|מדעי הרוח | אנגלית|
Psychoanalytic Narratology – Theory Core Course
Prof. Shirley Sharon-Zisser
2018/19, Spring Term, 4hr credit for BA
Reception hours: Monday, 14:00-15:00 or by appointment, Webb 509
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Course prerequisites: interest in poetics, literary theory, psychoanalysis; love of language. It would be beneficial for students to have taken courses in theory, in particular narrative analysis and introduction to theory.
Please note that this course proceeds from a psychoanalytical Freudian-Lacanian position.
. The process of a psychoanalysis is not a narrative. As an analysis, it indeed splices and deconstructs, and also sutures differently, various components of the subject’s psyche. And yet so many of the categories used in the psychoanalytic cure and in psychoanalytic theory are narrative in structure or pertain to one of the fundamental concepts of narratology. Bst known among these is the Oedipus complex in its Freudian articulation, which relies on a narrative substructure derived from literature (Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex), but no less significant is the category of the phantasm, first formulated by Freud in the article on “A Child is Being Beaten” and augmented by Lacan to become the unconscious narrative, subtended by an axiomatics, which produces the neurhoanalysisotic subject’s usually masochistic sense-making – of his dreams and symptoms, of his encounters with others, of works of literature and art. The delusions of paranoid psychotics too take a narrative form, albeit one that has a function radically different the narrative that is the neurotic’s phantasm. In Freudian theory, various of the processes discovered as serving a defensive function against a knowledge that if confronted, would be too unpleasurable or unbearable for the subject. Such are “The Sexual Theories of Children,” the “Lies Told by Children,” and “The family Romance.” Finally, of the formations of the unconscious, those encrypted phenomena by means of which the unconscious emerges, the one Freud denominated “the royal road to the unconscious,” the dream, is of course a narrative. A crucial component of narrative – character -- which has been the subject of narrative theory ever since Aristotle’s Poetics, is also a psychoanalytic concept, first theorized by Freud in 1908, and retheorized in his work and in that of later analysts up to Jacques-Alain Miller, who rereads it in the light of Lacanian psychoanalysis. What is the structure and function of narrative within psychoanalysis and of the psychoanalytic categories and phenomena that take narrative form? What can they teach us about narrative and its components as theorized in classic narratology, especially modern (mainly formalist and structuralist) narratology? What is the psychoanalytic category of character and how does it relate to the narratological concept of character? These are some of the questions the course will ask and try to answer by means of a close reading of the relevant texts of Freud, Lacan, and Miller alongside those of narratologists from Aristotle through Propp, Todorov, Genette and Chatman.
Requirements: regular attendance, active participation, final take-home exam.