My study proposes to expand the scope of intertextual study on James’s The Portrait of a Lady and film adaptation in the Kleinian approach. Whereas James’s Portrait is to see Isabel through Ralph’s consciousness to stage the liberation that comes from a man’s desire, Campion’s Portrait reveals the dangers of female desire, the seduction that leads to entrapment in a loveless marriage. In this sense, Campion’s Isabel returns to a pre-Oedipal stage by following her own fetishistic desire of being with her mother’s portrait. Even with some individual variations, their makings of Isabel strike the readers/viewers with a powerful authorial originality that underlines the complexity of female psyche. Kleinian phantasy explains well Isabel’s journey of psychological investigation into the world of motherhood and female bonds. The discovery of Isabel’s journey into the pre-Oedipal phase where she could unite with the mother benefits our understanding of Campion’s featuring of Isabel’s many sequences of phantasy. At the same time, it is also understandable to note James’s Isabel is sacrificed as a bourgeois victim in the Victorian society. Klein’s phantasies, thus, offer the best thematic solution to observe different makings of Isabel through a variety of media. In addition, the discussion of mother-city metaphor constitutes the better understanding of Isabel on the process of modernization and commercialization. As a female flaneur, Isabel walks through the cities of London, Rome, Florence, and Turkey to meditate her unique threshold experience torn between the life/death drive. General speaking, at the very center of intertextual studies of James’s novel and Campion’s film, it has remained a space for broader theoretical range on phantasy of motherhood that is something worthwhile to be explored even though it is a rigor study that requires interdisciplinary training between psychology and intertextuality.
|Keywords:||Death Drive, Klein, Freud, Phantasy, Depressive Position, Paranoid-schizoid Position, Primal Scene, Pre-Oedipal, Motherhood|
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Huafan University, Taipei, Taiwan
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