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Title:Reading Lacan reading: Freudian theory, literary text
Author(s):Van Pelt, Tamise Jo
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Blake, Nancy
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, General
Literature, English
Psychology, General
Abstract:Lacan is a reader of Freud and of literature, a psychoanalyst whose theoretical texts demonstrate a reading practice useful to literary critics. However, Lacan's reading practices remain largely unexplored by English-speaking critics because his reception has led to a conflation of Lacanian theory with Marxism or semiotics. Moreover, Lacan' s mature register theory seems largely ignored by American critics who overemphasize his early mirror stage theory. Therefore, to recover a distinctly Lacanian theoretical practice, this dissertation returns to Lacan, emphasizing those readings of Freud, philosophy, and literature in which Lacan dissects a heterogeneous text into dissymmetric imaginary and symbolic registers of signification, identification, and interpretation.
In "A Symposium on the Subject" I examine psychoanalytic readings of Plato's Symposium which attempt to escape, yet still produce, readings which invert and mirror other readings. Next, I explore Lacan' s exemplification of mirror stage theory via Hegel's dialectical struggle between master and servant in "The Master in the Mirror." In "The Poe-etics of Register Theory" I analyze duplications in Lacan's register theory which can lead to inverting arguments unless applied as Lacan himself does in his reading of Poe's "Purloined Letter." Finally, in "Truth, Analysis, and the Problem of Hamlet" I contrast Ernest Jones's "explanation" of Hamlet with Lacan's search for Hamlet's true speech, revealing the rules of a distinctly Lacanian reading practice.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Van Pelt, Tamise Jo
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512580
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512580

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