Download Freud's Rome: Psychoanalysis and Latin Poetry by Ellen Oliensis PDF

By Ellen Oliensis

This ebook is a meditation at the function of psychoanalysis inside Latin literary reports. Neither a sceptic nor a real believer, Oliensis adopts a realistic method of her topic, emphasizing what psychoanalytic idea has to give a contribution to interpretation. Drawing specifically on Freud's paintings on goals and slips, she spotlights textual phenomena that can not be securely anchored in any goal or psyche yet that however, or for that very cause, appear fraught with which means; the 'textual subconscious' is her identify for the indefinite position from which those phenomena erupt, or which they retroactively represent, as a type of 'unconsciousness-effect'. The dialogue is geared up round 3 key issues in psychoanalysis - mourning, motherhood, and the origins of sexual distinction - and takes the poetry of Catullus, Virgil, and Ovid as its aspect of reference. a short afterword considers Freud's personal witting and unwitting engagement with the assumption of Rome.

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A notable contrast is provided by the uniquely happy Pygmalion, who returns instant and superabundant thanks to Venus upon gaining a wife (plenissima … / verba, quibus Veneri grates agit, 290–1). Yet if the oversight Orpheus nowhere avows finds expression, so near the end of his song, in Hippomenes, everything else seems to be moving toward the exoneration of the bereaved lover: from Orpheus’ guilt, to Apollo’s proximate responsibility, to Venus’ mere absenting of herself – hardly a blameworthy action, especially given that she has done her best to fortify her beloved against the lurking dangers of the hunt before she takes her leave.

Though Apollo applies both comfort and admonition, advising him to “grieve in moderation, and in proportion to the object” (ut leviter pro materiaque doleret, 133), Cyparissus remains inconsolable, and Apollo finally grants his wish by transforming him into his namesake: sad cypress, the ever-grieving funereal tree. Here is no doubt a guilty lover. Yet the beloved he has done to death is after all only a pet, hardly meriting so much passion, whether of affection or of grief; an exemplary contrast is provided by Apollo’s notably restrained grief (a mere couplet, 141–2) at the consequent loss of his own lovable human “pet,” Cyparissus.

The hostile meaning remains latent, pinned in place (and thus localized if not neutralized) by the burden of praise. 41–2): Non possum reticere, deae, qua me Allius in re iuverit aut quantis iuverit officiis. I can’t keep quiet, goddesses, about the matter in which Allius helped me or the great services he did me. Why, we might ask, should Catullus not speak? ” Read on its own terms, however, the phrase could just as well mean “I can’t keep my mouth shut” – as if Catullus were apologizing for an imminent indiscretion, the revelation of a secret or betrayal of a confidence.

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