Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis

This volume offers a series of shifting perspectives on the emergence of psychoanalysis and a psychoanalytical consciousness in early and later British and German Romantic poetry, fiction, philosophy, and science. Rather than read psychoanalysis as one of Romanticism's inevitable outcomes, this volume reads for what remains unthought between Romantic thought and contemporary theory and criticism about Romanticism and psychoanalysis. The papers herein map versions of a psychoanalysis avant la lettre, but more crucially these essays imagine how psychoanalysis before Freud thinks itself differently, as well as anticipating and staging its later concerns, theorizations, and institutionalizations. Together they offer what might be called the profoundly psychosomatic matrix within which the specters of modern subjectivity materialize themselves. This volume is edited and introduced by Joel Faflak, with essays by Matt ffytche, Ildiko Csengei, Julie Carlson, Mary Jacobus, Ross Woodman, and Tilottama Rajan.

Woodman, "Romanticism, Alchemy, and Psychology"

Ross Woodman explores the dialectical relationship between Jung's analytical psychology, particularly his interest in alchemy, and the Romantic concern with the work of the psyche and psychology, specifically in Blake and Shelley. This essay appears in _Romanticism, Secularism, and Cosmopolitanism_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Rajan, "The Abyss of the Past": Psychoanalysis in Schelling's Ages of the World (1815)

Focusing on the differences between the three versions of Schelling's _Ages of the World_, this paper takes up the invention of psychoanalysis in the third (1815) version. The third version, unlike the more idealistic first and second vesions, intoroduces terms such as the unconscious, inhibition, and crisis, contains a crucial section on mesmerism, and is structured around the trauma of onto- and phylogenesis. The paper also explores the larger epistemic consequences of looking for a return and retreat of the origin of psychoanalysis before its institutional emergence. This essay appears in _Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Jacobus, "The Ordinary Sky: Wordsworth, Blanchot, and the Writing of Disaster"

Taking as its point of departure Wollheims autobiographical observation about a sight that stirred him to melancholy, this essay explores a series of passages that attest to Wordsworth's fixation on similar sights in poetry associated with the composition of 'The Ruined Cottage'. Other poems by Wordsworth--'A Night Piece' and 'The Discharged Soldier'--open transcendental or deathly vistas relating to the sky. In _The Writing of the Disaster_, Blanchot testifies to his childhood experience of a premature death that emptied the sky of significance, suggesting (with Winnicott) the the unrecognized trauma attached to ordinary sights, and--by extension--the problem of autobiography. This essay appears in _Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis

This volume offers a series of shifting perspectives on the emergence of psychoanalysis and a psychoanalytical consciousness in early and later British and German Romantic poetry, fiction, philosophy, and science. Rather than read psychoanalysis as one of Romanticism's inevitable outcomes, this volume reads for what remains unthought between Romantic thought and contemporary theory and criticism about Romanticism and psychoanalysis. The papers herein map versions of a psychoanalysis avant la lettre, but more crucially these essays imagine how psychoanalysis before Freud thinks itself differently, as well as anticipating and staging its later concerns, theorizations, and institutionalizations. Together they offer what might be called the profoundly psychosomatic matrix within which the specters of modern subjectivity materialize themselves. This volume is edited and introduced by Joel Faflak, with essays by Matt ffytche, Ildiko Csengei, Julie Carlson, Mary Jacobus, Ross Woodman, and Tilottama Rajan.

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December, 2008

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ffytche, "Psychology in Search of Psyches: Friedrich Schelling, Gotthilf Schubert and the Obscurities of the Romantic Soul"

In the Romantic period in Germany psychology emerges both as an empirical science for the study of the mind, and a forum for a new metaphysics of the individual. ffytche examines this dual condition through the intellectual dialogue between Friedrich Schelling and G.H. Schubert and their search for an appropriate description of the psyche. This essay appears in _Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Faflak, "Introduction"

Aside from outlining the historical and critical context within which the volume's paper's situate themselves, Faflak's essay explores more specifically how Romantic psychoanalysis emerges alongside Romantic psychiatry. The latter emerges with greater socio-historical force, specificity, and effect than the former. Yet this clear difference also points to how Romantic psychiatry and psychoanalysis become uncanny reflections of the same cognitive maneuver to find and understand the hiding places of the mind's power, a psyche that remains radically unassimilable and indeterminate. It is perhaps one of Romanticism's most powerful and disturbing legacies to modernity that it signifies the absolute ambivalence between marking the psyche's resistance to symbolization and making its darkness visible to a public sphere increasingly concerned to seek out and neutralize the mind's sepulchral recesses. This essay appears in _Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Csengei, "'She Fell Senseless on His Corpse': The Woman of Feeling and the Sentimental Swoon in Eighteenth-Century Fiction"

This essay explores the female sentimental swoon in eighteenth-century novels, including Sarah Fielding's _The History of Ophelia_ (1760), Jean-Jacques Rousseau's _Julie, or the New Heloise_ (1761), and Elizabeth Inchbald's _A Simple Story_ (1791). It argues that losses of sense and consciousness express the discontents of eighteenth-century female psycho-sexual existence. The essay approaches the psychopathology of sensibility by means of a theoretical framework that connects eighteenth-century medical explanations with psychoanalytic ideas of negativity. This essay appears in _Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Carlson, "Attached to Reading: Mary Shelley's Psychical Reality"

This essay explores Mary Shelley's fiction and writings about fiction as anticipating features of Freud's concept of psychical reality that in turn highlight the comparative tameness of his ideas on how creative writing affects phantasy and reality. It reads *Frankenstein* as a meditation on the construction of psychical reality and exposure of the dark sides of fiction's effects on the ego. This essay appears in _Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Abstracts

Romantic Psyche and Psychoanalysis offers a series of shifting perspectives on the emergence of psychoanalysis and a psychoanalytical consciousness in early and later British and German Romantic poetry, fiction, philosophy, and science. Rather than read psychoanalysis as one of Romanticism's inevitable outcomes, this volume reads for what remains unthought between Romantic thought and contemporary theory and criticism about Romanticism and psychoanalysis. The papers herein map versions of a psychoanalysis avant la lettre, but more crucially these essays imagine how psychoanalysis before Freud thinks itself differently, as well as anticipating and staging its later concerns, theorizations, and institutionalizations. Together they offer what might be called the profoundly psychosomatic matrix within which the specters of modern subjectivity materialize themselves. Ildiko Csengei reads the faints/feints of eighteenth-century sensibility through novel developments that critique the blind spots of Freud's interpretations. Matt Ffytche examines how the Romantic soul or psyche is neither divine power nor archetypal reality but a mediation between psychology and ontology that brings the psyche into its own radically embodied being. Mary Jacobus explores in Romantic 'autothanography' an uneconomized and uneconomical Romantic feeling – a way of seeing feeling and of feeling what we see – that we are only beginning to understand. Julie Carlson sees in the 'in/fancy' of Romantic (self-)writing a Romantic phantasy that is our reality test, a psychoanalysis wilder than Freud's. Tilottama Rajan examines how German idealist thought, veering toward a psychoanalysis it both entertains and cannot avoid, suggests more broadly how psychoanalysis is always the detour that history and thought take, making both (im)possible, yet forcing history to think the human otherwise. And finally, Ross Woodman reads between Jung's work on analytical psychology and alchemy and Blake and Shelley Romanticism's unavoidable turn sideways from rationality toward the uncanny work of understanding and imagination that makes reason possible in the first place.

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