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Laughing with MedusaClassical Myth and Feminist Thought$
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Vanda Zajko and Miriam Leonard

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199237944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237944.001.0001

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The Cronus Complex Psychoanalytic Myths of the Future for Boys and Girls

The Cronus Complex Psychoanalytic Myths of the Future for Boys and Girls

Chapter:
(p.21) 1 The Cronus Complex Psychoanalytic Myths of the Future for Boys and Girls
Source:
Laughing with Medusa
Author(s):

Rachel Bowlby (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237944.003.0002

This chapter examines how the Freudian theory of sexual differentiation is grounded in a reading of classical culture and myth. It is based, on the one hand, on a gendering of the linguistic constructions of the Latin and Greek languages, and on the other, on an attempt to use the metaphor of archaeology to understand the development of the self with reference to Greek myth and history. The classical past thus becomes for psychoanalysis a means of historicising and legitimating its clinical findings. This chapter looks at the ambiguities in Freud's theory of castration and the story of the god Cronus who ate his own children.

Keywords:   psychoanalysis, classical myth, history, sexual differentiation, femininity, masculinity, culture, self, castration, Cronus

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