Mapping textual surfaces: psychoanalytic theory, subjectivity, and 1940s Hollywood cinema

Coppel, Eva Parrondo (2001) Mapping textual surfaces: psychoanalytic theory, subjectivity, and 1940s Hollywood cinema. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This project aims to interrelate psychoanalytic theory, the constitution of subjectivity and 1940s Hollywood cinema. By arguing that 1940s Hollywood cinema is a symbolic apparatus that displays a series of scenarios of desire (fantasies) in which sexual difference is constructed through the characters, this thesis emphasizes the important role cinema can fulfil in re-constituting a Symbolic textual order that mediates the individuals' relation with the external world. It is argued in this study that by displaying a series of symbolic fantasies 1940s Hollywood cinema contributes to the construction of both a meaningful social reality and the individuals' subjectivity during a decade characterized by a general crisis in Western civilisation, as indicated by World War Two.

In order to put forward the argument that the fantasies displayed by classical cinema fulfil a crucial role in subjecting spectators to desire, the Unconscious, and sexual difference, this thesis extends psychoanalytic film theory in the areas of both textual analysis and the metapsychology of classical cinema. It is argued that the value of psychoanalysis for cultural analysis lies on the insight that the function of textual analysis is to offer an explanation of why and how cultural texts make sense to subjects/spectators and, thereby, fulfil a role in the constitution of their subjectivities. Regarding the metapsychology of cinema, the thesis offers a critical view of both the Imaginary and the Fantasy paradigms that have shaped psychoanalytic film theory. In order to develop a metapsychology of 1940s Hollywood cinema that is based on the psychoanalytic concept of the Symbolic realm, so that sexual difference can be taken into account, this thesis both draws a distinction between the imaginary and the symbolic dimensions of fantasy and aims to offer an explanation of how the spectator's sexual identity affects and is affected during spectatorship.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright issues this thesis is not available for viewing. Access to the print copy is available.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Kuhn, Prof. Annette
Date of Award: 2001
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:2001-41097
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2019 16:53
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2019 16:53

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