A Terrible Beauty is Born
Psychoanalysis from the time of Freud has borrowed generously from mythology. This paper looks at how mythology has been thought of psychoanalytically. It looks specifically at the cult of a particular mother goddess, Durga in Bengal. This figure— especially in popular or folk evocations—refuses any univocal meaning. In fact, this powerful image seems to provide a psychic space where it is represented variously as murderous, tender, playful, enigmatic, and forbearing. The mythic mother goddess is not so much a repository of fixed meaning/s, but rather an elastic psychic space that is a bearer of shifting projections. The paper plots different psychic positions that become points of locution.
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