Percy Shelley and the tragedies of Lacanian psychoanalysis
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This essay offers some new perspectives on affinities between the writing and thought of Percy Shelley and Jacques Lacan, focusing on aspects of Lacanian psychoanalysis sometimes identified as “tragic”: especially its notions of the divided subject, and of that subject’s alienation by language. It first explores parallels between these notions and Shelley’s representations of language in "Julian and Maddalo". Developing this, by engaging with deconstructive and psychoanalytic approaches to history and language in “The Triumph of Life,” it then highlights how Shelley and Lacan each seem to endorse a similar pessimism, a tragic perspective on our efforts to achieve self-understanding, and on human knowledge and potential more widely. Drawing on Fredric Jameson’s reflections on Marxism and psychoanalysis, and on his interpretation of Lacan’s concept of the “Real,” the essay then concludes by bringing Shelley and Lacan into a more positive, politically energizing encounter with one another, via a reading of "Prometheus Unbound".
Hewitt , B 2019 , ' Percy Shelley and the tragedies of Lacanian psychoanalysis ' , European Romantic Review , vol. 29 , no. 6 , pp. 787-803 . https://doi.org/10.1080/10509585.2018.1534687
European Romantic Review
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10509585.2018.1534687
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