Parting ways with the Freudian and Lacanian readings that have dominated recent scholarly understanding of Hitchcock, David Humbert examines the roots of violence in the director’s narratives and finds them not in human sexuality but in mimesis. Through an analysis of seven key films, he argues that Girard’s model of mimetic desire—desire oriented by imitation of and competition with others—best explains a variety of well-recognized themes, including the MacGuffin, the double, the innocent victim, the wrong man, the transfer of guilt, and the scapegoat. This study will appeal not only to Hitchcock fans and film scholars but also to those interested in Freud and Girard and their competing theories of desire.
"A stunning, brilliant, absolutely compelling reading of Woolf through the lens of Kleinian and Freudian psychoanalytic debates about the primacy of maternality and paternality in the construction of consciousness, gender, politics, and the past, and of psychoanalysis through the lens of Woolf's novels and essays. In addition to transforming our understanding of Woolf, this book radically expands our understanding of the historicity and contingent construction of psychoanalytic theory and our vision of the potential of psychoanalytic feminism."—Nancy J. Chodorow, University of California at Berkeley
"Virginia Woolf and the Fictions of Psychoanalysis brings Woolf's extraordinary craftsmanship back into view; the book combines powerful claims about sexual politics and intellectual history with the sort of meticulous, imaginative close reading that leaves us, simply, seeing much more in Woolf's words than we did before. It is the most exciting book on Woolf to come along in some time."—Lisa Ruddick, Modern Philology