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Speak for Your Self: Psychoanalysis, Autotheory, and the Plural Self

Laubender, Carolyn (2020) 'Speak for Your Self: Psychoanalysis, Autotheory, and the Plural Self.' Arizona Quarterly, 76 (1). pp. 39-64. ISSN 0004-1610

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In this article, I explore the status of the self in autotheory, bringing Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams together with autotheory’s most popular text, Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, to consider the movement in contemporary autotheory away from the split subject and toward of what I call a “plural self.” Reading Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams as a species, avant la lettre, of autotheory, I chart how Freud’s writing challenged the coherence of the self and introduced the now critically embraced theory of the split subject. While this theory has long been a favored tool for enabling critiques of the self, I claim that recent versions of autotheory have deliberately dispensed with the deconstructed split subject in order instead to construct a plural self. Reading The Argonauts, I consider how this plural self is motivated by a principally ethico-political desire to (re)imagine the self relationally, where self and other are reconfigured as collaborative and cumulative. Ultimately, this article asks what promise for relational solidarity a notion of the plural self holds, and where this promise might find its limit.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: autotheory; psychoanalysis; split subject; plural self; autobiography; Freud; Maggie Nelson
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2020 14:51
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:10

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