Work[ edit ] Felman works in the fields of psychoanalytic literary criticismperformativity theory, feminismHolocaust testimony, and other areas, though her writings frequently question, ironize, or test the limits of the very critical methods being employed.
The English translation leaves out some of the literary analyses of Nerval and Balzac that were in the original book, no doubt because they are too technical for English readers, but that is made up for by two additional interviews with Jacques-Alain Miller and Philippe Sollers and a new preface by the author.
Writing and Madness was a book that I wanted to like as a whole - its topic is certainly an interesting and timely one - but I found that I could only relate to it in bits and pieces. Felman starts out by articulating the difficulties of speaking madness, as outlined by Michel Foucault in History of Madness.
She then plunges into the intricacies of the debate between Foucault and Derrida Ch. This section is easily one of the best in the book.
Unfortunately, Felman rather loses her way after this point. The chapters on Nerval's Aurelia Ch. Maybe others would find them more interesting. I didn't get much insight, either, from the chapter on Jacques Lacan, which I found to be more verbose than genuinely difficult Ch.
Felman's point about the impossibility of Lacan's task, that he appears to be trying to create a universal grammar of the particularities of rhetoric, is an interesting one, but it would have made far more sense to connect this to Alfred Jarry's 'pataphysics, the absurdist "science of the particular.
More correctly, it is an analysis of the failure of Edmund Wilson's psychoanalytic interpretation of the text and others like it, with Felman showing how James constructs his text as a "trap" designed not only to capture the unwary, but more especially, the wary, sophisticated reader.
At one hundred pages in length, Felman's analysis drags on for far too long, but the last few pages are a superb literary application of Lacan's idea that the "non-dupes err" - namely, that those who think they see the truth are as deluded as those who do not.
The closing chapter and the interview with Miller are too short to be of much interest, but Sollers does a fine job of teasing out the motivations and nuances of Felman's ideas. On the whole I felt as though Writing and Madness was a major letdown.
I also have to say that I'm not particularly enamored by her style.
When she hits on a good idea her prose really soars, but too much of her writing I found to be technical and clever rather than genuinely insightful.In the second quotation Shoshana Felman, in the epigram to her book Writing Madness,identiand fiesherselfwiththe madness thatis her subjectin a quotation whichenacts the intertextuality espoused by contemporarytheorists.
2 18, above). Kenneth Muir,"Samuel Harsnettand KingLear,"Review English Studies, (), of fromHarsnettembedded in the. Writing and Madness is Shoshana Felman's most influential work of literary theory and criticism. Exploring the relations between literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis through brilliant studies of Balzac, Nerval, Flaubert, and James, as well as Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida, this book seeks the specificity of literature in its relation to what culture excludes under the label "madness.".
Seferin James / Derrida, Foucault and “Madness, the Absence of an Oeuvre” writing is a regulated relationship between that which exceeds and the exceeded totality: the différance of the absolute excess” (Derrida , 75). 6 This statement is missing from the initial journal publication (Derrida , ) and must have been.
Shoshana Felman is an American literary critic and current Woodruff Professor of Comparative Literature and French at Emory lausannecongress2018.com was on the faculty of Yale University from to , where in she was awarded the Thomas E. Donnelly Professorship of French and Comparative Literature.
She specializes in 19th and 20th century French literature, psychoanalysis, trauma and. Inspired by a recent collection of Shoshana Felman's writings, The Claims of Literature, the review essay focuses on the theoretical trajectories of Felman's oeuvre, whose work contributed substantially to our understanding of key issues of psychoanalysis, body studies, feminism, trauma, and legal studies.
Writing and Madness: (Literature/Philosophy/Psychoanalysis) by Shoshana Felman (): Books - lausannecongress2018.com