It stands as a brilliant summary of the views on culture from a psychoanalytic perspective that he had been developing since the turn of the century. It is both witness and tribute to the late theory of mind—the so-called structural theory, with its stress on aggression, indeed the death drive, as the pitiless adversary of eros. Civilization and Its Discontents is one of the last of Freud's books, written in the decade before his death and first published in German in 1929. In it he states his views on the broad question of man's place in the world, a place Freud defines in terms of ceaseless conflict between the individual's quest for freedom and society's demand for conformity. Freud's theme is that what works for civilization doesn't necessarily work for man. Man, by nature aggressive and egotistical, seeks self-satisfaction. But culture inhibits his instinctual drives. The result is a pervasive and familiar guilt. Of the various English translations of Freud's major works to appear in his lifetime, only one was authorized by Freud himself: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud under the general editorship of James Strachey. Freud approved the overall editorial plan, specific renderings of key words and phrases, and the addition of valuable notes, from bibliographical and explanatory. Many of the translations were done by Strachey himself; the rest were prepared under his supervision. The result was to place the Standard Edition in a position of unquestioned supremacy over all other existing versions.
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Provides fifty-one texts spanning Freud's career, including his writings on psychoanalysis, mind, dreams, sexuality, literature, religion, art, politics, and culture
Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli to Anthony Robbins. Whether it’s assessing the class-consciousness of Christianity or the convulsions of consumer capitalism, dueling or home-furnishing, Status Anxiety is infallibly entertaining. And when it examines the virtues of informed misanthropy, art appreciation, or walking a lobster on a leash, it is not only wise but helpful.
In late 19th century England, Oscar Wilde popularized aestheticism, also known as art-for-art’s-sake – the idea that art, that beauty, should not be a vehicle for morality or truth, but an end in-and-of-itself. Rothko and Jackson Pollock enthroned the idea, creating paintings that are barely graded panels of color or wild splashes. Today, pop culture is aestheticism’s true heir, from the perfect charismatic emptiness of Ocean’s Eleven to the hyper-choreographed essentially balletic movements in the best martial arts movies. But aestheticism has a dark core, one that Social Justice Activists are now gathering to combat, revealing the damaging ideology reflected in or concealed by our most beloved pop culture icons. Taking Bryan Fuller’s television version of Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter as its main text – and taking Žižek-style illustrative detours into Malcolm in the Middle, Dark Knight Rises, Harry Potter, Interview with a Vampire, Dexter and more – this book marshals Walter Pater, Camille Paglia, Nietzsche, the Marquis de Sade, Kant and Plato, as well as Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, Blake, Baudelaire, Beckett, Wallace Stevens and David Mamet to argue that Fuller’s show is a deceptively brilliant advance of aestheticism, both in form and content – one that investigates how deeply art-for-art’s-sake, and those of us who consciously or unconsciously worship at its teat, are necessarily entwined with evil.
While recent books have explored Arab and Turkish nationalism, the nuances of Iran have received scant book-length study—until now. Capturing the significant changes in approach that have shaped this specialization, Rethinking Iranian Nationalism and Modernity shares innovative research and charts new areas of analysis from an array of scholars in the field. Delving into a wide range of theoretical and conceptual perspectives, the essays—all previously unpublished—encompass social history, literary theory, postcolonial studies, and comparative analysis to address such topics as: Ethnicity in the Islamic Republic of Iran Political Islam and religious nationalism The evolution of U.S.-Iranian relations before and after the Cold War Comparing Islamic and secular nationalism(s) in Egypt and Iran The German counterrevolution and its influence on Iranian political alliances The effects of Israel's image as a Euro-American space Sufism Geocultural concepts in Azar's Atashkadeh Interdisciplinary in essence, the essays also draw from sociology, gender studies, and art and architecture. Posing compelling questions while challenging the conventional historiographical traditions, the authors (many of whom represent a new generation of Iranian studies scholars) give voice to a research approach that embraces the modern era's complexity while emphasizing Iranian nationalism's contested, multifaceted, and continuously transformative possibilities.