His problem or ours?: Notes on Eco and psychoanalysis
Abstract:This article makes an intervention into critical debate on Umberto Eco's relationship with psychoanalysis. The first three sections consider formulations of Eco's stance vis-à-vis psychoanalysis by authors from the US, the UK and Italy: Teresa de Lauretis (author of the first monograph on Eco, and a distinguished cultural theorist in her own right), Michael Caesar (in a recent landmark survey of Eco scholarship) and Patrizia Violi (a close collaborator of Eco's, and one of his most lucid commentators). The next sections of the article examine transactions with psychoanalysis barely addressed by these critics. Eco's Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (1984) sets out a formulation of semiotic theory which develops and consolidates differences with Lacan and Kristeva voiced in earlier work, but also contracts a relation of mutual corroboration with Freud. In this way, the book's broader but unfinished project initiates but leaves correspondingly incomplete a complex engagement with psychoanalysis which it proposes and sketches without executing or presenting it in full.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2010
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- Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.
Published in Association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
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