Cultures of the Death Drive: Melanie Klein and Modernist Melancholia (Post-Contemporary Interventions)

Cultures of the Death Drive: Melanie Klein and Modernist Melancholia (Post-Contemporary Interventions)

By: Esther Sanchez-Pardo (author)Hardback

Up to 2 WeeksUsually despatched within 2 weeks


Cultures of the Death Drive is a comprehensive guide to the work of pioneering psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882-1960) and to developments in Kleinian theory to date. It is also an analysis and a demonstration of the distinctive usefulness of Klein's thought for understanding modernist literature and visual art. Esther Sanchez-Pardo examines the issues that the seminal discourses of psychoanalysis and artistic modernism brought to the fore in the early twentieth century and points toward the uses of Kleinian thinking for reconceptualizing the complexities of identity and social relations today. Sanchez-Pardo argues that the troubled political atmosphere leading to both world wars created a melancholia fueled by "cultures of the death drive" and the related specters of object loss-loss of coherent and autonomous selves, of social orders where stability reigned, of metaphysical guarantees, and, in some cases, loss and fragmentation of empire. This melancholia permeated, and even propelled, modernist artistic discourses. Sanchez-Pardo shows how the work of Melanie Klein, the theorist of melancholia par excellence, uniquely illuminates modernist texts, particularly their representations of gender and sexualities. She offers a number of readings-of works by Virginia Woolf, Rene Magritte, Lytton Strachey, Djuna Barnes, and Countee Cullen-that reveal the problems melancholia posed for verbal and visual communication and the narrative and rhetorical strategies modernist artists derived to either express or overcome them. In her afterword, Sanchez-Pardo explicates the connections between modernist and contemporary melancholia. A valuable contribution to psychoanalytic theory, gender and sexuality studies, and the study of representation in literature and the visual arts, Cultures of the Death Drive is a necessary resource for those interested in the work of Melanie Klein.

About Author

Esther Sanchez-Pardo is Associate Professor of English at Complutense University in Madrid. She has written and edited numerous books in Spanish.


Acknowledgments ix Abbreviations of the Works of Melanie Klein x Introduction: Anxieties and Their Vicissitudes 1 Part One 1. Itineraries 23 2. Kleinian Metapsychology 55 3. Femininities: Melancholia, Masquerade, and the Paternal Superego 72 4. Masculinities: Anxiety, Sadism, and the Intricacies of Object-Love 94 5. Kleinian Melanacholia 118 6. The Death Drive and Aggression 137 7. The Setting (Up) of Phantasy 162 Part Two 8. Modernist Cultures of the Death Drive 193 9. Framing the Fetish: To the Lighthouse: Ceci n'est pas un roman 218 10. Funereal Rites: Melancholia, Masquerade, and the Art of Biography in Lytton Strachey 273 11. Melancholia Reborn: Djuna Barnes's Styles of Grief 306 12. Melancholia, the New Negro, and the Fear of Modernity: Forms Sublime and Denigrated in Countee Cullen's Writings 343 Afterword: Modern(ist) Cultures of the Death Drive and the Melancholic Apparatus 386 Notes 395 Bibliography 451 Index 475

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780822330097
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 504
  • ID: 9780822330097
  • ISBN10: 0822330091

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly