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Death-drive : Freudian Hauntings in Literature and Art, Hardback Book

Death-drive : Freudian Hauntings in Literature and Art Hardback

Part of the The Frontiers of Theory series


Robert Rowland Smith takes Freud's work on the death-drive and compares it with other philosophies of death - Pascal, Heidegger and Derrida in particular.

He also applies it in a new way to literature and art - to Shakespeare, Rothko and Katharina Fritsch, among others.

He asks whether artworks are dead or alive, if artistic creativity isn't actually a form of destruction, and whether our ability to be seduced by fine words means we don't put our selves at risk of death.

In doing so, he proposes a new theory of aesthetics in which artworks and literary texts have a death-drive of their own, not least by their defining ability to turn away from all that is real, and where the effects of the death-drive mean that we are constantly living in imaginary, rhetorical or 'artistic' worlds.

The book also provides a valuable introduction to the rich tradition of work on the death-drive since Freud.

Key Features * Includes a general introduction to the death-drive * Presents an original theory of aesthetics * Analyses both theoretical and clinical psychoanalysis * Offers in-depth treatment of Freud * Provides an overview of philosophies of death


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256 pages, 3 black & white illustrations
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Theory of art
  • ISBN: 9780748640393



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