The Poetics of the Freudian Corpus: Jacques Lacan’s Reading of the Sanskrit Dhvani Theory

By Ananta Charan Sukla.

Published by The International Journal of the Humanities: Annual Review

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 01, 2014 $US5.00

In his Rome speech entitled “The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis” delivered at the University of Rome in September 1953, Jacques Lacan refers to the dhvani theory of Sanskrit poetics that, he thinks, explains the psychoanalytic technique of linguistic interpretation. More than this, Lacan considers the dhvani theory of Sanskrit poetics as the poetics of the Freudian corpus, i.e., if Freud would construe any poetics, then it would be something like the dhvani theory of Sanskrit poetics. The present essay examines this important observation of Lacan carefully, and argues that the Sanskrit dhvani theory is incompatible with his proposed “poetics of the Freudian corpus”.

Keywords: Psychoanalysis, Jacques Lacan, Structuralism, Sanskrit Poetics, Dhvani Theory

The International Journal of the Humanities: Annual Review, Volume 11, pp.97-111. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 01, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 368.651KB)).

Ananta Charan Sukla

Sambalpur University, India

Ananta Sukla has been professor and head of the Department of English at Sambalpur University, visiting professor at the Institute of Aesthetics, University of Uppsala. He has specialized in comparative literature and aesthetics, philosophy of art, religion and language. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (inception 1978), founder member of the editorial board of the International Yearbook of Aesthetics, Contemporary Aesthetics. Sukla has spearheaded a series on the fundamental aspects of contemporary aesthetics and philosophy of art such as Representation, Experience, Essence and Expression. Apart from numerous journal articles, he has written three monographs for the Indian National Academy of Letters. Sukla is also a member of the LORO Group of Comparative Aesthetics, University of Sienna to which he has contributed a monograph on Contemporary Indian Aesthetics (1996).