Trauma Freud: Sigmund Freud as a fictional character in D. M. Thomas's The White Hotel


KOTÁSEK Miroslav

Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Bohemica litteraria
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Digitální knihovna FF MU
Field Mass media, audiovision
Keywords Sigmund Freud; Trauma; Hystery; Psychoanalysis; Anatoly Kuznetsov; The Modern
Description The paper views the novel The White Hotel (1981) written by D. M. Thomas as a specific model of a general situation of a human in Modernism. It points at specific instances where the text of the novel itself refers to certain limitations of such a view of trauma which interprets it as an effect of a real (primal) event onto the life of an individual (i.e. as a structural trauma), while the attempt to overcome the personal horizon, so as to apply a general psychoanalytic structure of human existence (structural trauma) onto an individual trauma implies unacceptable consequences. For the purpose of "criticizing" psychoanalysis the text of the novel employs different strategies, especially an imitation of the genre and structure of a Freudian "case study" (Krankengeschichte), making Sigmund Freud one of the main characters in the novel at the same time.