Taboo or Not Taboo

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9780800630850: Taboo or Not Taboo

In a changing society, Christians and Jews have looked to the Bible to find values and models. But the Hebrew Bible does not offer just a single model for family behavior or relationships. This volume explores the positive and negative aspects of family life in ancient Israel as portrayed in the Bible. Rashkow examines the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and siblings, looking at the variety of conflicts that emerged: incest, rape, abuse, murder, and hatred. Ultimately, Rashkow's analysis provides a reflection on family, which is given texture and depth through her use of psychoanalysis and literary theory. This text traces the influence of the biblical images on later Western literature and society and provides comparative discussions of other ancient Near Eastern literatures. Also useful as a textbook for courses in Hebrew Bible, feminist studies, and psychological interpretations of the Bible.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

Ilona N. Rashkow is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Women's Studies at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. She is the author of The Phallacy of Genesis: A Feminist-Psychoanalytic Approach (1993) and Upon the Dark Places: Sexism and Anti-Semitism in English Renaissance Biblical Translation (1990).

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

PSYCHOANALYTIC LITERARY THEORY AND THE HEBREW BIBLE: WHAT HATH FREUD WROUGHT?
Background

Sigmund Freud once acknowledged that most of his discoveries about the unconscious mind had been anticipated by the poets of the past. Thus, it should not be surprising that psychology has been used in an effort to explain the origins, character, and effects of literature, including biblical literature. What makes a reading of a literary work psychoanalytic? As I have discussed more fully elsewhere, to call a reading psychoanalytic or Freudian immediately introduces ambiguity because such an expression can refer either to the use of Freudian themes or to Freudian methods. That is, an interpretation of a literary work can be called Freudian or psychoanalytic with respect either to the substance of the text (what it reads), or to the interpretive procedures and techniques a reader uses (how it reads). Generally speaking, there are three points at which psychoanalysis can enter the study of a literary work: examining the mind of the author, the minds of the author's characters, or our own minds. There is a long tradition of Freudian criticism that examines the text for buried motives and hidden neurotic conflicts that generated the writer's art: in writing Hamlet, for example, Shakespeare was working over the death of his son (Jones 1949); and in writing The Gambler Dostoevsky was drawing upon the prohibitions placed upon masturbation in his childhood (Freud 1928b). Because the hazards of examining an author's mind are inversely proportional to the amount of material available on the writer's life and private thoughts, it is never completely safe to guess at the psychic significance of a work of art, even that of a candid living author, and for some major writers (like Chaucer, Shakespeare, and the biblical writers), we have only the most minimal sense of what their private lives may have been. Thus, this form of psychoanalytic literary criticism generally is viewed as mere speculation.

Most of Freud's own ventures into literature were the analyses of literary characters. His initial remarks on the Oedipus complex were literary, involving both Hamlet and Oedipus Tyrannis. Hamlet, according to Freud, is the hysteric who delays because he is paralyzed by guilt over Claudius' enactment of his own unconscious wishes (1916-17: 335). A stream of essays by other analysts followed, mostly on fictitious textual characters. They wrote what might be described as case studies of literature, dealing with those authors or characters whom they categorized as neurotic. Most of them emphasized such analytic themes as the Oedipus complex, anality, schizoid tendencies, latent or expressed homosexuality, guilt, etc., and the roles they played in the works of the writers or among their other literary characters. Analyzing literary characters has not fallen into as deep a disrepute as concentrating on the writer, in great part because fictional characters are viewed as representatives of life and as such can be understood only if we assume that they are telling a truth. This assumption allows us to find unconscious motivations, albeit in fictitious characters. For example, Abraham's actions and language reveal a great deal about him, despite the fact that all we will ever know is contained in the 1,534 verses of Genesis. On the other hand, literary characters are both more and less than real persons. This presents a problem. While one aspect of narrative characterization is to provide a mimetic function (to represent human action and motivation), another aspect is primarily textual (to reveal information to a reader or to conceal it). This situation has no precise parallel in life (although it can be argued that real persons often resemble literary characters in the masks they present to the world). As a result, examining a narrative character is not risk- free either. For instance, contradictions in Abraham's character may result from the psychic complexities the biblical writer imagined; or, they may result from the fact that Abraham is an agent in a literary narrative with a highly developed system of conventions -- his traits may be more a function of the requirements of the story-line than his personality.

Since authors may not provide much material for the theorists and since characters are not real persons, many scholars have shifted their focus from the interpretation of meanings embedded within a text to the processes of writing and reading. This is true of the French structuralists and post-structuralists (for example, Barthes, Derrida), psychoanalytically influenced critics (see Holland, Schwartz, Bleich), and of other proponents of reader-response criticism (such as Rosenblatt, Fish, Iser, Gadamer, Poulet). Rather than attempting to determine objective meanings hidden within a text (meanings a reader needs to extricate) these scholars concentrate on the subjective experience of the reader (interactions between reader/text/author) and the values and premises with which a reader approaches interpretation of a text. As within psychoanalysis itself, their foci are problems of indeterminacy, uncertainty, perspective, hermeneutics subjective (and communal) assumptions, and agreements.

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Description du livre Augsburg Fortress, United States, 2000. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In a changing society, Christians and Jews have looked to the Bible to find values and models. But the Hebrew Bible does not offer just a single model for family behavior or relationships. This volume explores the positive and negative aspects of family life in ancient Israel as portrayed in the Bible. Rashkow examines the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and siblings, looking at the variety of conflicts that emerged: incest, rape, abuse, murder, and hatred. Ultimately, Rashkow s analysis provides a reflection on family, which is given texture and depth through her use of psychoanalysis and literary theory. This text traces the influence of the biblical images on later Western literature and society and provides comparative discussions of other ancient Near Eastern literatures. Also useful as a textbook for courses in Hebrew Bible, feminist studies, and psychological interpretations of the Bible. N° de réf. du libraire APC9780800630850

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Description du livre Augsburg Fortress, United States, 2000. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In a changing society, Christians and Jews have looked to the Bible to find values and models. But the Hebrew Bible does not offer just a single model for family behavior or relationships. This volume explores the positive and negative aspects of family life in ancient Israel as portrayed in the Bible. Rashkow examines the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and siblings, looking at the variety of conflicts that emerged: incest, rape, abuse, murder, and hatred. Ultimately, Rashkow s analysis provides a reflection on family, which is given texture and depth through her use of psychoanalysis and literary theory. This text traces the influence of the biblical images on later Western literature and society and provides comparative discussions of other ancient Near Eastern literatures. Also useful as a textbook for courses in Hebrew Bible, feminist studies, and psychological interpretations of the Bible. N° de réf. du libraire APC9780800630850

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Description du livre Fortress Press. Paperback. État : New. Paperback. 206 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 0.5in.In a changing society, Christians and Jews have looked to the Bible to find values and models. But the Hebrew Bible does not offer just a single model for family behavior or relationships. This volume explores the positive and negative aspects of family life in ancient Israel as portrayed in the Bible. Rashkow examines the relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and siblings, looking at the variety of conflicts that emerged: incest, rape, abuse, murder, and hatred. Ultimately, Rashkows analysis provides a reflection on family, which is given texture and depth through her use of psychoanalysis and literary theory. This text traces the influence of the biblical images on later Western literature and society and provides comparative discussions of other ancient Near Eastern literatures. Also useful as a textbook for courses in Hebrew Bible, feminist studies, and psychological interpretations of the Bible. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. N° de réf. du libraire 9780800630850

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