Uniform TitlePsychoanalysis and literature: perversion, racism and language of difference
NameYukari, Yanagino (author), Sifuentes JÃ¡regui, Ben. (chair), Flieger, Jerry (internal member), Gliserman, Martin (outside member), Bass, Alan (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Psychoanalysis and literature
Description"Psychoanalysis and Literature: Perversion, Racism and Language of Difference" considers the intersection of racism and perversion. Through offering a close reading of literary characters' fantasies of racial subjugation, I offer a way to introduce Sigmund Freud's drive theory in the field of literary studies. I approach this task by a close reading of the theory of the Oedipus complex, the psychosexual stage in which the notion of difference is installed through the recognition of the existence of sexual difference, which simultaneously influences the successful development of the superego structure.
Perversion is a term often used to describe abnormal interests and practices of human sexuality. However, for Freud, human sexuality is always polymorphously perverse. One of the ways in which polymorphous expression of sexuality manifests is in the externalization of one's own sexual and aggressive impulse onto the Other. This dissertation demonstrates that racism is a form of perversion because it is an expression of resistance to difference. As a result of the difficulty going through the Oedipal phase, a pervert will seek to get rid of his or her awareness of sexual difference by remaining in fantasy; this form of choosing fantasy over reality also speaks to the wish of a racist, who tries to disavow the knowledge that discharging elevated tension onto the Other is not acceptable in reality.
My introductory chapter examines the intersection between two forms of psychoanalytic practice: reading literature and conducting clinical work. Chapter one discusses Franz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks in which he argues that psychoanalysis can effectively articulate the reason racism will not dissipate in the West. I offer a way to critically approach this claim so as to further integrate issues of race into psychoanalytic theoretical work. In the second chapter, I examine the relationship between language and perversion in Chang-rae Lee's Native Speaker. My third chapter offers a close reading of James Baldwin's short story "Going to Meet the Man" I demonstrate that castration of black men, which often accompanied lynching, has been escaping the attention of American psychoanalysts; therefore, I argue that the theory of the Oedipus complex has been taught and utilized perversely. And, in my concluding chapter, I offer my reading of J. M. Coetzee's Foe in order to examine the link between writing and perversion.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 307-317).
Noteby Yanagino Yukari
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.