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Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac: boredom and knowledge as defence : the discourse of the university and the discourse of the hysteric

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This chapter takes on a concrete cultural product, Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, and shows how psychoanalytical concepts are already at work in culture itself. The clinical categories in psychoanalysis do not represent a differentiation between pathology and normality but rather describe formal ways of forming social bonds, i.e., they serve to analyse how speech is structured – inside as well as outside the clinic. The focus of the analysis is how the principal characters of Nymphomaniac speak, how they address the Other, and how this relates to the status of knowledge. The contention of the chapter is that when knowledge is in the position of agent, (as it is the case in the discourse of the university), speech protects against the desire of the Other and produces hysteria, i.e., lack of knowledge. This description exactly fits the principal character Seligman.
TitelAnalysing the cultural unconscious : science of the signifier
RedaktørerLillian M. Rösing, Henrik J. Bjerre, Brian B. Hansen, Kirsten Hyldgaard, Jakob Rosendal
ForlagBloomsbury Academic
Udgivelsesår23 jan. 2020
ISBN (trykt)9781350088368
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781350088375, 9781350088382
StatusUdgivet - 23 jan. 2020


  • Lars von Trier, boredom, anxiety, Lacan, Lacanian psychoanalysis, Lacan's four discourses, The discourse of the university, The master discourse, the discourse of the hysteric, Heidegger

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