Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) theorized an unconscious in which repressed sexual desire continually influences nearly every aspect of life. This combination of the unconscious and repressed sexual desire became a dominant perspective in Western cultural life, but also found its way in studies of modern Chinese literature. This book traces the history of Freudian sexual theory and deconstructs it in order to demonstrate the naturalized discursive environment underlying researchers' preoccupation with sexuality and concepts such as repression or sublimation. It shows how Freudian sexual and mental theory assumed a critical place within the cultural field (and within psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychotherapy) over the century. It also looks at the introduction of modern psychology and Freudian theory in China, along with the development of theories of the mind in revolutionary culture. The book also offers an interpretation each for the work of three Chinese writers and two filmmakers who all express a strong thematic interest in sexual desire and behavior: Mang Ke, Wang Xiaobo, Jiang Wen, Anchee Min, and He Jianjun.
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