Jeremy Tambling
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Between literature and psychoanalysis
in Literature and psychoanalysis
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This chapter explores how literature and psychoanalysis relate. Psychoanalysis, as an instance of critical theory, associates with Marx and Nietzsche in analysing modernity, while Marxism and Nietzschean philosophy both question psychoanalysis. Jacques Derrida discussed Jacques Lacan's reading of 'The Purloined Letter' in the essay 'Le Facteur de la Vérité'. By keeping the letter on a single itinerary, Derrida claims, Lacan is not just saying that the letter always arrives at its destination, he is acting as the 'postman' (facteur). Derrida argues against the potential of psychoanalysis to deliver 'truth': that 'the letter never arrives at its destination, but it belongs to the structure of the letter to be capable, always, of not arriving'. Lacan says that the woman's experience is outside the symbolic; Derrida thinks Lacanian psychoanalysis is committed to just that order, and by making the woman the other, makes the male experience normative.

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