Oedipus against Freud: Myth and the End(s) of Humanism in 20th Century British Literature
Sigmund Freud's interpretation of the Oedipus myth - that subconsciously, every man wants to kill his father in order to obtain his mother's undivided attention - is widely known. Arguing that the pervasiveness of Freud's ideas has unduly influenced scholars studying the works of Modernist writers, Bradley W. Buchanan re-examines the Oedipal narratives of authors such as D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce in order to explore their conflicted attitudes towards the humanism that underpins Freud's views.
In the alternatives to the Freudian version of Oedipus offered by twentieth-century authors, Buchanan finds a complex examination of the limits of human understanding. Following the analyses of philosophers such as G.W.F. Hegel and Frederick Nietzsche and anticipating critiques by writers such as Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, British Modernists saw Oedipus as representative of the embattled humanist project. Closing with the concept of posthumanism as explored by authors such as Zadie Smith, Oedipus Against Freud demonstrates the lasting significance of the Oedipus story.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 208 pages
- Dimensions: 6.4in x 0.8in x 9.3in
Reviews'Oedipus Against Freud is provocative and intelligent. Bradley W. Buchanan has uncovered a genuinely significant strain of modernist engagement with myth. His study will have a profound impact on how we understand the modernist endeavour to rethink civilization, myth, and the human.'
Stephen Ross, Department of English, University of Victoria
Author InformationBradley W. Buchanan is Associate Professor of English at California State University, Sacramento.
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