Academic journal article Contemporary Psychoanalytic Studies

Foreword

Academic journal article Contemporary Psychoanalytic Studies

Foreword

Article excerpt

In this inventive work Karen Rodriguez imagines the city as analysand on the psychoanalytic couch. She interrogates a key question around the way "the city" digests difference textually and asks readers to conceptualize a psychoanalytic critique of globalization and colonialism through consideration of concepts such as difference, subjectivity, and creativity. Treating the city as an object for analytic inquiry, she elaborates ways in which enigmatic objects may bring to light universal features of our psychic reality; its timelessness, wishful thinking, and exaggerated manifestations. The city performs an enigma that belongs to the psyche: Guanajuato is a city where independence from maternal and paternal Spain is both celebrated and disavowed. As an imagined analysand, the city initially seems to reside in the Lacanian hysterical or borderline positions, characterized by idealistic identification with Spain and with the image of purity, virginity, and femininity. Yet, at the same time, the city refuses to submit to such identifications and rebels against them. Guanajuato is conceptualized as a feminine subject because of its geographical 'curviness' and nonphallic - unruly, irregular and "quirky" - layout; but also, because, in the author's developed fantasy, the city refuses representation. As a patient, the city's narrative is caught in adolescent idealization and displays a passion for ignorance. …

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