Post-Feudian encounters between psychoanalysis and culture

Part of : Hellenic journal of psychology ; Vol.6, No.1, 2009, pages 38-50

Section Title:
Freuds legacy
This paper locates a crucial point of convergence between psychoanalysis and culturein the concepts of the symbol and the sublime. Although they underpin all of Freud'swriting in culture, it was not until the second half of the 20th century that theories of symbolizationand sublimation began to be adequately theorized, in particular in the work of Lacanand Castoriadis. Using Lacan's paradoxical insight that the sublime is precisely that whicheludes sublimation, this paper analyzes the play-within-a-play m A midsummer night's dreamfocusing on the way Shakespeare foregrounds the chink in the wall as not an obstacle to buta protection of the lovers- from the traumatic encounter with the Real of loss. Similarly, inDefoe's Robinson Crusoe, it is the threatened loss of the symbol in the form of the mysteriousfootprint which poses the greatest threat to the human psyche. Finally, the paper examinesthe Kleinian features of Lacan's theory of the sublime, and argues that the drive towards symbolicrepair, however differently formulated, underlies both their theories of sublimation.
Subject (LC):
Freud, Lacan, sublimation, symbolization
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