Tingle, Catherine Mary (2000) Symptomatic writings: prefigurations of Freudian theories and models of the mind in the fiction of Sheridan Le Fanu, Wilkie Collins and George Eliot. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.
This thesis examines ways in which the writings of Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873), Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) and George Eliot (1819-1880) anticipate aspects of the works of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). It argues that psychoanalytic theories were a product of their time, finding their ancestry in Victorian psychological, philosophical, scientific and social thought, aspects of which also informed the work of Le Fanu, Collins and Eliot.
I foreground Freud's work of the 1890s, especially his Project for a Scientific Psychology (1950; written in 1895), the forerunner of The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), The Unconscious (1915), Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920) and The Ego and the Id (1923). The energy-filled psychical system the Project outlines is informed by nineteenth-century ideas on force. I discuss systemic equilibrium in Le Fanu's short stories, the tendency to inertia in Eliot's Romola (1862-3) and the mechanics of satisfaction in Middlemarch (1871-2) and Daniel Deronda (1876); all these concepts find roots in nineteenth-or pre-nineteenth-century spiritual or scientific thought, and prefigure Freud's Project. The association of ideas, a basic foundation of psychoanalysis, is discussed with reference to Collins's Basil (1852), The Woman in White (1860), No Name (1862) and Armadale (1866). I suggest how Collins's knowledge of the work of W. B. Carpenter (1813-1885) and Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904), and Eliot's engagement with the ideas of George Henry Lewes (1817-1878) and Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) are evident in their fictions. Throughout, I show that unconscious mental processes were discussed decades before Freud.
|Item Type:||Thesis (PhD)|
|Department:||The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)|
|Deposited By:||Ethos Import|
|Deposited On:||27 Jan 2011 16:04|
|Last Modified:||27 Jan 2011 16:04|
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