Inheriting the future : legacies of Kant, Freud, and Flaubert


Inheriting the future : legacies of Kant, Freud, and Flaubert

Elizabeth Rottenberg

(Meridian : crossing aesthetics / Werner Hamacher & David E. Wellbery, editors)

Stanford University Press, 2005

  • : pbk
  • : hdk

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Includes bibliographical references (p. 165-170) and index



This book explores several canonical works of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literature. The surprising juxtaposition of Kant's moral philosophy, Freud's reflections on obsessional neurosis, and Flaubert's peculiar late novel Bouvard et Pecuchet forms the basis of a compelling argument linking each of these central works around the problem of moral thought as it fundamentally determines the modern subject in relation to time. The book engages an area of emerging importance in contemporary critical thought, the problem of ethics or "otherness" as a crucial factor at play in speculative and literary works. The readings in this book provide insight into the ways in which three fundamental philosophical, psychoanalytic, and literary texts can be reread in light of their confrontation with a seemingly inhuman force at the heart of the foundation of the human subject.


Contents Note on Sources and Key to Abbreviations and Translations xiii Prefatory Note xix Introduction: Of Human Bondage 1 * 1 The Legacy of the Future: Kant and the Ethical Question 21 * 2 Freud: When Morality Makes Us Sick: Disavowal, Ego Splitting, and the Tragedy of Obsessional Neurosis 51 * 3 Flaubert: Testament to Disaster 88 Postscript: Last Words 124 Notes 135 Works Cited 165 Index 171

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