Pre Oedipal Stage Theory Of Critical Thinking

Oedipus complex, in psychoanalytic theory, a desire for sexual involvement with the parent of the opposite sex and a concomitant sense of rivalry with the parent of the same sex; a crucial stage in the normal developmental process. Sigmund Freud introduced the concept in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899). The term derives from the Theban hero Oedipus of Greek legend, who unknowingly slew his father and married his mother; its female analogue, the Electra complex, is named for another mythological figure, who helped slay her mother.

Freud attributed the Oedipus complex to children of about the ages three to five. He said the stage usually ended when the child identified with the parent of the same sex and repressed its sexual instincts. If previous relationships with the parents were relatively loving and nontraumatic, and if parental attitudes were neither excessively prohibitive nor excessively stimulating, the stage is passed through harmoniously. In the presence of trauma, however, there occurs an “infantile neurosis” that is an important forerunner of similar reactions during the child’s adult life. The superego, the moral factor that dominates the conscious adult mind, also has its origin in the process of overcoming the Oedipus complex. Freud considered the reactions against the Oedipus complex the most important social achievements of the human mind.

Psychoanalytic Criticism and Frankenstein


It seems natural to think about novels in terms of dreams. Like dreams, novels are fictions, inventions of the mind that, although based on reality, are by definition not literally true. Like a novel, a dream may have some truth to tell, but, like a novel, it may need to be interpreted before that truth can be grasped.

There are other reasons why an analogy between dreams and novels seems natural. We can live vicariously through romantic fictions, much as we can through daydreams. Terrifying novels and nightmares affect us in much the same way, plunging us into an atmosphere that continues to cling, even after the last chapter has been read--or the alarm clock has sounded. Thus it is not surprising to hear someone say that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is "like a dream." It describes dreams, it frightens Iike a nightmare, and it is a structure that allows author and reader to explore wishes, fears, and fantasies.

The notion that dreams allow such psychic explorations, of course, like the analogy between literary works and dreams, owes a great deal to the thinking of Sigmund Freud, the famous Austrian psychoanalyst who in 1900 published a seminal essay, The Interpretation of Dreams. But is the reader who calls Frankenstein a nightmarish tale a Freudian literary critic? And is it even valid to apply concepts advanced in 1900 to a novel written in the first half of the nineteenth century?

To some extent the answer to the first question has to be yes. Freud is one of the reasons it seems "natural" to think of literary works in terms of dreams. We are all Freudians, really, whether or not we have read anything by Freud. At one time or another, most of us have referred to ego, libido, complexes, unconscious desires, and sexual repression. The premises of Freud's thought have changed the way the Western world thinks about itself. To a lesser extent, we are all psychoanalytic interpreters as well. Psychoanalytic criticism has influenced the teachers our teachers learned from, the works of scholarship and criticism they read, and the critical and creative writers we read as well.

What Freud did was develop a language that described, a model that explained, a theory that encompassed human psychology. Many of the elements of psychology he sought to describe and explain are present in the literary works of various ages and cultures, from Sophocles' Oedipus Rex to Shakespeare's Hamlet to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. When the great novel of the twenty-first century is written, many of these same elements of psychology will probably inform its discourse as well. If, by understanding human psychology according to Freud, we can appreciate literature on a new level, then we should acquaint ourselves with his insights.

Freud's theories are either directly or indirectly concerned with the nature of the unconscious mind. Freud didn't invent the notion of the unconscious; others before him had suggested that even the supposedly "sane" human mind was conscious and rational only at times, and even then at possibly only one level. But Freud went further, suggesting that the powers motivating men and women are mainly and normally unconscious.

Freud, then, powerfully developed an old idea: that the human mind is essentially dual in nature. He called the predominantly passional, irrational, unknown, and unconscious part of the psyche the id, or "it." The ego or "I," was his term for the predominantly rational, logical, orderly, conscious part. Another aspect of the psyche, which he called the superego, is really a projection of the ego. The superego almost seems to be outside of the self, making moral judgments, telling us to make sacrifices for good causes even though self-sacrifice may not be quite logical or rational. And, in a sense, the superego is "outside," since much of what it tells us to do or think we have learned from our parents, our schools, or our religious institutions.

