A child in question

Lebeau, Vicky (2000) A child in question. Angelaki, 5 (1). 149 - 157. ISSN 0969-725X

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'What have they done to you, you poor child?': this article explores this question as one that belongs to those structures of feeling and identification - psychoanalysis and literature among them - which explore the drama of being a child. First posed by Goethe's Mignon in her song, Kennst du das Land?, in 1795, the query is taken up by Freud in the 1890s, but suppressed within the psychoanalytic literature for decades. It returns with a vengeance in the 1980s and 1990s in the form of an accusation against psychoanalysis as an institution, and therapy, that has abandoned the abused child. This article attempts to address the impasse sometimes produced by that accusation by returning to an earlier evocation of Mignon's question in H.D.'s lyrical presentation, in Tribute to Freud, of her psychoanalysis with Freud at the beginning of the 1930s. This article explores H.D.'s uncanny use of Mignon's song to evoke her experience of psychoanalysis and to reflect on the figure of the child in Freud's thinking.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: Vicky Lebeau
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:48
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2019 09:08
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28218
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