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Repossessions

Psychoanalysis and the Phantasms of Early Modern Culture

1998

Timothy Murray and Alan K. Smith, editors

Repossessions

Explores the historical and intellectual roots of psychoanalysis.

A double-edged critical forum, this volume brings early modern culture and psychoanalysis into revisionist dialogue with each other. The authors reflect on how psychoanalysis remains “possessed” by its incorporation of early modern mythologies, visions, credos, and phantasms. Their essays explore the conceptual and ideological foundations of psychoanalysis while articulating fresh insights into the vicissitudes of autobiography, translation, mourning, and eroticism in the transitional period from the waning of feudalism to the emergence of capitalism.

Contributors: Elizabeth J. Bellamy, Tom Conley, Mitchell Greenberg, Kathleen Perry Long, Julia Reinhard Lupton, Christopher Pye, and Juliana Schiesari.

Repossessions is one of the most stimulating books on early modern culture I have read in recent years. It questions all that we have known-or thought we knew about socio-historical interpretation, rhetorical studies, and psychoanalysis. These studies will energize a new generation of readers, willing to take an open-minded approach to some of the central tenets of modernity itself as they arise alongside classical definitions of nation, family, reason, gender, and truth.

John D. Lyons, University of Virginia

A double-edged critical forum, this volume brings early modern culture and psychoanalysis into revisionist dialogue with each other. The authors reflect on how psychoanalysis remains “possessed” by its incorporation of early modern mythologies, visions, credos, and phantasms. Their essays explore the conceptual and ideological foundations of psychoanalysis while articulating fresh insights into the vicissitudes of autobiography, translation, mourning, and eroticism in the transitional period from the waning of feudalism to the emergence of capitalism.

Employing a broad spectrum of the most recent, Continental psychoanalytic approaches, the book covers topics and figures ranging from King James to Leonardo, demonology to cartography, astronomy to cross-dressing, and mythology to biology. Its detailed readings of Boccaccio, Ficino, Finé, Michelangelo, Montaigne, and others dramatically reassess the foundational concepts of cultural history, secularization, autobiography, reason, and government. Through a sustained focus on visual and verbal residues of personal and cultural trauma, the essays generate innovative analyses of the interrelation of writing, graphic space, self, and social identification in early modern texts, paintings, maps, and other artifacts.

Contributors: Elizabeth J. Bellamy, U of New Hampshire; Tom Conley, Harvard U; Mitchell Greenberg, Cornell U; Kathleen Perry Long, Cornell U; Julia Reinhard Lupton, U of California, Irvine; Christopher Pye, Williams College; Juliana Schiesari, U of California, Davis.

Timothy Murray is professor of English and director of graduate studies in Film and Video at Cornell University. Alan K. Smith is assistant professor in the Department of Languages and Literature at the University of Utah.

ISBN 0-8166-2960-9 Cloth $54.95xx
ISBN 0-8166-2961-7 Paper $21.95x
256 pages 23 black-and-white photos 5 7/8 x 9 July
Translation inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

Repossessions

Tim Murray is a professor of comparative literature at Cornell University.

Repossessions

Repossessions is one of the most stimulating books on early modern culture I have read in recent years. It questions all that we have known-or thought we knew about socio-historical interpretation, rhetorical studies, and psychoanalysis. These studies will energize a new generation of readers, willing to take an open-minded approach to some of the central tenets of modernity itself as they arise alongside classical definitions of nation, family, reason, gender, and truth.

John D. Lyons, University of Virginia

A brilliant and timely collection. These essays provide a series of provocative and illuminating readings that not only force one to rethink settled dogma, but revive an excitement about both Renaissance literature and psychoanalysis. This book may very well achieve a watershed status in the development of new ways of thinking about the relationship between psychoanalysis and history.

William Flesch, Department of English, Brandeis University