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Art and psychoanalysis register at the White Hotel

Ende, Stuart A. (1986) Art and psychoanalysis register at the White Hotel. Humanities Working Paper, 119. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, Ca.

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My title refers to the fact that in D. M. Thomas's remarkable novel, both art, in the form of literary imagination, and psychoanalysis seek to comprehend the life of a woman named Lisa Erdman, and both register certain truths or part truths. The novel traces Lisa's life from the time she enters analysis with Freud in Vienna until her death at Babi Yar at the hands of the Nazis. In a final chapter entitled "the camp" that has troubled many readers we witness a kind of apotheosis in which Lisa and most of the characters we have met survive their own deaths. Most readers find The White Hotel to be a brilliant treatment of human aggression, which it certainly is; and an equally brilliant portrait of Freud, who is presented in his role as the man who first unlocked the secrets of hysteria. But the landscape of hysteria, which is the terrain of the novel, is also the landscape of imagination, and so there is a basic opposition between art and psychoanalysis from the outset.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Series Name:Humanities Working Paper
Issue or Number:119
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111026-110809553
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Official Citation:Ende, Stuart. Art and psychoanalysis register at the White Hotel. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1986. Humanities Working Paper, 119.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:27448
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:04 Nov 2011 18:09
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:23

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