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Amir, D. (2019). A Collage of Dead Mothers: On Stephen Daldry's The Hours. Psychoanal. Rev., 106(1):85-95.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Review, 106(1):85-95

A Collage of Dead Mothers: On Stephen Daldry's The Hours

Dana Amir, Ph.D.

The Hours, a film directed by Stephen Daldry in 2002, creates a collage of three women: Virginia Woolf, whom we meet in the year 1923, in the middle of writing what is to become the novel Mrs. Dalloway; Laura Brown, whom we encounter in 1951, in the midst of her reading the novel Mrs. Dalloway; and Clarissa Vaughan, who lives in New York in 2001 and who is affectionately called “Mrs. Dalloway” throughout the film. This paper's analysis focuses on this literary collage, including a writer (Virginia Woolf), a reader (Laura Brown), and a protagonist (Clarissa Vaughan), using André Green's idea of The Dead Mother Complex as well as Kristeva's and Pontalis's ideas concerning the melancholy of language in order to explain the specific attack on language and love that characterizes the film's main characters and that may explain their terminal choices.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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