ihum21b-week3-b - Friday 20 April 2001 Freud Civilization and Its Discontents(1930 In Abrams psychological and psychoanalytic criticism(247-253 I

ihum21b-week3-b - Friday 20 April 2001 Freud...

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Friday 20 April 2001 Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1930) In Abrams: psychological and psychoanalytic criticism (247-253) I. Why are we reading Freud in this class? 2 reasons: A. Freud is the founder of a systematic analysis of the “disunitary subject” (“I”) of post- structuralist theory. B. Freud is a great writer of the literary genre of the essay [Abrams, 82-83} In this text, Freud uses a literary mode of presenting an argument as a way of illustrating that psychoanalytic thinking IS literary thinking. I. What ideas in Civilization and Its Discontents are important to this course? A . The basic argument, which, briefly, goes like this: 1. “The purpose of life,” Freud states, is the fulfillment of “ the programme of the pleasure principle” [24-25]. “Genital love provides the prototype of all happiness.” [56] [Genital love? Stages of development of the pleasure centers: oral-> anal-> genital as libidinally-charged sites of infant gratification ] 2. However, the “programme of being happy,” which the pleasure principle imposes on us, cannot be fulfilled, because civilization requires “denunciation of instincts” [52]. particularly a) the erotic bond that exists between sexual partners to the exclusion of all else [65] (Freud calls this renunciation a “mutilation” [56-63] i ; “THE REQUIREMENT, DEMONSTRATED IN THESE PROHIBITIONS, THAT THERE SHALL BE A SINGLE KIND OF SEXUAL LIFE FOR EVERYONE, DISREGARDS THE DISSIMILARITIES, WHETHER INNATE OR ACQUIRED, IN

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