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The Psychopolitics of Portrait in Pride and Prejudice / Tatjana Jukić.

By: Jukić, Tatjana.
Material type: ArticleArticlePublisher: 2017Description: str.Other title: The Psychopolitics of Portrait in Pride and Prejudice [Naslov na engleskom:].Subject(s): 6.03 | Jane Austen, modernity, the novel, subjectivity, ekphrasis | Jane Austen, modernity, the novel, subjectivity, ekphrasis In: 4th International Conference of the Croatian Association for the Study of English, WORDS AND IMAGES. Skup: Split, 24 – 25 November 2017Summary: There is an ekphrastic moment in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813) that in many ways decides the intellectual constitution of the novel: it is only when Elizabeth Bennet sees the portrait of Mr. Darcy that she can no longer exercise the control of the narrative conditions, as the novel's focalizing consciousness, and realizes that her idea of regulation coincides with the constraints of her subjectivity. This in turn is how subjectivity is defined in Austen: as a withdrawal of the focalizing consciousness from the prerogative of narrative control, which is also how narrative emancipation is accomplished, always at a remove from subjectivity and as a process parallel to subjectivation. If Austen thereby heralds psychoanalysis, it is by advertising the novel as a site of a peculiar psychopolitics from which modernity is invented ; this also suggests that the focalizing constitution of the nineteenth-century novel is where to look for the political genealogy of psychoanalysis. The ekphrastic episode in Pride and Prejudice contributes critically to this dynamic: it takes the portrait of Mr. Darcy in the Pemberley gallery to isolate the focalizing consciousness from its assumption to the story, and to confront it with its conditions as those of (pre)narrative loss.
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There is an ekphrastic moment in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813) that in many ways decides the intellectual constitution of the novel: it is only when Elizabeth Bennet sees the portrait of Mr. Darcy that she can no longer exercise the control of the narrative conditions, as the novel's focalizing consciousness, and realizes that her idea of regulation coincides with the constraints of her subjectivity. This in turn is how subjectivity is defined in Austen: as a withdrawal of the focalizing consciousness from the prerogative of narrative control, which is also how narrative emancipation is accomplished, always at a remove from subjectivity and as a process parallel to subjectivation. If Austen thereby heralds psychoanalysis, it is by advertising the novel as a site of a peculiar psychopolitics from which modernity is invented ; this also suggests that the focalizing constitution of the nineteenth-century novel is where to look for the political genealogy of psychoanalysis. The ekphrastic episode in Pride and Prejudice contributes critically to this dynamic: it takes the portrait of Mr. Darcy in the Pemberley gallery to isolate the focalizing consciousness from its assumption to the story, and to confront it with its conditions as those of (pre)narrative loss.

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