"In this magisterial work - impressive for both its scholarship and its theoretical sophistication - Paola Mieli studies the human subject's relation to space. Her book could be thought of as a brilliant elaboration of Freud's enigmatic hypothesis, given late in his life, that 'psyche is extended.' The psyche, Mieli argues, is the effect of its own deployment in space, and the subjective landscape it creates is, given its origin, intrinsically libidinized. Not only that: in its extension the psyche pushes forward, both in space and in time, thus supporting Mieli's contention that psychoanalysis can be crucial in helping the subject to cross the threshold toward new spaces, new possibilities of being. This is an important book that will appeal to a wide audience of readers interested in new approaches to cultural studies."
“This is an extraordinarily far-reaching inquiry into the many spaces of the psyche: the constructed areas in which it finds itself and others as well as the topographies of Freud and Lacan, in which it never ceases to orient itself. From humor, defined as the ‘making of space where there is none,’ to the troubling of frame and border in angst and the uncanny, from sexual difference to the separation from the Other, from Poe and Melville to Pontormo and Otto Wagner, this complex and subtle book investigates examples that are as diverse among themselves as they are fascinating. Figures of Space is an original and illuminating examination of the points at which mind and body run up against limits where ‘trespassing’ becomes unavoidable and ‘the subject,’ as Paola Mieli writes, ‘is edge.’”
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