Title"When coldness traps this suffering clay"
NameChuang, Yen-Chen (author), Diamond, Marie (chair), Grosz, Elizabeth (internal member), Sifuentes-Jáuregui, Ben (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Mourning customs in literature,
Death in literature,
Ethics in literature,
Sophocles--Criticism and interpretation,
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616--Criticism and interpretation,
Joyce, James, 1882-1941--Criticism and interpretation
DescriptionThis dissertation is a project of mourning in Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Joyce. My theoretical approaches range from psychoanalysis, including works by Lacan, Freud, Abraham and Torok, to the deconstructive and ethical prism of Derrida. The chapter on Sophocles' Antigone deals with the relationship between ethics and mourning. I demonstrate that at the heart of the Law is always an impossible injunction/desire. Antigone's mourning in fact marks the failure of interiorization of this Law. In the Greek play, Antigone's death drive connotes an ethical act that insists on her desire. A supplement of the written law, Antigone acts out her exorbitant faithfulness to that transgressive desire. The chapters on James Joyce's "The Dead" and Ulysses focus on the politics of eating, closely linked to mourning and the question of hospitality. Yet, in Joyce's works, eating only disrupts the healthy process of mourning and builds an indigestible crypt within the psyche. In Ulysses, eating parallels incorporation of the love-object and implies incestuous scenarios. In "The Dead," the haunted dinner party opens the absolute hospitality between the living and the deceased. The inviting host is held hostage through vicarious mourning. In my third chapter, I discuss Shakespeare's Hamlet through a Derridean and Levinasian lens. Mourning, as the relations between being-in-general and the face, is always an excess of ethical intersubjectivity. For Shakespeare, the revenge tragedy is manifested through an excess of substitution/mourning. The ghost anticipates mourning and engages with promises of expiation at the same time and also at the time of the other. As it turns out, the Danish prince's fidelity to the dead father is nothing more than a performative insistence structured like endless apocalyptic writings.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 146-154)
Noteby Yen-Chen Chuang
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.