By Esther Sánchez-Pardo
Sánchez-Pardo argues that the political surroundings resulting in either international wars created a melancholia fueled via “cultures of the loss of life force” and the similar specters of item loss—loss of coherent and independent selves, of social orders the place balance reigned, of metaphysical promises, and, occasionally, loss and fragmentation of empire. This melancholia permeated, or even propelled, modernist inventive discourses. Sánchez-Pardo exhibits how the paintings of Melanie Klein, the theorist of melancholia par excellence, uniquely illuminates modernist texts, fairly their representations of gender and sexualities. She deals a couple of readings—of works through Virginia Woolf, René Magritte, Lytton Strachey, Djuna Barnes, and Countee Cullen—that display the issues melancholia posed for verbal and visible conversation and the narrative and rhetorical innovations modernist artists derived to both convey or triumph over them. In her afterword, Sánchez-Pardo explicates the connections among modernist and modern melancholia.
A priceless contribution to psychoanalytic idea, gender and sexuality reviews, and the examine of illustration in literature and the visible arts, Cultures of the demise force is an important source for these drawn to the paintings of Melanie Klein.
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Extra info for Cultures of the Death Drive: Melanie Klein and Modernist Melancholia
In the ﬁrst, the patient has introjected the original loveobject on which his or her ego-ideal had been built; this object takes over the role of conscience, and it is from this introjected object that the pathological self-criticism of the melancholic emanates. In the second form, the content of those self-reproaches is ultimately a harsh criticism of the introjected object. Abraham graphically explains the fate of the object in melancholia: ‘‘We may truly say that during the course of an attack of melancholia the love-object goes through a process of psychological metabolism within the patient’’ (464).
According to Abraham, in melancholia the process of introjection takes two forms. In the ﬁrst, the patient has introjected the original loveobject on which his or her ego-ideal had been built; this object takes over the role of conscience, and it is from this introjected object that the pathological self-criticism of the melancholic emanates. In the second form, the content of those self-reproaches is ultimately a harsh criticism of the introjected object. Abraham graphically explains the fate of the object in melancholia: ‘‘We may truly say that during the course of an attack of melancholia the love-object goes through a process of psychological metabolism within the patient’’ (464).
Abraham was the most distinguished theorist of craving orality. His Itineraries 31 premature death sounds like a lethal joke, a fatal slip of the throat that carves out an absence in the evenness of Freud’s faithful progeny. Uncannily and insatiably, his irretrievable lost voice haunts us today under the guise of a demand for knowledge, for a fresh inquiry into the blind spots and unsolvable problems he uncovered in the beginnings of psychoanalysis. As his disciple Melanie Klein teaches us, this epistemophilic urge originates also in a search for oral satisfaction, for the remnants of some melancholic incorporation, which is ultimately and most poignantly a demand of love.