Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Suggested Freudian Analysis of Jacqueline Rose

Jacqueline Rose has been treated at this blog before (here).

An antizionist, she teaches at Queen Mary, University of London. "A Time to Speak Out: Independent Jewish Voices on Israel, Zionism and Jewish Identity", edited with Anne Karpf, Brian Klug and Barbara Rosenbaum is one of her books and A Question of Zion is another.

I participated in a question-and-answer session with her and we collaborated, sort of, on a book review she published in The Nation on Jabotinsky.

She has published a novel about was written:-

One of the central tenets of the feminist literary theory that has proliferated in recent years - "gynocriticism", as Elaine Showalter terms it - is the recuperation of female characters buried within fictional texts. Encompassing aspects of deconstruction and psychoanalytic theory, this was a project with many and various aims. By no means the least significant was to attempt a rereading - and, potentially, a re-inscription - of "textual women", which took into account previous misreadings, and explored the assumptions and difficulties inherent in their creation and their reception.

As a critic, Jacqueline Rose's work falls clearly into this corrective tradition; her studies reflect an interest, in her own words, in "the interface between literature, psychoanalysis, politics and culture". Now, as a first-time novelist, she has diverted these interests into a fictional production of her own, taking as her starting point one of the most famous heroines and one of the most famous novels in literary history.

Notice that word "deconstruction"?

Well, look at what Ms. Rose herself has written now about another novel:-

But by the time the novel has returned to this enigma several times, I was starting to feel uncomfortable, as if the aftermath of the war were being made to depend on how we decipher the sexual transgression of a woman (most of Schlink’s narrators, with the exception of the narrator of The Reader, seem to be more or less happy to admit their chauvinism if not misogyny).

But there is more, or rather worse, to come. The narrator will never find out how the story ends, but he does find its author: his own father, whom he believed to have been shot early in the war. Instead he turns out to have been a member of the SS, a devoted Nazi ideologue called Volker Vonlanden, who faked his own death and escaped to the US, where he is now John de Baur, a successful academic who teaches deconstruction and its relation to the law and who delights in experimenting on the mental and physical endurance of his students under the cover of scholarly retreats: ‘He had studied under Leo Strauss and Paul de Man and was the founder of the deconstructionist school of legal theory.’ It isn’t clear which is his greatest crime: having been a member of the SS, faking his identity, abandoning his son, or following the principles of deconstruction.

Hmmm. Is there something Freudian in this? Is Rose a bit uncomforatble with her savage attacks on Israel, discovering, perhaps, herself being deconstructed?

Picture credits I, II


Anonymous said...

You're not that bright. She meant it as a possibly a crime for him, not herself. Why would she be ashamed of practicing aspects of deconstruction? A thinker of her caliber would never think to criminalize a style of thinking or means of criticism. It seems you've read yourself into her remark. It reflects the caliber, or lack of, your thinking. Go to get an education. It's not surprising oafs like you work for the Israeli government.

YMedad said...

I may not be "that bright" and I don't know how bright you are. Calling me an oaf, though, categorizes yourself as uncouth, at the least.

Why would she be ashamed? Because of the results. Actually, Jacqueline conferred with me on an essay she wrote and published on Jabotinsky's novel, The Five, so I guess she thinks me a bit bright despite my criticism of her.

I have an education. MA in Political Science, if you need to know.

viagra online said...

Very interesting interview, but how the psychoanalytic theory works on these? I know everything it's in the head, but how do you do if this doesn't work with someone?
Thanks for sharing I'll be waiting with the answer.