What the ego and superego tell us not to do or think is repressed, forced into the unconscious mind. One of Freud's most important contributions to the study of the psyche, the theory of repression, goes something like this: much of what lies in the unconscious mind has been put there by consciousness, which acts as a censor, driving underground unconscious or conscious thoughts or instincts that it deems unacceptable. Censored materials often involve infantile sexual desires, Freud postulated. Repressed to an unconscious state, they emerge only in disguised forms: in dreams, in language (so-called Freudian slips), in creative activity that may produce art (including literature), and in neurotic behavior.

According to Freud, all of us have repressed wishes and fears; we all have dreams in which repressed feelings and memories emerge disguised, and thus we are all potential candidates for dream analysis. One of the unconscious desires most commonly repressed is the childhood wish to displace the parent of our own sex and take his or her place in the affections of the parent of the opposite sex. This desire really involves a number of different but related wishes and fears. (A boy--and it should be remarked in passing that Freud here concerns himself mainly with the male--may fear that his father will castrate him, and he may wish that his mother would return to nursing him.) Freud referred to the whole complex of feelings by the word "oedipal," naming the complex after the Greek tragic hero Oedipus, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother.

Why are oedipal wishes and fears repressed by the conscious side of the mind? And what happens to them after they have been censored? As Roy P. Basler puts it in Sex, Symbolism, and Psychology in Literature (1975), "from the beginning of recorded history such wishes have been restrained by the most powerful religious and social taboos, and as a result have come to be regarded as 'unnatural,'" even though "Freud found that such wishes are more or less characteristic of normal human development":

In dreams, particularly, Freud found ample evidence that such wishes persisted.... Hence he conceived that natural urges, when identified as "wrong," may be repressed but not obliterated.... In the unconscious, these urges take on symbolic garb, regarded as nonsense by the waking mind that does not recognize their significance. (14)
Freud's belief in the significance of dreams, of course, was no more original than his belief that there is an unconscious side to the psyche. Again, it was the extent to which he developed a theory of how dreams work--and the extent to which that theory helped him, by analogy, to understand far more than just dreams--that made him unusual, important, and influential beyond the perimeters of medical schools and psychiatrists' offices.

The psychoanalytic approach to literature not only rests on the theories of Freud; it may even be said to have begun with Freud, who was interested in writers, especially those who relied heavily on symbols. Such writers regularly cloak or mystify ideas in figures that make sense only when interpreted, much as the unconscious mind of a neurotic disguises secret thoughts in dream stories or bizarre actions that need to be interpreted by an analyst. Freud's interest in literary artists led him to make some unfortunate generalizations about creativity; for example, in the twenty-third lecture in Introductoy Lectures on PsychoAnalysis (1922), he defined the artist as "one urged on by instinctive needs that are too clamorous" (314). But it also led him to write creative literary criticism of his own, including an influential essay on "The Relation of a Poet to Daydreaming" (1908) and "The Uncanny" (1919), a provocative psychoanalytic reading of E. T. A. Hoffman's supernatural tale "The Sandman."

Freud's application of psychoanalytic theory to literature quickly caught on. In 1909, only a year after Freud had published "The Relation of a Poet to Daydreaming," the psychoanalyst Otto Rank published The Myth of the Birth of the Hero. In that work, Rank subscribes to the notion that the artist turns a powerful, secret wish into a literary fantasy, and he uses Freud's notion about the "oedipal" complex to explain why the popular stories of so many heroes in literature are so similar. A year after Rank had published his psychoanalytic account of heroic texts, Ernest Jones, Freud's student and eventual biographer, turned his attention to a tragic text: Shakespeare's Hamlet. In an essay first published in the American Journal of Psychology, Jones, like Rank, makes use of the oedipal concept: he suggests that Hamlet is a victim of strong feelings toward his mother, the queen.

