Journal of Romance Studies

His problem or ours?: Notes on Eco and psychoanalysis

Journal of Romance Studies (2010), 10, (3), 75–88.

Abstract

This article makes an intervention into critical debate on Umberto Eco’s relationship with psychoanalysis. The first three sections consider formulations of Eco’s stance vis-à-vis psychoanalysis by authors from the US, the UK and Italy: Teresa de Lauretis (author of the first monograph on Eco, and a distinguished cultural theorist in her own right), Michael Caesar (in a recent landmark survey of Eco scholarship) and Patrizia Violi (a close collaborator of Eco’s, and one of his most lucid commentators). The next sections of the article examine transactions with psychoanalysis barely addressed by these critics. Eco’s Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (1984) sets out a formulation of semiotic theory which develops and consolidates differences with Lacan and Kristeva voiced in earlier work, but also contracts a relation of mutual corroboration with Freud. In this way, the book’s broader but unfinished project initiates but leaves correspondingly incomplete a complex engagement with psychoanalysis which it proposes and sketches without executing or presenting it in full.

Access Token
£25.00
READ THIS ARTICLE
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Belsey, Catherine (2005) Culture and the Real (Abingdon: Routledge). Culture and the Real Google Scholar

Bennington, Geoffrey (1988) Lyotard Writing the Event (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Lyotard Writing the Event Google Scholar

Bowie, Malcolm (1991) Lacan (London: Fontana). Lacan Google Scholar

Caesar, Michael (1999) Umberto Eco: Philosophy, Semiotics, and the Work of Fiction (Cambridge: Polity). Umberto Eco: Philosophy, Semiotics, and the Work of Fiction Google Scholar

Caesar, Michael (2004) ‘Eco on the move’, in Illuminating Eco: On the Boundaries of Interpretation, ed. Charlotte Ross and Rochelle Sibley (Aldershot: Ashgate), 155–67. Eco on the move Illuminating Eco: On the Boundaries of Interpretation 155 67 Google Scholar

De Lauretis, Teresa (1981) Umberto Eco (Florence: La Nuova Italia). Umberto Eco Google Scholar

De Lauretis, Teresa (1984) Alice Doesn’t: Feminism Semiotics Cinema (London: Macmillan). Alice Doesn’t: Feminism Semiotics Cinema Google Scholar

De Lauretis, Teresa (1987) Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction (Basingstoke: Macmillan). Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction Google Scholar

De Lauretis, Teresa (1994) The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari (1988 [1980]) A Thousand Plateaux (London: Athlone). A Thousand Plateaux Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1968) La struttura assente (Milan: Bompiani). La struttura assente Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1976) A Theory of Semiotics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). A Theory of Semiotics Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1979a) Lector in fabula (Milan: Bompiani). Lector in fabula Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1979b) The Role of the Reader (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). The Role of the Reader Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1983) ‘The multiplication of the media’, in Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyper-reality (London: Vintage), 145–50. The multiplication of the media Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyper-reality 145 50 Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1984a) Semiotica e filosofia del linguaggio (Turin: Einaudi). Semiotica e filosofia del linguaggio Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1984b) Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (London: Macmillan). Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1985) Sugli specchi e altri saggi (Milan: Bompiani). Sugli specchi e altri saggi Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1989) [1962] The Open Work (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). The Open Work Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1999) Kant and the Platypus (London: Vintage). Kant and the Platypus Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (2005) On Literature (London: Secker & Warburg). On Literature Google Scholar

Freud, Sigmund (1975) [1901] The Psychology of Everyday Life (Harmondsworth : Penguin). The Psychology of Everyday Life Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia (1969) Semeiotike (Paris: Seuil). Semeiotike Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia (1974) La Révolution du langage poétique (Paris: Seuil) La Révolution du langage poétique Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia (1986) The Kristeva Reader (Oxford: Blackwell). The Kristeva Reader Google Scholar

Lacan, Jacques (2006) [1966] Écrits (New York: Norton). Écrits Google Scholar

Lavagetto, Mario (2001) Freud la letteratura e altro (Turin: Einaudi). Freud la letteratura e altro Google Scholar

Lyotard, Jean-François (1971) Discours, figure (Paris: Klincksieck). Discours, figure Google Scholar

Lyotard, Jean-François (1988) Peregrinations: Law, Form, Event (New York: Columbia University Press). Peregrinations: Law, Form, Event Google Scholar

Readings, Bill (1991) Introducing Lyotard (London: Routledge). Introducing Lyotard Google Scholar

Ricœur, Paul (1970) [1965] Freud and Philosophy (New Haven: Yale University Press). Freud and Philosophy Google Scholar

Short, T. L. (2004) ‘The development of Peirce’s theory of signs’, in Peirce, ed. Cheryl Misak (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 214–40. The development of Peirce’s theory of signs Peirce 214 40 Google Scholar

Timpanaro, Sebastiano (1976) The Freudian Slip (London: Verso). The Freudian Slip Google Scholar

Violi, Patrizia (1998) ‘Individual and communal encyclopaedias’, in Umberto Eco’s Alternative, ed. Norma Bouchard and Veronica Pravadelli (New York: Peter Lang), 25–38. Individual and communal encyclopaedias Umberto Eco’s Alternative 25 38 Google Scholar

Violi, Patrizia (2000) ‘Eco et son référent’, in Au nom du sens, ed. Jean Petitot and Paolo Fabbri (Paris: Grasset), 21–40. Eco et son référent Au nom du sens 21 40 Google Scholar

