not delimited
by the way Shakespeare adapts, to take one example, a Petrarchan epideixis
of visuality and (self) transparency into a rhetoric of voice and duplicity.
If Shakespeare -- along with his contemporaries -- "invents" a language of
interiority by drawing out the tensions internal to past modes of
representation then a Freudian reading is always-already a Shakespearean
reading. I don't see this historical contingency as a necessary weakness of
psychoanalysis, but perhaps this historicity is the very source of
psychoanalysis's vitality -- so perhaps the question isn't simply can
psychoanalysis meaningfully address the way post-Shakespearean literary
representations create a sense of interiority, but rather can psychoanalysis
start imagining, along with literature, new modes of representation that
offer alternative ways of thinking the self, sexual difference etc? Another,
perhaps more provocative way of putting the question, is are we, in some
sense, coming to the end of the Shakespearean/Freudian era? Is the creation
of private psychology, at least as it appears in the modern novel, really
the hallmark of great art anymore?
    Gary Kuchar


----- Original Message -----
From: Norman Holland <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2001 4:53 PM
Subject: Treating fictional characters as if they were real.


> From:
>         "marvin_krims" <[log in to unmask]>
>
> Mon 9:18 PM
>
> I came across a neat sentance in Sunday's Book Review section of the NYT,
> written by William Logan in a review of "Lectures on Shakespeare" by W.H.
> Auden: "The bundles of words behave as if they had private psychologies."
>
> As I see it, this is the justiication for treating literary charcters as
if
> they real and had an unconscious. The art of the great author is to do
create
> this private psychology by using words that resonate with unconscious
> processes. So we who try to analyze a text need not rationalize what we do
any
> more than we need explain what art is.
>
> What the rest of you out there think of about the rational of ascribing
> unconscious processes to fictional characters?
>
> Best,
>
> Marv
>
> Best
> Marvin Krims
>