‘Is Oedipus Online? Siting Freud after Freud’ by Jerry Aline Flieger

Published by MIT Press in 2005.

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“Can Freud be ‘updated’ in the twenty-first century, or is he a venerated but outmoded genius?” asks Jerry Aline Flieger. In Is Oedipus Online? Flieger stages an encounter between psychoanalysis and the new century, testing the viability of Freud’s theories in light of the emergent realities of our time. Responding to prominent critics of psychoanalysis and approaching our current preoccupations from a Freudian angle, she presents a reading of Freudian theory that coincides with and even clarifies new concepts in science and culture. Fractals, emergence, topological modeling, and other nonlinearities, for example, can be understood in light of both Freud’s idea of the symptom as a nodal point and Lacan’s concept of networks (rather than sequential cause and effect) that link psychic realities. At the same time, Flieger suggests how emerging paradigms in science and culture may elucidate Freud’s cultural theory. Like Slavoj Žižek, Flieger shifts effortlessly from field to field, discussing psychoanalysis, millennial culture, nonlinear science, and the landscape of cyberspace.

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