Birth Passages: Maternity and Nostalgia, Antiquity to Shakespeare
Birth Passages offers a provocative and eloquent challenge to the nostalgia for the maternal, sometimes influenced by classic Freudian theory, which pervades many discourses. Theresa M. Krier suggests an alternative to the common characterizations of "the maternal" as a force inspiring both desire and dread, a force that must be repressed if subjectivity and culture are to be established. Instead, drawing on the work of Melanie Klein, D. W. Winnicott, and Luce Irigaray, Krier seeks to establish a new model of the relationship between mother and infant, one in which birth is seen not as the tragic ending to the prenatal union but rather as the child's claiming both distance from and proximity to this parent. Krier's insightful readings of poetic works from antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance show these texts in opposition to their cultures' insistent nostalgia for the maternal. Their authors, she maintains, recognize such longing as a symptom of a glamorous but false and disabling fantasy. In her analysis of the Song of Songs, Lucretius's De rerum natura, Chaucer's Parlement of Foules, Spenser's Amoretti and Faerie Queene, and Shakespeare's Love's Labor's Lost and The Winter's Tale, Krier details how the writings represent the intersubjective nature of birth.
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acknowledgment aggression Amoretti Angela Carter anxiety appetite baby beloved biblical birds birth blazon breast Cambello cantos catalogue Chaucer Chaucerian chthonic Cornell University Press courtly create creatures culture D. W. Winnicott Dame Nature death desire destruction dream dreamer earth envy erotic ethical experience Faerie Queene fantasy female figures Freud fusion gender genre Gillian Gill gratitude Hermione Hermione's hexaemeral Holofernes infant Irigaray's Ithaca Kleinian knights language Leontes literary Love's Labor's Lost lovers Luce Irigaray Lucretian Lucretius Lucretius's lyric Medieval Melanie Klein ment metonymy mother and child movement narrative nostalgia objects Parlement Parlement of Foules passage Petrarchan philosophical play plot poem poem's poet poetic poetry potential space praise songs Princeton psychic psychoanalysis relation relationship Renaissance Routledge says sense sexual Shakespeare Song of Songs Song's sonnet speaker Spenser stanza textual things tion traditions trans transformation Triamond tropes Venus vernacular voice Winnicottian Winter's Tale woman