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Katherine Mansfield and Psychology$
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Clare Hanson, Gerri Kimber, and W. Todd Martin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417532

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417532.001.0001

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‘Jigging Away into Nothingness’: Knowledge, Language and Feminine Jouissance in ‘Bliss’ and ‘Psychology’

‘Jigging Away into Nothingness’: Knowledge, Language and Feminine Jouissance in ‘Bliss’ and ‘Psychology’

Chapter:
(p.100) ‘Jigging Away into Nothingness’: Knowledge, Language and Feminine Jouissance in ‘Bliss’ and ‘Psychology’
Source:
Katherine Mansfield and Psychology
Author(s):

Allan Pero

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417532.003.0008

Mansfield’s work explores our uneasy relationship to knowledge and language, disabusing us of the notion of their transparency. Knowledge operates differently for ego and subject, just as language operates differently in conscious speech and unconscious enunciation. In “Bliss,” Bertha’s “hysteria” stages the clash between egoistic misunderstanding and unconscious knowledge, and is an effect of feminine, rather than phallic jouissance. Bertha’s feminine jouissance is not hysteria, but appears so because her jouissance has no place in the domestic sphere. Condemned to address her jouissance to phallic semblances, she is ensnared by the logic of hysterical desire, even as each semblance fails to give her what she really wants.

Keywords:   Katherine Mansfield, Feminine Jouissance, Phallic Jouissance, Knowledge, Language, Hysteria

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