Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

Editor : Jamie Ruers, Editor : Stefan Marianski

Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : November 2022
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 172
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
    Lacanian Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 96688
  • ISBN 13 : 9781912691951
  • ISBN 10 : 9781912691
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The films of David Lynch are sometimes said to be unintelligible. They confront us with strange dreamscapes populated with bizarre characters, obscure symbols and an infuriating lack of narrative consistency. Yet despite their opacity, they hold us transfixed.

Lynch, who once told an interviewer “I love dream logic,” would surely agree with Sigmund Freud’s famous claim that “before the problem of the creative artist, psychoanalysis must lay down its arms.” But what else might the two agree on?

With contributions from scholars, psychoanalysts, cinephiles and filmmakers, this collection of essays explores potential affinities and disjunctions between Lynch and Freud. Encompassing themes such as art, identity, architecture, fantasy, dreams, hysteria and the unconscious, Freud/Lynch takes as its point of departure the possibility that the enterprise in which these two distinct investigators are engaged might in some sense be a shared one.

Reviews and Endorsements

"Freud and Lynch are predestined to meet. Only through Freud can we discern in Lynch's films an authentic effort of thought, not just a postmodern confusion. And only through Lynch's films can we see how relevant Freud's theory remains for grasping the crazy predicament we live in. Freud/Lynch is thus a collection of essays which was predestined to be written."
Slavoj Žižek

"Freud-Lynch, in their respective deployment of the tools of analysis and immersion, are among the West's most important cartographers of the dream space. Approaching this mutual territory from contending directions, an important unification is achieved through the essays in this spirited collection: what appear to be opposing modes of uncovering the most obscured patches of human consciousness are revealed to not just share complementary features. They in fact inhabit an entangled perspective, suggesting a common oneiric logic."
Bobby K, Diane Podcast

‘this collection raises several important questions, pertinent both to psychoanalysis and an appreciation of Lynch. What are the implications of trying to interrupt trauma? To what extent is Lynch’s oeuvre an attempt to confront the malevolence of the Other? At what point do hysteric representations begin to hystericize the spectator? Can the free association of psychoanalysis be reconciled with the free association of transcendental meditation? By exploring these questions, the reader can begin to peer behind the Lynchian curtain and will, most likely, see quite a bit more than they might have expected to. The collection feels fresh and unquestionably offers more than just a rehashing of the popular psychoanalytic readings of Lynch.’
Oliver Cutler, Cinematheme Magazine 2022

Table of Contents

About the editors and contributors

Jamie Ruers and Stefan Marianski

“Listen, do you want to know a secret?” Lynch stays silent
Chris Rodley

What’s so Lynchian about that? Defining a cultural moment with some notes from Freud and Lacan
Carol Owens

Dream logic in Mulholland Drive
Olga Cox Cameron

Lost angels in Los Angeles: Lynchian psychogenic fugues
Mary Wild

“It’s a strange world, isn’t it?” A voyeuristic lens on David Lynch’s Blue Velvet
Andrea Sabbadini

The fragmented case of the Lynchian hysteric
Jamie Ruers

Möbian adventures on the lost highway
Stefan Marianski

“It is an illusion”: the artful life of David Lynch
Allister Mactaggart

David Lynch sprawls
Richard Martin

Waiting for Agent Cooper: the ends of fantasy in Twin Peaks: The Return
Todd McGowan

Panel discussion on Twin Peaks: The Return
Tamara Dellutri, Richard Martin, Allister Mactaggart, and Todd McGowan


About the Editor(s)

Jamie Ruers is an art historian specialising in art and culture from Vienna 1900 and Surrealist art and film. She received her BA from the University of Plymouth in 2014 and her MA from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2015. She is a researcher and the events manager at the Freud Museum London where she organises talks, courses and conferences on applied psychoanalysis, typically to art, culture, and contemporary issues.

Jamie has given talks on Viennese modernism and the Surrealists at the Freud Museum London, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and is featured on documentaries such as Art & Mind. She has published articles and essays on psychoanalysis, philosophy, and art in The Art Newspaper, various Freud Museum publications, and artist monographs. This is her first edited book with hopefully many more to come.

Stefan Marianski is Education Manager at the Freud Museum London, where he works with young people to engage them with psychoanalytic thought. He has organised a number of events and conferences on psychoanalytic themes, and has written and lectured on dreams, sexuality, anthropology, surrealism, and masculinity. He is also a member of the Psychosis Therapy Project, which provides low-cost psychoanalytic psychotherapy for people experiencing psychosis.

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