Psychoanalytic literary criticism refers to literary criticism or literary theory which, in method, concept, or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis begun by Sigmund Freud.
Psychoanalytic reading has been practiced since the early development of psychoanalysis itself, and has developed into a heterogeneous interpretive tradition. As Patricia Waugh writes, 'Psychoanalytic literary criticism does not constitute a unified field....However, all variants endorse, at least to a certain degree, the idea that literature...is fundamentally entwined with the psyche'.
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... In A.S ... Byatt's novel Possession, the heroine/feminist scholar, while recognising that '"we live in the truth of what Freud discovered"', concedes that '"the whole of our scholarship - the whole of our thought - we question everything except the centrality of sexuality"' ...
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