Classical Myth and Psychoanalysis

Classical Myth and Psychoanalysis : Ancient and Modern Stories of the Self

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Since Freud published the Interpretation of Dreams in 1900 and utilized Sophocles' Oedipus Rex to work through his developing ideas about the psycho-sexual development of children, it has been virtually impossible to think about psychoanalysis without reference to classical myth. Myth has the capacity to transcend the context of any particular retelling, continuing to transform our understanding of the present. Throughout the twentieth century, experts on the ancient world have turned to the insights of psychoanalytic criticism to supplement and inform their readings of classical myth and literature. This volume examines the inter-relationship of classical myth and psychoanalysis from the generation before Freud to the present day, engaging with debates about the role of classical myth in modernity, the importance of psychoanalytic ideas for cultural critique, and its ongoing relevance to ways of conceiving the self. The chapters trace the historical roots of terms in everyday usage, such as narcissism and the phallic symbol, in the reception of Classical Greece, and cover a variety of both classical and psychoanalytic texts.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 146 x 216 x 30mm | 599.99g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0199656673
  • 9780199656677

About Vanda Zajko

Ellen O'Gorman is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Bristol. She works on ancient historiography and its reception, and on historical and psychoanalytic theory. She has published on Livy, Sallust, Tacitus, Ovid, Homer, Lucan, Statius, Flaubert, Freud, and Lacan. She is the author of Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus (2000).

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Table of contents

CONTENTS ; LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS ; NOTE ON THE REFERENCING OF FREUD'S WORKS ; INTRODUCTION ; 1. Myths and their Receptions: Narrative, Antiquity, and the Unconscious ; I. CONTEXTS FOR FREUD ; 2. Freud's Empedocles: The Future of a Dualism ; 3. Freud's Phallic Symbol ; 4. Myth, Religion, Illusion: How Freud Got His Fire Back ; 5. Narcissism against Narcissus? A Classical Myth and its Influence on the Elaboration of Early Psychoanalysis from Binet to Jung ; 6. Who cares whether Pandora had a large pithos or a small pyxis? Jane Harrison and the emergence of a dynamic conception of the unconscious ; II. FREUD AND VERGIL ; 7. Freud's Vergil ; 8. Juno & the Symptom ; 9. Tu Marcellus Eris: Nachtraglichkei in Aeneid 6 ; III. BEYOND THE CANON ; 10. The Mythic Foundation of Law ; 11. Obeying Your Father: Stoic Theology between Myth and Masochism ; 12. Valerius Maximus and the hysteria of virtue ; 13. Mythology and the Abject in Imperial Satire ; IV. MYTH AS NARRATIVE AND ICON ; 14. Playing with Fire: Prometheus and the Mythological Consciousness ; 15. The Ethics of Metamorphosis or A Poet Between Two Deaths ; 16. In the beginning was the Deed: On Oedipus and Cain ; 17. Aristophanes Myth of Eros and Contemporary Psychologies of the Self ; V. REFLEXIVITY AND META-NARRATIVE ; 18. Aristotle on Poets as Parents and the Hellenistic Poet as Mother ; 19. Listening, Counter-Transference, and the Classicist as Subject-Supposed-to-Know ; BIBLIOGRAPHY ; INDEX

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Review quote

It is a collection that will make an impact on psychoanalytic studies, as well as classics, with re-evaluations of psychoanalytic narcissism and masculinity, and of Freud's engagements with ancient myth, drama and epic. Helen Morales, The Times Literary Supplement engaging ... these writings preserve lively traces of the oral performance by an international roster of scholars committed to - and critical of - the interpretation of Greek and Roman mythology through the various theoretical frameworks of psychoanalysis. Steven Z. Levine, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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