Alexandria Digital Research Library

Etchings on the self : neuropsychoanalysis and the scene of reading, from Austen to Woolf

Author:
Jaworski, Cheryl Lynn
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. English
Degree Supervisor:
Kay Young
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2016
Issued Date:
2016
Topics:
English literature
Keywords:
Austen
Domestic
Victorian
Neuropsychoanalysis
Woolf
Novel
Genres:
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Dissertation:
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016
Description:

Etchings on the Self analyzes representations of family dynamics in three pairings of canonical nineteenth- and twentieth-century English domestic novels and the ramifications of those analyses for the postcolonial novel in light of revisions to psychoanalytic literary theory and criticism after the recent intersection of psychoanalysis with cognitive science and neuroscience. More specifically, it examines the traumatic events at the heart of each of these novels, the ways their effects are registered (worked through) in the affect and cognition of the characters, and the role these psychosomatic forces play in the therapeutic relationships characters develop with certain objects and persons considered as objects. In these relationships, the objects/persons become the bearers of flows of affect and thus mediate between the traumatized psyche, its psychical external environment, and its internalized images of that environment.

This narrative working through is also enacted through a thematic interest that each pair of novels shares: in Mansfield Park and Wuthering Heights, the theme of surrogacy is invoked to determine who will inherit the estate; Dombey and Son and Daniel Deronda are meditations on gender in the search to recover the family of origin; and in The Way of All Flesh and To the Lighthouse the themes of loss and devolution are worked through in both represented action and novelistic form.

I propose that tracing these flows of affect and their ramifications for relationships within fictional dysfunctional families will revise, extend, and strengthen the interdisciplinary reach of psychological criticism of the domestic novel in at least three ways: (1) by shifting the emphasis from the level of the monadic ego and the intrapsychic to that of the interpersonal, (2) by shifting the emphasis from the mental to the material in examining objects as carriers of affective flows, and (3) by supporting recent arguments for the psycho-somatically therapeutic power of narrative.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (315 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f38k7983
ISBN:
9781369575958
Catalog System Number:
990047511940203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Cheryl Jaworski
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