Catastrophe and Survival: Walter Benjamin and Psychoanalysis

Catastrophe and Survival: Walter Benjamin and Psychoanalysis

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'Catastrophe and Survival' addresses a blind spot in Benjamin scholarship: namely the way that Benjamin's thoughts regarding mental space, the mind-body problem, and the individual's experience of the material object world make significant contact with post-Freudian psychoanalytic confrontations with similar issues.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 154.94 x 233.68 x 15.24mm | 521.63g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1441116834
  • 9781441116833
  • 920,503

Review quote

"Elizabeth Stewart's profound and original study of Benjamin transcends everything previously available on his relationship to psychoanalysis. The dialectics of Benjamin's intricate transfiguration of Melanie Klein and of Bion are made radiantly clear. This book is particularly useful for establishing both Benjamin's vision of Kafka and his effect, through Bion, on Samuel Beckett." -- Harold Bloom "Elizabeth Stewart has done a virtuoso job of handling the intricacies not only of the work of Walter Benjamin but also of the late work of Lacan, and using them to give a startlingly original and convincing reading of Melanie Klein. The work of Klein and her followers has been shamefully neglected in literary and philosophical studies, and Stewart's book goes some way to rectifying that omission. In particular she shows the kinship between Benjamin's thinking and that of the catastrophe-oriented Wilfred Bion. Stewart presents a model of a Benjaminian psychoanalysis emphasizing 'pure language', corporeality and contingency that would be a collective and personal practice of 'redemption' and an antidote to totalitarian domination." -- Shierry Weber Nicholsen, psychoanalyst and author of Exact Imagination, Late Work: On Adorno's Aesthetics "This is truly an engaging read and makes a fine and original contribution to the literature. It significantly advances Benjamin scholarship in ways hitherto unimagined. The productive force of combining a reading of Benjamin's Trauerspiel book with Freudian/Lacanian psychoanalysis, extended by drawing in applications of Klein and Milner, results in a powerful and fruitful answer to the very issue of modern alienation and catastrophe that these writers and theorists took up in their own efforts of social transformation. Stewart's book is a provocative and stimulating treatise on reading and writing the pathos of our modern condition." -- Jules Simon Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Texas at El Paso, USA
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About Elizabeth Stewart

Elizabeth Stewart is Associate Professor of English, Yeshiva University, New York, USA. She teaches courses in European modernism, post-colonial literature, literature and philosophy, and literary and cultural theory. She is the translator and editor of Lacan in the German-Speaking World (SUNY 2004).
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