Between 1909 and 1949 numerous other critics decided that psychological and psychoanalytic theory could assist in the understanding of literature. I. A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, and Edmund Wilson were among the most influential to become interested in the new approach. Not all of the early critics were committed to the approach; neither were all of them Freudians. Some followed Alfred Adler, who believed that writers wrote out of inferiority complexes, and others applied the ideas of Carl Gustav Jung, who had broken with Freud over Freud's emphasis on sex and who had developed a theory of the collective unconscious. According to Jungian theory, a great novel like Frankenstein is not a disguised expression of Mary Shelley's personal, repressed wishes; rather, it is a manifestation of desires once held by the whole human race but now repressed because of the advent of civilization.

It is important to point out that among those who relied on Freud's models were a number of critics who were poets and novelists as well. Conrad Liken wrote a Freudian study of American literature, and poets such as Robert Graves and W. H. Auden applied Freudian insights when writing critical prose. William Faulkner, Henry James, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Marcel Proust, and Toni Morrison are only a few of the novelists who have either written criticism influenced by Freud or who have written novels that conceive of character, conflict, and creative writing itself in Freudian terms. The poet H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) was actually a patient of Freud's and provided an account of her analysis in her book Tribute to Freud. By giving Freudian theory credibility among students of literature that only they could bestow, such writers helped to endow psychoanalytic criticism with the largely Freudian orientation that, one could argue, it still exhibits today.

The willingness, even eagerness, of writers to use Freudian models in producing literature and criticism of their own consummated a relationship that, to Freud and other pioneering psychoanalytic theorists, had seemed fated from the beginning; after all, therapy involves the dose analysis of language. Rene Wellek and Austin Warren included "psychological" criticism as one of the five "extrinsic" approaches to literature described in their influential book, Theory of Literature (1942). Psychological criticism, they suggest, typically attempts to do at least one of the following: provide a psychological study of an individual writer; explore the nature of the creative process; generalize about "types and laws present within works of literature"; or theorize about the psychological "effects of literature upon its readers" (81). Entire books on psychoanalytic criticism even began to appear, such as Frederick J. Hoffman's Freudianism and the Literary Mind (1945).

Probably because of Freud's characterization of the creative mind as "clamorous" if not ill, psychoanalytic criticism written before 1950 tended to psychoanalyze the individual author. Poems were read as fantasies that allowed authors to indulge repressed wishes, to protect themselves from deep-seated anxieties, or both. A perfect example of author analysis would be Marie Bonaparte's 1933 study of Edgar Allan Poe. Bonaparte found Poe to be so fixated on his mother that his repressed longing emerges in his stories in images such as the white spot on a black cat's breast, said to represent mother's milk.

A later generation of psychoanalytic critics often paused to analyze the characters in novels and plays before proceeding to their authors. But not for long, since characters, both evil and good, tended to be seen by these critics as the author's potential selves, or projections of various repressed aspects of his or her psyche. For instance, in A Psychoanalytic Study of the Double in Literature (1970), Robert Rogers begins with the view that human beings are double or multiple in nature. Using this assumption, along with the psychoanalytic concept of "dissociation" (best known by its result, the dual or multiple personality), Rogers concludes that writers reveal instinctual or repressed selves in their books, often without realizing that they have done so.

In the view of critics attempting to arrive at more psychological insights into an author than biographical materials can provide, a work of literature is a fantasy or a dream--or at least so analogous to daydream or dream that Freudian analysis can help explain the nature of the mind that produced it. The author's purpose in writing is to gratify secretly some forbidden wish, in particular an infantile wish or desire that has been repressed into the unconscious mind. To discover what the wish is, the psychoanalytic critic employs many of the terms and procedures developed by Freud to analyze dreams.

The literal surface of a work is sometimes spoken of as its "manifest content" and treated as a "manifest dream" or "dream story" would be treated by a Freudian analyst. Just as the analyst tries to figure out the "dream thought" behind the dream story--that is, the latent or hidden content of the manifest dream--so the psychoanalytic literary critic tries to expose the latent, underlying content of a work. Freud used the words condensation and displacement to explain two of the mental processes whereby the mind disguises its wishes and fears in dream stories. In condensation several thoughts or persons may be condensed into a single manifestation or image in a dream story; in displacement, an anxiety, a wish, or a person may be displaced onto the image of another, with which or whom it is loosely connected through a string of associations that only an analyst can untangle. Psychoanalytic critics treat metaphors as if they were dream condensations; they treat metonyms--figures of speech based on extremely loose, arbitrary associations--as if they were dream displacements. Thus figurative literary language in general is treated as something that evolves as the writer's conscious mind resists what the unconscious tells it to picture or describe. A symbol is, in Daniel Weiss's words, "a meaningful concealment of truth as the truth promises to emerge as some frightening or forbidden idea" (20).

