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Curtis, A.E. (2007). The Claustrum: Sequestration of Cyberspace. Psychoanal. Rev., 94(1):99-139.

(2007). Psychoanalytic Review, 94(1):99-139

The Claustrum: Sequestration of Cyberspace

Anne E. Curtis, DPsych, AssMAPS, MTASA, MRCNA

Let's pretend that the glass has got all soft, like gauze, so that we can get through

Through the looking-glass and what Alice found there

—Lewis Carroll

The explosive growth of computer-mediated communication (CMC) such as the Internet and World Wide Web has generated three theoretical and empirical responses to modernity over the past decade: an antimodernist aesthetic, an ontological epistemology, and global geography (Curtis, 2000). This paper presents post-Kleinian theory as a powerful lens through which to view the constitution of subjectivity under the condition of postmodernity. Theorists such as Bion, Klein, Meltzer, and Tustin speak directly and forcefully to the aesthetic, epistemological, and geographical domains of postmodernity while augmenting them with Freud's metapsychology of the dynamic, economic, genetic, and structural domains of modernity (Sanders, 2001).

The aim of this paper is to create a potential space for thinking about primitive mental states and underlying unconscious phantasies that are illuminated by the imagined world of virtual reality known as cyberspace. Two questions guide the discussion: What does psychoanalysis have to offer the Internet and what does the Internet have to offer psychoanalysis. The purpose of the paper is twofold. The first purpose is to contribute to critical culture discourse by providing psychoanalytic theory-driven explanations for how we conduct ourselves on the Internet.

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