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Since Freud published the Interpretation of Dreams in 1900 and utilized Sophocles' Oedipus Rex to work through his developing ideas about the psycho-sexual development of children, it has been virtually impossible to think about psychoanalysis without reference to classical myth. Myth has the capacity to transcend the context of any particular retelling, continuing to transform our understanding of the present. Throughout the twentieth century, experts on the ancient world have turned to the insights of psychoanalytic criticism to supplement and inform their readings of classical myth and literature.
This volume examines the inter-relationship of classical myth and psychoanalysis from the generation before Freud to the present day, engaging with debates about the role of classical myth in modernity, the importance of psychoanalytic ideas for cultural critique, and its ongoing relevance to ways of conceiving the self. The chapters trace the historical roots of terms in everyday usage, such as narcissism and the phallic symbol, in the reception of Classical Greece, and cover a variety of both classical and psychoanalytic texts.
Vanda Zajko is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Bristol. She has wide-ranging research interests in the reception of classical literature, particularly in the 20th century, and in mythology, psychoanalytic theory, and feminist thought. She has published on a variety of ancient authors including Homer, Aeschylus, and Ovid, and on Shakespeare, Keats, Ted Hughes, Melanie Klein, James Joyce, Freud, Mary Shelley, and Robert Graves. She was co-editor with Miriam Leonard of Laughing with Medusa: Classical Myth and Feminist Thought (OUP, 2006) and with Alexandra Lianeri of Translation and the Classic: Identity as Change in the History of Culture (OUP, 2008).
Ellen O'Gorman is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Bristol. She works on ancient historiography and its reception, and on historical and psychoanalytic theory. She has published on Livy, Sallust, Tacitus, Ovid, Homer, Lucan, Statius, Flaubert, Freud, and Lacan. She is the author of Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus (2000).
Table of Contents
List of contributors
Note on the referencing of Freud's works
1. Myths and their Receptions: Narrative, Antiquity, and the Unconscious, Vanda Zajko & Ellen O Gorman
I. Contexts For Freud
2. Freud's Empedocles: The Future of a Dualism, Bruce King
3. Freud's Phallic Symbol, Daniel Orrells
4. Myth, Religion, Illusion: How Freud Got His Fire Back, Richard Armstrong
5. Narcissism against Narcissus? A Classical Myth and its Influence on the Elaboration of Early Psychoanalysis from Binet to Jung, David Engels
6. Who cares whether Pandora had a large pithos or a small pyxis? Jane Harrison and the emergence of a dynamic conception of the unconscious, Vered Lev Kenaan
II. Freud and Vergil
7. Freud's Vergil, Gregory Staley
8. Juno & the Symptom, Jeff Rodman
9. Tu Marcellus Eris: Nachtraglichkei in Aeneid 6, Ika Willis
III. Beyond the Canon
10. The Mythic Foundation of Law, Victoria Wohl
11. Obeying Your Father: Stoic Theology between Myth and Masochism, Kurt Lampe
12. Valerius Maximus and the hysteria of virtue, Erik Gunderson
13. Mythology and the Abject in Imperial Satire, Paul Allen Miller
IV. Myth as Narrative and Icon
14. Playing with Fire: Prometheus and the Mythological Consciousness, Meg Harris Williams
15. The Ethics of Metamorphosis or A Poet Between Two Deaths, Oliver Harris
16. In the beginning was the Deed: On Oedipus and Cain, Jens De Vleminck
17. Aristophanes Myth of Eros and Contemporary Psychologies of the Self, Marcia Dobson & John Riker
V. Reflexivity and Meta-Narrative
18. Aristotle on Poets as Parents and the Hellenistic Poet as Mother, Mark Payne
19. Listening, Counter-Transference, and the Classicist as Subject-Supposed-to-Know, Page Dubois