Freud, discourse analysis, and otherness
: The historical hermeneutics of creativity and aesthetics in the subject formations of writing and psychoanalysis.

  • John Kuntz

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This dissertation is a theoretical study with a hermeneutical praxis. The portfolio consists of four interrelated sections that combine research and theory with discourse and creativity: (a) "Part One: Overview: Freud, Discourse Analysis, and Otherness: The Historical Hermeneutics of Creativity and Aesthetics in the Modern Subject Formations of Writing and Psychoanalysis"; (b) "Part Two: Bridging Thesis: The Metaphor of Meaning: The Uncanny Nature of Discourse in Modern Narratives"; (c) "Part Three: Thesis: Psychoanalytic Theory and Creativity: Freud, Otherness, and the Historical Hermeneutics of Modern Subject-Formation"; and (d) "Part Four: Novel: Route 40 Pure Oil Truck Stop". The dissertation's critical analyses utilize an interdisciplinary, contextual, historical, and yet, as we will see in "Part Two: Bridging Thesis", practical approach. And, although the portfolio covers Freud's narrative works in writing and psychoanalysis, his use of discourse analysis in the theoretical formulations of psychoanalysis, and the creative otherness the Freudian oeuvre that exists in the metaphorical language and symbolism of his writing, the success of the research project lies within the application and interaction of scholarly research on the one hand and the creative discourse that is developed on the other.

    Still, due to its overarching and holistic methodology, the dissertation connects research and scholarship with creativity and writing theory, which juxtaposes my creativity as a novelist with my academic abilities as a researcher. The following five-part format outlines the subsequent sections of the dissertation's research design in the "Overview": (a) "Introduction: Freud and the Creative Moment"; (b) "The History and Scope of the Research: Neurology, Writing and Psychoanalysis, and Cultural Criticism"; (c) "The Importance of the Research: Narrative Theory to a Hypertext to a Metapsychology"; (d) "The Originality of the Research Project: Aesthetics, Creativity, and Otherness in the Subject-Formations of Writing and Psychoanalysis"; and (e) "Research Methodology: The Qualitative Approach to Grounded Theory in Psychoanalysis".

    As a theoretical study of Freudian psychoanalysis, the hermeneutical praxis for this dissertation was first developed from the readings, research and writing of "Part Three: Thesis: Psychoanalytic Theory and Creativity: Freud, Otherness, and
    the Historical Hermeneutics of Modern Subject-Formation". Overall, its exploration and analyses of Freud, psychoanalysis, and the use of aesthetics in his theoretical formations cover a wide spectrum of creative desire, otherness, and the hermeneutics of writing and psychoanalysis, hi the dissertation's development, the
    research begins with a five-part thesis (Part Three) that covers writing and psychoanalysis's early historical development from neurology and physiology to aesthetics and the art form, creativity and the artist, and subsequently the discourse analysis of Freud's subject formations over his 40-year career as a psychoanalytic theorist. From a historical and discursive approach to qualitative research, I formulated the overarching and holistic scope of my thesis into a hypothesis that would analyse the following: (a) Freud's early neurological writings that form the theoretical foundation for his hermeneutics for creativity and aesthetics; (b) his specific writings on creativity and the artist; (c) the implicit writings about creativity, as it relates to religion and the new creation account of psychoanalysis; (d) an account of the place of writing within his discussion of religion, culture and civilization, which forms a critical juncture between early Freudian writings and later Freudian attempts to use psychoanalysis as cultural commentary; and finally, (e) a conclusion, which brings the thesis together, that will suggest that writing poses a particular problem for Freud because of his unresolved frustrations about creativity and critical discourse Freud's own "return of the repressed".

    These interrelated topics form sub-sets of the major dissertation thesis by informing and guiding my examination and analysis while chronicling the historical significance of Freud's autobiographical, creative oeuvre, and an academic life that accounted for his development as a researcher, life writer of psychoanalysis, and modern theorist of the mind. As a final analysis of his discourse, the thesis will analyse Freud's problems with his approach to aesthetics, creativity and the artist, especially concerning his problems with writer's block.

    Thus using a chronological and evolutionary approach to historiography that traces fifty years of Freud's lifetime writings between 1889 and 1939, the intent of this multi-faceted study is to examine writing and psychoanalysis as it developed from neurology and physiology into narrative and literary subject-formations of aesthetics, discourse analysis, and cultural criticism.

    Date of AwardJul 2008
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAndrew Smith (Supervisor)


    • Psychoanalysis

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