ENGL 3Q93 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Oedipus Complex, Mimesis, Dream Interpretation
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Essay # 2
Youre not just writing an essay about “to The Lighthouse” you need to use
literary theories we studied this term.
Northorp Frye constructs an elaborate circle of archetypes that belong to
each season. History tends to repeat itself, and in that sense its cyclical,
empires rise and fall always. But the cycles of nature are often positioned as
being outside of history, they just come and go. Nature would not care if we
didn’t exist, it would keep on going, the archetypes wouldn’t exist because
they are the products of interactions between us and nature. History is the
product of human labor, take away human beings, history doesn’t exist. Frye
would say that the Archetypes are grounded in a material reality beyond
history, which Is why he focuses on myth.
Jameson – The Political Unconscious
One of the primary modes of psychoanalytic criticism is archetypal criticism.
He is trying to do something similar to Frye, create a kind of larger
interpretive structure – hermeneutics – systematic interpretation. He’s trying
to create a system of interpretation.
Jameson is a Marxist – old school Marxist.
Clearly coming at interpretation from another psychoanalytic perspective.
Marxism is one of psychoanalysis’s chief rivals in the market place of
We need to get a sense of the di5erences between psychoanalysis and other
How does psychoanalysis respond to work like Fredrick Jameson’s?
“Always Historicize!” – to put it into material relations. It implies that there
are other kinds of relations out there that we could equally well place
something into the context of.
oHamlet – we can compare the book itself to the play.
All of a sudden you’re aware that there are di5erent versions of
hamlet and that its not stable. It changes from publication to
publication. There’s at least 2 versions of Hamlet, all because
books and texts are all material objects with a material
existence. – Hamlet as Shakespeare intended it, the Hamlet just
as it should be. We assume that there is an ideal version of
Hamlet and every other extenuation is just a corrupt version –
oWe see the way in which texts change through time.
oDoes a text have ideal relations or are we always meant to historicise?
Interpretation – constructed as an allegorical act – states that allegorical
interpretations shift overtime. What if with Frye you believe that the Archetypes
don’t change? What are you suggesting about your allegorical interpretation? That
your interpretation is set and universal and can’t be change. If you use this, you’re
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