Dazzling Complexes. "After Electra: Rage, Grief and Hope in Twentieth-Century Fiction" by Eden Liddelow. [review]
This book continues the conversation between psycholanalysis and literature, drawing on Klein, Kristeva, Deleuze and Guattari to frame the work of twentieth-century women writers in the psycho-pathology of their time. The book's argument rests on mapping the Kleinian traumatic scenario - '[the child's] violent feelings of anxiety, splitting and rage towards the mother on withdrawal of the breast, and later the grief that goes with fear of being left abandoned and alone if that rage is expressed' - onto twentieth-century social and textual relations. In essays on nine writers (Marguerite Duras, Eva Figes, Janet Frame, Helen Garner, Nadine Gordimer, Elizabeth Jolley, Jean Rhys, Susan Sontag and Ania Walwicz), Liddelow explores how each one offers a path beyond the identification and assimilation of child to mother - self to other - which, in her analysis, dominates intersubjective relations in the twentieth century.