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Picture of Myth as Symbol

Myth as Symbol

A Psychoanalytic Study in Contemporary German Literature

Author(s): Sonia Saporiti
Subject: German Studies

Book Description

The mythological patrimony is an excellent example of the unconscious creative ability that brings reason both to the existence of myth as well as to its symbolic function. Reconsidering the connection between literature and psychoanalysis, this study starts from the Jungian archetypal theory up to the Freudian unconscious and its ability to produce symbols, and provides the tools for a reading of the phenomenon of the literary reworking, in the modern age, of meaningful themes and mythological figures. Therefore, revising and rewriting the myth means thinking again about one’s cultural memory, attempting to re-propose in a new dimension the ever present questions that have not found an answer and which the figures of the myth symbolise across the time. The attention focuses on figures like the elementary spirits of Romantic imagery, in particular on that of the Wasserfrau, up to the analysis of a twentieth-century reinterpretation of the myth of Undine. Moreover the Medea myth is reconsidered starting from the contradiction implicit in this figure – and in that of every Mother Goddess – in order to then explore the most problematic and conflicting aspect of this image of womanhood, the infanticide, which over time becomes the symbol of the denial of the maternal principle.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4531-1
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4531-0
Date of Publication: 01/04/2013
Pages / Size: 195 / A5
Price: £39.99


Sonia Saporiti (b. 1975) is Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of Molise. She spends her time between Rome and Berlin, where she studied Psychoanalysis. Among her publications are Erinnerungsarbeit und autofiktionales Schreiben im Werk Herta Müllers; Die Geographie des Imaginären. Die Reportagen von Christoph Ransmayr zwischen journalistischer Prosa und literarischer Erfindung; and Il confine tra illusione e realtà. Il “Silenzio delle sirene” di Franz Kafka. She is member of the American German Studies Association.