In a 1970 article entitled "The 'Unconscious' of Literature," Norman Holland, a literary critic trained in psychoanalysis, succinctly sums up the attitudes held by critics who would psychoanalyze authors, but without quite saying that it is the author that is being analyzed by the psychoanalytic critic. "When one looks at a poem psychoanalytically," he writes, "one considers it as though it were a dream or as though some ideal patient [were speaking] from the couch in iambic pentameter." One "looks for the general level or levels of fantasy associated with the language. By level I mean the familiar stages of childhood development--oral [when desires for nourishment and infantile sexual desires overlap], anal [when infants receive their primary pleasure from defecation], urethral [when urinary functions are the locus of sexual pleasure], phallic [when the penis or, in girls, some penis substitute is of primary interest], oedipal." Holland continues by analyzing not Robert Frost but Frost's poem "Mending Wall" as a specifically oral fantasy that is not unique to its author. "Mending Wall" is "about breaking down the wall which marks the separated or individuated self so as to return to a state of closeness to some Other"�including and perhaps essentially the nursing mother ("Unconscious" 136, 139).

While not denying the idea that the unconscious plays a role in creativity, psychoanalytic critics such as Holland began to focus more on the ways in which authors create works that appeal to our repressed wishes and fancies. Consequently, they shifted their focus away from the psyche of the author and toward the psychology of the reader and the text. Holland's theories, which have concerned themselves more with the reader than with the text, have helped to establish another school of critical theory: reader-response criticism. Elizabeth Wright explains Holland's brand of modern psychoanalytic criticism in this way: "What draws us as readers to a text is the secret expression of what we desire to hear, much as we protest we do not. The disguise must be good enough to fool the censor into thinking that the text is respectable, but bad enough to allow the unconscious to glimpse the unrespectable" (117).

Whereas Holland came increasingly to focus on the reader rather than on the work being read, others who turned away from character and author diagnosis preferred to concentrate on texts; they remained skeptical that readers regularly fulfill wishes by reading. Following the theories of D. W. Winnicott, a psychoanalytic theorist who has argued that even babies have relationships as well as raw wishes, these textually oriented psychoanalytic critics contend that the relationship between reader and text depends greatly on the text. To be sure, some works fulfill the reader's secret wishes, but others--maybe most--do not. The texts created by some authors effectively resist the reader's involvement.

In determining the nature of the text, such critics may regard the text in terms of a dream. But no longer do they assume that dreams are meaningful in the way that works of literature are. Rather, they assume something more complex. "If we move outward" from one "scene to others in the [same] novel," Meredith Skura writes, "as Freud moves from the dream to its associations, we find that the paths of movement are really guise similar" (181). Dreams are viewed more as a language than as symptoms of repression. In fact, the French structuralist psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan treats the unconscious as a language, a form of discourse. Thus we may study dreams psychoanalytically in order to learn about literature, even as we may study literature in order to learn more about the unconscious. In Lacan's seminar on Poe's "The Purloined Letter," a pattern of repetition like that used by psychoanalysts in their analyses is used to arrive at a reading of the story. According to Wright, "the new psychoanalytic structural approach to literature" employs "analogies from psychoanalysis . . . to explain the workings of the text as distinct from the workings of a particular author's, character's, or even reader's mind" (125).

Lacan, however, did far more than extend Freud's theory of dreams, literature, and the interpretation of both. More significantly, he took Freud's whole theory of psyche and gender and added to it a crucial third term--that of language. In the process, he used but adapted Freud's ideas about the oedipal complex and oedipal stage, both of which Freud saw as crucial to the development of the child, and especially of male children.

