Death and the Mother from Dickens to Freud
Victorian Fiction and the Anxiety of Origins
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Death and the Mother from Dickens to Freud by Carolyn Dever
Book DescriptionThe cultural ideal of motherhood in Victorian Britain seems to be undermined by Victorian novels, which almost always represent mothers as incapacitated, abandoning or dead. Carolyn Dever argues that the phenomenon of the dead or missing mother in Victorian narrative is central to the construction of the good mother as a cultural ideal. Maternal loss is the prerequisite for Victorian representations of domestic life, a fact which has especially complex implications for women. When Freud constructs psychoanalytical models of family, gender and desire, he too assumes that domesticity begins with the death of the mother. Analysing texts by Dickens, Collins, Eliot, Darwin and Woolf, as well as Freud, Klein and Winnicott, Dever argues that fictional and theoretical narratives alike use maternal absence to articulate concerns about gender and representation. Psychoanalysis has long been used to analyse Victorian fiction; Dever contends that Victorian fiction has much to teach us about psychoanalysis.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521622806
(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 14-May-1998
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Carolyn Dever
Cambridge Companion to Anthony Trollope, Paperback (December 2010)
A state-of-the-field review of critical perspectives on the work of Anthony Trollope.
Death and the Mother from Dickens to Freud, Paperback (November 2006)
An exploration of the idealized figure of the dead mother in Victorian fiction and Freudian psychoanalysis.
Literary Channel, Paperback (December 2001)» View all books by Carolyn Dever
Defines a transnational literary "zone" that shaped the development of the modern novel. This book rethinks the genre's evolution as marking the power and limits of modern cultural nationalism. It is suitable for readers interested in the novel's development, British and French cultural history, and extra-national patterns of cultural exchange.
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