Throughout the history of Thomas's critical reception, psychoanalytic interpretations have been applied that have privileged the psychosexual over the psycho-linguistic elements of his work. The wealth of sexual and pseudo-sexual imagery has acquired a negative charge, and has been used to evidence claims that Thomas was the epiphon of his own disturbed psyche, thus reducing the poetry to the expression of the poet's schizoid neuroses. Avoiding the biography-based approaches that have dominated hitherto, Liberating Dylan Thomas rescues his early poetry from the position of servitude to the discursive mastery of psychoanalysis. Placing the poetry and psychoanalysis together in a mutually illuminating dialogue, this book clearly demonstrates the ways in which the vital connection between post-Freudian psychoanalysis and Thomas's early poetry can be articulated without reductive simplification.
Rhian Barfoot was awarded a PhD, and now teaches, at Swansea University
Introduction Part 1 '[M]aking deadly whoopee': Dylan Thomas' Jouissance of Influence Part 2 '[A]nd I am dumb to tell': Presenting and Representing the Unpresentable Part 3 'Toenails and Tumours': Re-routing Abjection, From Pessimism to Parody