Catastrophe and Survival: Walter Benjamin and Psychoanalysis




Catastrophe and Survival addresses a blind spot in Benjamin scholarship: namely the way that Benjamin s thoughts regarding mental space, the mind-body problem, and the individual s experience of the material object world make significant contact with post-Freudian psychoanalytic confrontations with similar issues. Recent work on Benjamin s representations of the individual subjected to modern shock draws basic correlations between Benjamin and Freud. Still lacking is a discussion of a possible dialogue between Benjamin and Lacan and an account of the historical connections between Benjamin s work and contemporaneous post-Freudian psychoanalytic trends. This book supplies both. Elizabeth Stewart shows that all of these theories were deeply preoccupied with the mutual embeddedness of subject and object, with materiality, and with power. At stake are new ways of envisioning the ethical and political subject in and for the twenty-first century.
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