By Esther Sánchez-Pardo
Sánchez-Pardo argues that the political surroundings resulting in either international wars created a melancholia fueled by way of “cultures of the demise force” and the comparable specters of item loss—loss of coherent and independent selves, of social orders the place balance reigned, of metaphysical promises, and, often times, loss and fragmentation of empire. This melancholia permeated, or even propelled, modernist inventive discourses. Sánchez-Pardo exhibits how the paintings of Melanie Klein, the theorist of melancholia par excellence, uniquely illuminates modernist texts, really their representations of gender and sexualities. She deals a couple of readings—of works via Virginia Woolf, René Magritte, Lytton Strachey, Djuna Barnes, and Countee Cullen—that demonstrate the issues melancholia posed for verbal and visible conversation and the narrative and rhetorical recommendations modernist artists derived to both convey or conquer them. In her afterword, Sánchez-Pardo explicates the connections among modernist and modern melancholia.
A priceless contribution to psychoanalytic concept, gender and sexuality reviews, and the learn of illustration in literature and the visible arts, Cultures of the demise force is an important source for these attracted to the paintings of Melanie Klein.
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Extra info for Cultures of the Death Drive: Melanie Klein and Modernist Melancholia
This pregnant physicality of the body turns out to be inaccessible to meaning. Incorporation of the object emerges out of a failure of symbolization. In mourning, psychic pain can gain access to symbolization, whereas in melancholia there is a blockage, an inability to symbolize out of an excess of incorporation. ‘‘Mourning and melancholia’’ opens with a Freudian reverie, one that melancholically harbors his readers into the enclosures of his founding theoretical phantasy, outlined in Interpretation of dreams, whereby he seeks to provide a ground for reﬂecting upon the distinction between a normal and a pathological a√ect.
Freud (1953–57), Ernest Jones likens the relationship Sigmund Freud had with Karl Abraham to the one he had with Sándor Ferenczi. As in the case of Fliess and Jung, with Ferenczi, Freud had been seduced by ‘‘the sight of this unchecked imagination’’ (158). Abraham, as much as Jones himself, was ‘‘certainly the most normal of the group’’ (159). ’’ Thus began their correspondence, a correspondence that was fraught with hesitation and submissiveness on the part of Abraham and with patronizing demands of discipleship on the part of Freud (Freud and Abraham, 1965).
In 1915, Freud wrote ‘‘Mourning and melancholia’’ ([1915, 1917] 1953). On February 18, 1915, Freud told Abraham that he was about to receive a manuscript written by Ferenczi on melancholia and that he himself wished to send him a technical paper for his opinion. On February 28, Abraham responds: ‘‘I must ﬁrst of all thank you for the proofs. I found nothing to criticise from the ﬁrst word to the last. To my great satisfaction everything in this paper corresponds with my own experiences. In saying this is your ﬁrst paper that did not give me anything new, I only mean that—for once—I did not need to do any re-thinking.
Cultures of the Death Drive: Melanie Klein and Modernist Melancholia by Esther Sánchez-Pardo