Filed under book | Tags: · aesthetics, art, art criticism, literary criticism, literature, psychology
For Freud, interpreting a work of art was less the task of assigning meanings to it than accounting for why the reader or reviewer is so powerfully affected by it.
These fourteen essays cover the entire range of his work on these subjects, in chronological order beginning with his first published analysis of a work of literature, the 1907 “Delusion and Dreams in Jensen’s Gradiva” and concluding with the 1940 posthumous publication of “Medusa’s Head.” Many of the essays included in this collection have been crucial in contemporary literary and art criticism and theory.
Among the subjects Freud engages are Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and Macbeth, Goethe’s Dichtung und Wahrheit, Michelangelo’s Moses, E. T. A. Hoffman’s “The Sand Man,” Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, fairy tales, the effect of and the meaning of beauty, mythology, and the games of aestheticization. All texts are drawn from The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, edited by James Strachey. The volume includes the notes prepared for that edition by the editor.
With a Foreword by Neil Hertz
Publisher Stanford University Press, 1997
Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics series
ISBN 0804729735, 9780804729734
Review (Richard D. Chessick, The American Journal of Psychiatry, 1998)
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