Losing Your Head: Abjection, Aesthetic Conflict, and Psychoanalytic Criticism

Losing Your Head: Abjection, Aesthetic Conflict, and Psychoanalytic Criticism


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Losing Your Head: Abjection, Aesthetic Conflict, and Psychoanalytic Criticism looks at the subject of beheading in art as a trope of the destruction of the mind. This book discusses both psychoanalytic theory and art criticism. It addresses critics, readers, and spectators interested in the keys of interpretation that psychoanalysis can offer, and analysts who are curious to know if artists can help them refine the tools they use every day. It asks whether artists have something to say about the concepts of reverie and negative reverie or about change as aesthetic transformation, and about aesthetic experience as a paradigm of what is most true and most profound in analysis. Why write about beheading? Many art galleries feature paintings of heroines performing this cruel act: Delilah, Salome, Judith, Yael, and others. At the antithesis to this, there is another theme to be found in painting that consistently garners attention: namely, the so-called "Sacred Conversation," in which the Madonna holds a small child in her lap and their gazes cross. The first scene depicts how a mind is destroyed, the second how it is born. Losing Your Head analyzes well-known artwork from classical literature, cinema, and contemporary art to enhance psychoanalytic understanding.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442239487
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/15/2015
Pages: 134
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Giuseppe Civitarese, PhD, is a psychiatrist and training and supervising analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI) and a member of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), both affiliated with the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Towards a (New) Psychoanalytic Criticism
Giuseppe Civitarese, Sara Boffito and Francesco Capello
Chapter 2 Aesthetic Conflict and Abjection in Boccaccio's (L)Isabetta
Chapter 3 Changing Styles, Affective Continuities and Psychic Containers: Corrado Govoni's Early Poetry
Francesco Capello and Giuseppe Civitarese
Chapter 4 Do Cyborgs Dream? Post-human Landscapes in Shinya Tsukamoto's Nightmare Detective
Chapter 5 The Dream Screen and the Birth of the Psyche in Ingmar Bergman's Persona
Chapter 6 What's Going to Happen to Us Without Barbarians? Guilt and Paranoia in Michael Haneke's Hidden
Chapter 7 Joseph Losey's The Servant, the Shattered Life
Chapter 8 The Last Riot and the Déjà Vu Decapitations of the AES+F Group
About the Author

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