Configuration of Self-Mythology Through Trauma Studies in Paul Auster’s Invention of Solitude

Document Type: Original Article

Author

Research Scholar in Department of English & Cultural Studies, Panjab University, India /Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran

Abstract

Auster’s first novel The Invention of Solitude was significant, in that it not only catalogued his own experiences, but also provided one of the earliest examples of the psychological processes involved in trauma and memory storage. It demonstrates the self’s psychological use of the Ego, in a classical sense, to negotiate between emotional response and reality, in order to create meaning around a set of events. More specifically, the death of Auster’s father operates as a catalyst for the author’s journey of self-discovery, which is richly tied to the psychoanalytical principles of Freud and Lacan, and which ultimately allows him to fully appreciate his experience of loss, by supporting the wish fulfillment related to his relationship with his father, and his need to understand the rejection he perceives suffering as a child. This highlights the difference between the inner child’s ego-centric or narcissistic perception, and the adult’s ability to rationalize, especially as it relates to memory and unfulfilled need.
Keywords: Paul Auster, psychoanalysis, trauma, memory, self-myth

Keywords


Auster, P. The Invention of Solitude. London: Penguin Books, 1988.

Campbell, J. The power of myth. New York: Doubleday, 1988.

Caruth, C. Trauma: Explorations in memory. Baltimore: JHU Press, 1995.

Diamond, S. “Essential Secrets of Psychotherapy: The Inner Child.” Psychology Today. 2008 Web.

Dow, W. “Paul Auster's the Invention of Solitude: Glimmers in a Reach to Authenticity.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 39, No. 3, 1998, pp. 272-281.

Edwards, D. Art Therapy. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2014.

Ehlers, A. Hackmann, A. and Michael, T. “Intrusive Re-experiencing in Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Phenomenology, Theory, and Therapy.” Memory, Vol. 12, No. 4, 2004, pp. 403-415.

Feinstein, D. and Krippner, S. “Personal Myths–In the Family Way.” Journal of Psychotherapy & the Family, Vol. 4, No. 3/4, 1989, pp. 111-140.

Freud, S. “Mourning and Melancholia.” in The Psychoanalytic Review, No. 11, 1917, pp. 252-268.

Freud, S. “The Relation of the Poet to Day-Dreaming.” in Character and Culture, Rieff, P. (Ed.), New York: Collier, 1963, pp. 34-43. 

Freud, S. The ego and the id. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1923.

Freud, S. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Vol. 840, London: Penguin UK, 2003.

Freud, S. The Uncanny. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Krippner, S. “The Interior Dialogue.” Transitions, No. 1, 2009, pp. 4-7.

Lacan, J. Ecrits: The Complete Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007.

Le Doux, J. E. “Emotion, Memory and the Brain.” Scientific American, Vol. 7, No .1, 1997, 68-75.

Parker, I. Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Subjectivity. London: Routledge, 2010.

Righi, H. “Trauma Ties in Paul Auster’s Invention of Solitude.” Sillages critiques, No. 19, 2015. Web.

Roger, C. “The Ego, the Self and the Subject in Paul Auster’s Fictions.” E-rea. Revue électronique d’études sur le monde anglophone Vol. 2, No. 2, 2004. Web.

Terr, L. Too scared to cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood. New York: Basic Books, 2008.

Van Der Kolk, B.A. “The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma.” Psychiatric Clinics of North America, Vol. 12, No. 2, 1989, pp. 389-411.

Waddington, T. “On the Value of Mythologizing Yourself.” Psychology Today.  2009. Web. 

Warmoth, Arthur. “A Note on the Peak Experience as a Personal Myth.” Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 5, No.1, 1965, pp. 18-21.

Whitehead, Anne “Trauma and Memory.” in The Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, Ryan, Michael, et al. (Eds) . Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.