On Applied Psychoanalysis and Applied Literature

“Applied literature” appears to be replacing Freud’s “applied psychoanalysis” in which literary works are interpreted by means of psychoanalytic theories. The starting point here is that insights from depth-psychology operate within literature itself which raises certain questions and which in themselves could influence the further development of psychoanalysis. In the “postmodern” novel, in which preoccupations with family and relations reminds one of certain Freudian case studies, the nearly forgotten concept of “hysteria” makes a comeback. Siri Hustvedt’s novel What I loved serves as an illustration of this. This novel is analysed as a story in which hysteria is displayed in several different ways and forms the nucleus of a scene in which the author shows us a glimpse of her desire.