Lacan points out that the pre-oedipal stage, in which the child at first does not even recognize its independence from its mother, is also a preverbal stage, one in which the child communicates without the medium of language, or--if we insist upon calling the child's communications a language--in a language that can only be called literal. ("Coos," certainly, cannot be said to be figurative or symbolic!) Then, while still in the pre-oedipal stage, the child enters the mirror stage. During the mirror period, the child comes to recognize itself and its mother, later other people as well, as independent selves. This is the stage in which the child is first able to fear the aggressions of another, desire what is recognizably beyond the self (initially the mother), and, finally, to want to compete with another for the same, desired object. This is also the stage at which the child first becomes able to feel sympathy with another being who is being hurt by a third--to cry, in other words, when another cries. All of these developments, of course, involve projecting beyond the self and, by extension, being able to envision one's own self (or "ego" or "I") as others view one--that is, as another. For these reasons, Lacan refers to the mirror stage as the Imaginary stage.

The Imaginary stage, however, is usually superseded. It normally ends with the onset of the oedipal stage, which it makes possible. (The Imaginary stage makes possible the oedipal stage insofar as it makes possible not only desire and fear of another but also the sense of another as a rival.)

The oedipal stage, as in Freud, begins when the child, having recognized the self as self and the father and mother as separate selves, recognizes gender and gender differences between its parents and between itself and one of its parents. For boys, that recognition involves another, more powerful recognition, for the recognition of the father's phallus as the mark of his difference from the mother involves, at the same time, the recognition that his older and more powerful father is also his rival. That, in turn, leads to the understanding that what once seemed wholly his and even undistinguishable from himself is in fact someone else's: something properly to be desired only at a greater distance and in the form of socially acceptable substitutes. (The old song "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad" is a clear and straightforward restatement of the psychoanalytic theory that men's lives are searches for adequate and sufficient substitutes for the lost mother.)

The fact that the oedipal stage roughly coincides with the entry of the child into language is extremely important, even critical, for Lacan. For the linguistic order is essentially a figurative or "Symbolic order"; words are not the things they stand for but are, rather, stand-ins� substitutions--for those things. Hence boys, who in the most critical period of their development have had to submit to what Lacan calls the "Law of the Father"�a law that prohibits direct desire for and communicative intimacy with what has been the boy's whole world� enter more easily into the realm of language and the Symbolic order than do girls, who have never really had to renounce that which once seemed continuous with the self: the mother. The gap that has been opened up for boys, which includes the gap between signs and what they substitute for--the gap marked by the phallus and encoded with the boy's sense of his maleness--has not opened up for girls, or has not opened up in the same way, to the same degree.

Lacan, moreover, takes Freud a step further in the process of making Freud's gender-based psychoanalytic theory a theory of language as well. He suggests that the father does not even have to be present to trigger the oedipal crisis; nor, then, does his phallus have to be seen to catalyze the boy's (easier) transition into the Symbolic order. Rather, he argues, a child's recognition of his or her gender, gender that may be the same as or different from that of the now separate-seeming mother, is intricately tied up with a growing recognition of the system of names and naming. A child has little doubt about who its mother is, but who is its father--and how would one know? The father's claim rests on the mother's word that he is in fact the father; the father's relationship to the child is thus established through language and a system of marriage and kinship--names--that in turn is basic to rules of everything from property to law. Thus gender, for Lacan, is intimately connected in the mind of the developing child with names and language. Or, rather, the male gender is tied to that world in an association analogously as intimate as is the mother's early, physical (including umbilical) connection with the infant.

Lacan's development of Freud has had several important results. First, his sexist-seeming association of maleness with the Symbolic order, together with his claim that women cannot therefore enter easily into the order, has prompted feminists not to reject his theory out of hand but, rather, to look more closely at the relation between language and gender, language and women's inequality. Some feminists have gone so far as to suggest that the social and political relationships between male and female will not be fundamentally altered until language itself has been radically changed. (That change might begin dialectically, with the development of some kind of "feminine language" grounded in the presymbolic--the literal-to-imaginary--communication between mother and child.)

