What is the relationship between psychoanalysis and literature? How does psychoanalytic criticism work? Peter Brooks examines the fascinating relationships between literary narratives and psychoanalysis. Following Freud's assumption that sexuality and narrative form are analogous, Brooks proposes that literature constitutes a fundamental part of human existence. To study the form of literature, he argues, will reveal nothing less than "the human stakes" involved in narratives.As a rhetoric of desire, literary form is not a rigid structure of self-enclosed meaning, but a dynamic process through which narrative imposes a meaningful order on the flux of temporal existence. Shaped by an emphasis on Freud's notion of transference as a model for how narratives work, Brooks presents an eclectic and productive approach to the study of literature by supplementing the terminology of narrative theory with the rich and suggestive language of psychoanalysis.Psychoanalysis and Storytelling is a clear and exemplary demonstration of the ways in which the vital connections between psychoanalysis and literature can be articulated without reductive simplification.
Peter Brooks is Chester T. Tripp Professor of Humanities at Yale University. The author of numerous articles on French and English literature as well as on narrative theory and psychoanalysis, his works include The Novel of Worldlines (1969), The Melodramatic Imagination (1976), and the widely--praised Reading for the Plot (1984), recently reissued. His latest book Body Work (1993) deals with the female body in literature, painting, and film as the object of desire.