Historical Trauma and the American Dream: The Plague of Identity Quest and Its Ethical Landscape in Faulkner and Morrison
|Keywords:||疏離;美國夢;雙重意識;倫理視野;意識形態幻想框架;戀物;身份;個人主義者;愛;自戀情結;文化賤民;病態;真實層;主體;創傷;alienation;the American dream;double consciousness;ethical vision;fantasy;fetish;identity;individualist;love;narcissism;cultural pariah;pathology;the real;the subject;trauma||Issue Date:||2006||Abstract:||
本論文主要探討自我/文化身份的形成與主流意識形態和歷史創傷的糾結。論文中藉由學者齊傑克(Slavoj Žižek)對拉崗精神分析理論架構的運用所開展出的意識形態批判，並將創傷的概念納入齊傑克對於意識形態幻想框架(fantasy)、欲望(desire)與快感模式(jouissance)的討論，主要借助這個論述架構來討論福克納與摩里森作品中的黑白主體的身份問題。本研究的目標企圖揭示主體的身份曖昧的擺盪在奪取主體快感與自我否定的創傷情結之間，而這樣的曖昧身份其實不僅暴露了文化身份之下的權力結構、意識形態與種族衝突歷史，另外也暴露了權力結構與意識形態幻想框架所遮蔽的無法去除的(the indivisible)、存在於種族與社會之間與主體自身的對立與衝突(racial/social antagonisms and the irreconcilable alterity within the subject)。精神分析的理論指出奪取快感與創傷情結亦是無法從主體身上去除而促成病態身份(pathological identity)的肇因。透過這個角度來看福克納與摩里森作品中對病態身份的呈現，我們可以看到存在於(南方模式)美國夢與歷史創傷之中無法去除的身份真相(the real of identity)—主體對自我與種族/社會它者的病態建構(如優越與卑賤、文明與野蠻等) (the paranoid constructions of self and the racial/social Other)。而重建主體身份的倫理視野就必須建立在對於身份真相的認知上。
Historical Trauma and the American Dream:
The Plague of Identity Quest and Its Ethical Landscape
in Faulkner and Morrison
This dissertation focuses on identity quest as it is constructed through the stories of those dream-driven, trauma-ridden characters in novels by William Faulkner and Toni Morrison. Both writers have expressed penetrating and sympathetic insights into the problem of white and black identities, and their perceptive dramatizations of pathological identities enable us to see not only the political economy of the dominant culture but the libidinal economy of both the privileged community and that of the underprivileged community. The dissertation argues that the major novels by Faulkner and Morrison demonstrate how the subject’s identity is pathologically bound up with the (ideological) fantasy of the social and the legacy of historical trauma and that the ethical landscapes of both writers can be delineated through these works. The dissertation begins by examining Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and Morrison’s The Bluest Eye in light of the psychoanalytic categories of fantasy, desire, jouissance (enjoyment), and trauma, and then, via a common theoretical framework, it focuses on the pathology of the black middle class by exploring Morrison’s Tar Baby and the problem of cultural narcissism and the pathology of the romantic Southerner by dwelling on Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. In Morrison’s work we find that the black subject struggles with the trauma of being black and yet is drawn to the ideological fantasy of the white civilization. Faulkner’s fictional world of Yoknapatawpha County reveals how white Southerners, being drawn to the romantic consciousness of the Old South, narcissistically and aggressively indulge themselves in the fantasy of a paternalist aristocracy, disavowing the trauma of slavery, racism, and the Civil War. The second part of the dissertation will center upon the ethical visions of the two authors. Drawing on Alenka Zupančič’s ethics of the Real, I attempt to provide a more sophisticated ethical model to examine Faulkner’s notion of being an individualist and the (problematic) ethical act of repudiation as configured in Go Down, Moses. Through her writing of self-destructive, loveless communities in Song of Soloman and Beloved, Morrison gives us a mapping of ethical love by exploring the pathological dimensions of love. The trauma-ridden love and identity, in light of Julia Kristeva’s ethics of love, lead us to see the way the persistence of the irreconcilable alterity, within the subject or in social relations, is intertwined with the formation of love and identity. From both writers, we get to see what I would like to call “the real of identity.” This is not only about the historical and ongoing social and racial antagonisms; “the real of identity” is also about the paranoid constructions of self and otherness and the phobic structure underlying what we think and feel we are.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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