Second, Lacan's association of the phallus with names, language, and the Symbolic order on which rest all social institutions has led some thinkers--in particular, Marxist critics--to suggest that a revolutionary overthrow of the West's entrenched (patriarchal) ideology would necessarily involve the dismantling of the whole system of marriage, names, and even kinship, on which the present social order rests.

In the essay that follows, David Collings sees Frankenstein as a novel consisting of two realms: one proper and public and dominated by language and law (that of Alphonse Frankenstein and the De Lacey family), the other private--even secret--and incommunicable (that of Victor Frankenstein and his monster). These two worlds correspond, in Colrings's view, to Lacan's Symbolic and Imaginary orders. In the first world, trials are held and language reigns supreme; the second exists outside society and language, containing only Victor and his double.

Collings, using Lacan's concepts, suggests that Victor's passage from the Imaginary into the Symbolic realms has been incomplete. He points out that we learn near the beginning of the novel that Victor's studies have included "neither the structure of languages, nor the code of governments, nor the politics of various states" (247) � all of which, as Collings points out, are associated with what Lacan calls the Symbolic order.

If Victor had fully and entirely emerged from the Imaginary order and entered the Symbolic, Collings goes on to say, he would have resolved his oedipal conflict by marrying a substitute for his mother. Instead, Victor rejects Elizabeth (whose nature and story nearly double that of his mother) and chooses to look into "the physical secrets of the world"�nature in "her" hiding places (51). Thus, in Collings's words, he continues "spurning the social realm in favor of the Imaginary, bodily mother, whom he attempts to recover by creating the monster" (248). Pointing out that the death of Victor's mother and the later creation of the monster are closely intertwined within the text, Collings goes on to show the numerous ways in which the monster represents not a mother substitute but the body of the mother lost on entrance into the Symbolic order.

Of course, Victor has partially emerged from the pre-oedipal mirror stage and entered into some of the terms of the patriarchal or Symbolic order. If he hadn't, he couldn't speak to teachers or function at a university. As a result of the fact that he has partially emerged into the Symbolic order or realm, his attempt to recreate the body of the lost mother is botched--as botched as his passage out of the Imaginary order has been rough and incomplete. His creation ends up resembling his own mirror image more than it does his maternal object, a fact that Collings explains with the help of a Lacanian feminist: " As Luce Irigaray argues, from within the phallocentric regime of the Symbolic order, a genuinely feminine body is inconceivable: woman is either an inferior version of man, or she does not exist." But Victor is incompletely in the Symbolic order. "Accordingly, conceiving of woman as both like and unlike 'man,' he produces a monster--a creature who is grotesque precisely because it is, and is not, a 'man"' (249).

Collings goes on to discuss the equally grotesque creation (and destruction) of the "female" monster. He connects Victor's incomplete emergence into the Symbolic order with that of his creator, Mary Shelley. That author, Collings implies without quite stating, was doubly inhibited in her movement from the Imaginary to the Symbolic order, the order governed by patriarchs, their language, and their law. For one thing, her own mother had died in giving birth to her. (It is difficult to begin desiring mother substitutes when the mother herself is, so early, an absence.) For another, Mary Shelley was a woman, and women cannot completely or even genuinely enter the (phallocentric) Symbolic order L the first place, according to Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. (In this sense, they are much like the monster of Frankenstein, who is outside the realm of language even though he does learn to use it.)

And it may be, Collings suggests, precisely because Mary Shelley drew upon the Imaginary order that she could create what she created: a novel so strikingly visual, so visually arresting, that--although written in words--it seems almost to belong to the presymbolic order that Lacan calls the Imaginary. Perhaps, Collings even suggests, Frankenstein was meant to be a revolt against the Symbolic order--a revolt that, as Victor's activities tell us, is fraught with risks as well as with rewards.


Some Short Introductions to Psychological and Psychoanalytic Criticism

Holland, Norman. "The 'Unconscious' of Literature." Contemporary Criticism. Ed. Norman Bradbury and David Palmer. Stratford upon-Avon Series 12. New York: St. Martin's, 1970. 131-54. Natoli, Joseph, and Frederik L. Rusch, comps. Psychocriticism: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport: Greenwood, 1984.

