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Acklin, T. (1994). The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93: Subjectivity and Slavery in Poe's Autobiography of Ambitious Love. James Livingston. Pp. 175-196.. Psychoanal Q., 63:179.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93: Subjectivity and Slavery in Poe's Autobiography of Ambitious Love. James Livingston. Pp. 175-196.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 63:179

The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93: Subjectivity and Slavery in Poe's Autobiography of Ambitious Love. James Livingston. Pp. 175-196.

Thomas Acklin

Describing the work of Poe as an equation of remembrance and regression, Livingston interprets it particularly as an expression of the culture of a slave society. He analyzes Poe's notion of love as a battle of wills, a failure to recognize otherness, a longing for an identification with the beloved that becomes a lust. The perfection of union with the beloved is in fact self-destruction and death. In extinguishing the will of the other, desire thereby extinguishes the other, and thus desire for the other extinguishes itself in the abolition of its source. Love is a longing for death in Poe's work where love and hate, joy and sorrow, desire and death, become indistinguishable. As one member of the relation becomes a true subject, the other must become the object. Self-mastery requires submission of the other; separation and sublimation are not acknowledged as possible resolutions of oedipal conflict. Following the insight of Melanie Klein, the author suggests that the overpowering oral and anal sadistic urges appearing over and over again in Poe's works represent fears of impending entrapment and extinction within the devouring body of the mother.

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Article Citation

Acklin, T. (1994). The Psychohistory Review: Studies of Motivation in History and Culture. XXI, 1992/93. Psychoanal. Q., 63:179

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