R. Gray

German 390/Comp Lit 396/Engl 363/CHID 498/JSIS 488/Lit 298

Freud and the Literary Imagination


Short Writing Assignment 9


Write on one of the following topics in 150-200 words!


A. Martin diagnoses Franza as suffering from what he calls "the sickness of the past" (34). In what ways does this represent an accurate description of hysteria?  Think of Freud's examination of Dora and of his analytical method for uncovering the past. Does Bachmann add a new dimension to this relationship of "pastness" and hysteria by placing Franza's story in a specific historical context?


B. How is the relationship between Franza and her brother characterized?  Can Martin be aligned with the men who do violence to Franza? In what ways does Martin act as Franza's physician? In general, do you see him as a positive or a negative figure? Why?


C. How are archaeological metaphors (of expeditions, ruins, artifacts, ancient signs, and digging) employed in The Book of Franza?  How do they relate to the book's commentary on psychoanalysis?