Scott, Wilbur. Five Approaches to Literary Criticism. London: CollierMacmLllan, 1962. See the essays by Burke and Gorer as well as Scott's introduction to the section "The Psychological Approach: Literature in the Light of Psychological Theory."

Wellek, Rene, and Austin Warren. Theory of Literature. New York: Harcourt, 1942. See the chapter "Literature and Psychology" in pt. 3, "The Extrinsic Approach to the Study of Literature."

Wright, Elizabeth. "Modern Psychoanalytic Criticism." Modern Literary Theory: A Comparative Introduction. Ed. Ann Jefferson and David Robey. Totowa: Barnes, 1982. 113-33.

Freud, Lacan, and Their Influence

Basler, Roy P. Sex, Symbolism, and Psychology in Literature. New York: Octagon, 1975. See especially 13-19.

Clement, Catherine. The Lives and Legends of Jacques Lacan. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer. New York: Columbia UP, 1983.

Freud, Sigmund. Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis. Trans. Joan Riviere. London: Allen, 1922.

Gallop, Jane. Reading Lacan. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1985.

Hoffman, Frederick J. Freudianism and the Literary Mind. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1945.

Kazin, Alfred. "Freud and His Consequences." Contemporaries. Boston: Little, 1962. 351-93.

Lacan, Jacques. Ecrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Norton, 1977.

--. Feminine Sexuality: Lacan and the ecole freudienne. Ed. Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose. Trans. Rose. New York: Norton, 1982.

--. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Penguin, 1980.

Meisel, Perry, ed. Freud: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice, 1981.

Muller, John P., and William J. Richardson. Lacan and Language: A Reader's Guide to "Ecrits. " New York: International, 1982.

Porter, Laurence M. The Interpretation of Dreams: Freud's Theories Revisited. Twayne's Masterwork Studies Series. Boston: G. K. Hall 1986.

Reppen, Joseph, and Maurice Charney. The Psychoanalytic Study of Literature. Hillsdale: Analytic, 1985.

Schneiderman, Stuart. Jacques Lacan: The Death of an Intellectual Hero. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1983.

Selden, Raman. A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory. Lexington: U of Kentucky P. 1985. See Jacques Lacan: Language and the Unconscious."

Trilling, Lionel. "Art and Neurosis." The Liberal Imagination. New York: Scribner's 1950. 160-80.

Wilden, Anthony. "Lacan and the Discourse of the Other." In Lacan, Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis. Trans. Wilden. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1981. (Published as The Language of the Self in 1968.) 159-311.

Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Literature

Chodorow, Nancy. The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender. Berkeley: U of California P. 1978.

Gallop, Jane. The Daughter's Seduction: Feminism and Psychoanalysis. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1982.

The (M)other Tongue: Essays in Feminist Psychoanalytic Interpretation. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1985.

Irigaray, Luce. This Sex Which Is Not One. Trans. Catherine Porter. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1985.

--. The Speculum of the Other Woman. Trans. Gillian C. Gill. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1985.

Jacobus, Mary. "Is There a Woman in This Text?" New Literary History 14 (1982): 117-41.

Kristeva, Julia. The Kristeva Reader. Ed. Toril Moi. New York: Columbia UP, 1986. See especially the selection from Revolution in Poetic Language, 89-136.

Mitchell, Juliet. Psychoanalysis and Feminism. New York: Random House, 1974.

Mitchell, Juliet, and Jacqueline Rose, "Introduction I" and "Introduction II." Lacan, Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the ecole freudienne. 1-26, 27-57.

Sprengnether, Madelon. The Spectral Mother: Freud, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990.

Psychological and Psychoanalytic Studies of Literature

Bettelheim, Bruno. The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. New York: Knopf, 1976. Although this book is about fairy tales instead of literary works written for publication, it offers model Freudian readings of well-known stories.

Crews, Frederick C. Out of My System: Psychoanalysis, Ideology, and Critical Method. New York: Oxford UP, 1975.

