Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

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Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain

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With contributions from scholars, psychoanalysts, cinephiles and filmmakers, this collection of essays explores potential affinities and disjunctions between Lynch and Freud. Stefan Marianski is Education Manager at the Freud Museum London, where he works with young people to engage them with psychoanalytic thought.

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Cox Cameron’s presentation will be prefaced with some introductory comments by the book’s editors, Jamie Ruers and Stefan Marianski.

Vanity Fair may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Placing the film alongside James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake as rare examples of artworks which succeed in reproducing dream logic and considering Freud’s 1900 dream theory in light the developments of Beyond the Pleasure Principle, this talk examines the film with reference to the question posed by Lacan in relation to Freud’s famous ‘Irma’ dream: given that the dream repeatedly comes up against something that provokes anxiety, what allows the dreamer to continue dreaming? I shall consider from a psychoanalytic perspective how Blue Velvet, dominated as it is by perverse relationships, presents us with ‘a strange world’ (a sentence repeatedly uttered by two of the film’s protagonists). No missing or damaged pages, no creases or tears, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins.

The paper will trace how humour plays an important role in the recollection of trauma and what it means to be stuck in a joke-fantasy while trying to claim one’s place in the world. Expertise in psychoanalytic theory is not necessary - the only prerequisite is the desire to enter and inhabit the imaginary world of film, which is itself a psychoanalytic act. In this special LiS event, Olga Cox Cameron will be presenting her contribution to a new collection of essays, Freud/Lynch: Behind the Curtain. Lynch has refused to explain what his art means and apparently walked out of his first and only session with a psychiatrist because he feared the process could disrupt his creativity. Only through Freud can we discern in Lynch's films an authentic effort of thought, not just a postmodern confusion.

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