Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Shakespeare in Theory and Practice$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Catherine Belsey

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633012

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633012.001.0001

Show Summary Details

Psychoanalysis and Early Modern Culture: Lacan with Augustine and Montaigne

Psychoanalysis and Early Modern Culture: Lacan with Augustine and Montaigne

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter 2 Psychoanalysis and Early Modern Culture: Lacan with Augustine and Montaigne
Source:
Shakespeare in Theory and Practice
Author(s):

Belsey Catherine

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633012.003.0002

This chapter sets out to justify in historical terms the invocation of psychoanalysis in the interpretation of early modern texts. Lacan offers an understanding of meaning as perpetually unstable. His work vindicates a reading of texts as potentially inconsistent, and the culture inscribed in them as correspondingly precarious, the location of resistances to the law they also inscribe. Some of Lacan's most important insights have their roots in St Augustine, whose influence on early modern culture cannot be exaggerated. Montaigne's essay, ‘Of the Force of Imagination’, records the remarkable capacity of fantasy to bring about physiological effects. Like Augustinian theology, psychoanalysis allots a central place to the conflict between law and desire. Montaigne follows Augustine to the degree that he sees a perpetual conflict between sex and propriety. Augustine records his own conversion as a scene of reading.

Keywords:   psychoanalysis, early modern texts, Lacan, St Augustine, Montaigne, Augustinian theology, law, desire, sex, propriety

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.