--. Relations of Literary Study. New York: MLA, 1967. See the chapter "Literature and Psychology."

Hallman,Ralph. Psychology of Literature: A Study of Alienation and Tragedy. New York: Philosophical Library, 1961.

Hartman, Geoffrey, ed. Psychoanalysis and the Question of the Text. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1978. See especially the essays by Hartman, Johnson, Nelson, and Schwartz.

Hertz, Neil. The End of the Line: Essays on Psychoanalysis and the Sublime. New York: Columbia UP, 1985.

Holland, Norman N. Dynamics of Literary Response. New York: Oxford UP, 1968.

--. Poems in Persons: An Introduction to the Psychoanalysis of Literature. New York: Norton, 1973.

Kris, Ernest. Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art. New York: International, 1952.

Lucas, F. L. Literature and Psychology. London: Cassell, 1951.

Natoli, Joseph, ed. Psychological Perspectives on Literature: Freudian Dissidents and Non-Freudians: A Casebook. Hamden: Archon Books--Shoe String, 1984.

Phillips, William, ed. Art and Psychoanalysis. New York: Columbia UP, 1977.

Rogers, Robert. A Psychoanalytic Study of the Double in Literature. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1970.

Skura, Meredith. The Literary Use of the Psychoanalytic Process. New Haven: Yale UP, 1981.

Strelka, Joseph P. Literary Criticism and Psychology. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1976. See especially the essays by Lerner and Peckham.

Weiss, Daniel. The Critic Agonistes: Psychology, Myth, and the Art of Fiction. Ed. Eric Solomon and Stephen Arkin. Seattle: U of Washington P. 1985.

Lacanian Psychoanalytic Studies of Literature

Davis, Robert Con, ed. The Fictional Father: Lacanian Readings of the Text. Amherst: U of Massachusetts P. 1981.

--, ed. "Lacan and Narration." Modern Language Notes 5 (1983): 843-1063.

Felman, Shoshana, ed. Literature and Psychoanalysis: The Question of Reading: Otherwise. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1982.

Froula, Christine. "When Eve Reads Milton: Undoing the Canonical Economy." Canons. Ed. Robert von Hallberg. Chicago: U of Chicago P. 1984. 149-75.

Homans, Margaret. Bearing the Word: Language and Female Experience in Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing. Chicago: U of Chicago P. 1986.

Muller, John P., and William J. Richardson, eds. The Purloined Poe: Lacan, Derrida, and Psychoanalytic Reading. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1988. Includes Lacan's seminar on Poe's "The Purloined Letter."

Psychoanalytic Readings of Frankenstein

Hallman,Ralph. Psychology of Literature: A Study of Alienation and Tragedy. New York: Philosophical Library, 1961.

Hartman, Geoffrey, ed. Psychoanalysis and the Question of the Text. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1978. See especially the essays by Hartman, Johnson, Nelson, and Schwartz.

Hertz, Neil. The End of the Line: Essays on Psychoanalysis and the Sublime. New York: Columbia UP, 1985.

Holland, Norman N. Dynamics of Literary Response. New York: Oxford UP, 1968.

--. Poems in Persons: An Introduction to the Psychoanalysis of Literature. New York: Norton, 1973.

Kris, Ernest. Psychoanalytic Explorations in Art. New York: International, 1952.

Lucas, F. L. Literature and Psychology. London: Cassell, 1951.

Natoli, Joseph, ed. Psychological Perspectives on Literature: Freudian Dissidents and Non-Freudians: A Casebook. Hamden: Archon Books--Shoe String, 1984.

Phillips, William, ed. Art and Psychoanalysis. New York: Columbia UP, 1977.

Rogers, Robert. A Psychoanalytic Study of the Double in Literature. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1970.

Skura, Meredith. The Literary Use of the Psychoanalytic Process. New Haven: Yale UP, 1981.

Strelka, Joseph P. Literary Criticism and Psychology. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1976. See especially the essays by Lerner and Peckham.

Weiss, Daniel. The Critic Agonistes: Psychology, Myth, and the Art of Fiction. Ed. Eric Solomon and Stephen Arkin. Seattle: U of Washington P. 1985.

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