Violi, Patrizia (2009) ‘“The subject is in the adverbs”: the role of the subject in Eco’s semiotics’, in New Essays on Umberto Eco, ed. Peter Bondanella (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 113–26. “The subject is in the adverbs”: the role of the subject in Eco’s semiotics New Essays on Umberto Eco 113 26 Google Scholar

Belsey, Catherine (2005) Culture and the Real (Abingdon: Routledge). Culture and the Real Google Scholar

Bennington, Geoffrey (1988) Lyotard Writing the Event (Manchester: Manchester University Press). Lyotard Writing the Event Google Scholar

Bowie, Malcolm (1991) Lacan (London: Fontana). Lacan Google Scholar

Caesar, Michael (1999) Umberto Eco: Philosophy, Semiotics, and the Work of Fiction (Cambridge: Polity). Umberto Eco: Philosophy, Semiotics, and the Work of Fiction Google Scholar

Caesar, Michael (2004) ‘Eco on the move’, in Illuminating Eco: On the Boundaries of Interpretation, ed. Charlotte Ross and Rochelle Sibley (Aldershot: Ashgate), 155–67. Eco on the move Illuminating Eco: On the Boundaries of Interpretation 155 67 Google Scholar

De Lauretis, Teresa (1981) Umberto Eco (Florence: La Nuova Italia). Umberto Eco Google Scholar

De Lauretis, Teresa (1984) Alice Doesn’t: Feminism Semiotics Cinema (London: Macmillan). Alice Doesn’t: Feminism Semiotics Cinema Google Scholar

De Lauretis, Teresa (1987) Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction (Basingstoke: Macmillan). Technologies of Gender: Essays on Theory, Film, and Fiction Google Scholar

De Lauretis, Teresa (1994) The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). The Practice of Love: Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire Google Scholar

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari (1988 [1980]) A Thousand Plateaux (London: Athlone). A Thousand Plateaux Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1968) La struttura assente (Milan: Bompiani). La struttura assente Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1976) A Theory of Semiotics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). A Theory of Semiotics Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1979a) Lector in fabula (Milan: Bompiani). Lector in fabula Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1979b) The Role of the Reader (Bloomington: Indiana University Press). The Role of the Reader Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1983) ‘The multiplication of the media’, in Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyper-reality (London: Vintage), 145–50. The multiplication of the media Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyper-reality 145 50 Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1984a) Semiotica e filosofia del linguaggio (Turin: Einaudi). Semiotica e filosofia del linguaggio Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1984b) Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (London: Macmillan). Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1985) Sugli specchi e altri saggi (Milan: Bompiani). Sugli specchi e altri saggi Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1989) [1962] The Open Work (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). The Open Work Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (1999) Kant and the Platypus (London: Vintage). Kant and the Platypus Google Scholar

Eco, Umberto (2005) On Literature (London: Secker & Warburg). On Literature Google Scholar

Freud, Sigmund (1975) [1901] The Psychology of Everyday Life (Harmondsworth : Penguin). The Psychology of Everyday Life Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia (1969) Semeiotike (Paris: Seuil). Semeiotike Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia (1974) La Révolution du langage poétique (Paris: Seuil) La Révolution du langage poétique Google Scholar

Kristeva, Julia (1986) The Kristeva Reader (Oxford: Blackwell). The Kristeva Reader Google Scholar

Lacan, Jacques (2006) [1966] Écrits (New York: Norton). Écrits Google Scholar

Lavagetto, Mario (2001) Freud la letteratura e altro (Turin: Einaudi). Freud la letteratura e altro Google Scholar

Lyotard, Jean-François (1971) Discours, figure (Paris: Klincksieck). Discours, figure Google Scholar

Lyotard, Jean-François (1988) Peregrinations: Law, Form, Event (New York: Columbia University Press). Peregrinations: Law, Form, Event Google Scholar

Readings, Bill (1991) Introducing Lyotard (London: Routledge). Introducing Lyotard Google Scholar

Ricœur, Paul (1970) [1965] Freud and Philosophy (New Haven: Yale University Press). Freud and Philosophy Google Scholar

Short, T. L. (2004) ‘The development of Peirce’s theory of signs’, in Peirce, ed. Cheryl Misak (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 214–40. The development of Peirce’s theory of signs Peirce 214 40 Google Scholar

Timpanaro, Sebastiano (1976) The Freudian Slip (London: Verso). The Freudian Slip Google Scholar

Violi, Patrizia (1998) ‘Individual and communal encyclopaedias’, in Umberto Eco’s Alternative, ed. Norma Bouchard and Veronica Pravadelli (New York: Peter Lang), 25–38. Individual and communal encyclopaedias Umberto Eco’s Alternative 25 38 Google Scholar

Violi, Patrizia (2000) ‘Eco et son référent’, in Au nom du sens, ed. Jean Petitot and Paolo Fabbri (Paris: Grasset), 21–40. Eco et son référent Au nom du sens 21 40 Google Scholar

Violi, Patrizia (2009) ‘“The subject is in the adverbs”: the role of the subject in Eco’s semiotics’, in New Essays on Umberto Eco, ed. Peter Bondanella (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 113–26. “The subject is in the adverbs”: the role of the subject in Eco’s semiotics New Essays on Umberto Eco 113 26 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Smith, Jonathan