Repression/Incitement: Double-Reading Vita Sackville-West's The Edwardians Through Freud and Foucault
Degree Granting Department
Elizabeth Hirsh, Ph.D.
Tova Cooper, Ph.D.
Susan Mooney, Ph.D.
discourse, power, psychoanalysis, subjectivity, unconscious
Vita Sackville-West's autobiographical novel The Edwardians lends itself to a double reading: both Freudian and Foucauldian. The Freudian conflict between desire and prohibition plays out in the unresolved Oedipus complex of its protagonist Sebastian, son of the Duchess of Chevron; repression drives Sebastian's behavior in all his relationships. The novel also depicts an upper-class Edwardian society incited to discourse in a Foucauldian sense--a society in which sexual gossip functions as a discourse of power. From a psychoanalytic perspective, this incitement is produced by repression, and functions as a symptom of it. The relationship between repression and incitement suggests the possibility of a theoretical rapprochement between Freud and Foucault.
Scholar Commons Citation
Coley, Aimee Elizabeth, "Repression/Incitement: Double-Reading Vita Sackville-West's The Edwardians Through Freud and Foucault" (2011). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.