Show Less
Restricted access

Text into Flesh

A Lacanian Reading of Selected Short Stories by I.B. Singer

Series:

Meira Cook

Text into Flesh is concerned with implementing a post-structural, psycho-analytic examination of those short stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer which address the discourse between language and the body. The connection between writing and the flesh insists, in the tales of Singer as in the Ecrits of Lacan, both of whom chronicle within their separate oeuvres the structure of complusion by which language may be imprinted on the body. Furthermore, Singer's stories with their magical resonances and fantastical configurations, would seem to yield to a psychoanalytic study, where myth, dream and fantasy are utilised as the instruments of psychic recovery.
While studies of Singer's fiction have spanned historic, racial, generic and symbolic considerations, there is a lacunae in the body of theory which has neglected to explore the language of these tales and the cultural preoccupations inherent in the acts of speech, writing and exegesis in a particular community. This present study examines Singer's tales as cultural and linguistic artefacts by means of which a people's consciousness may be excavated. The task is in many ways facilitated by the specificity of Singer's enquiry. Whether his fictions describe the shtetl communities of Eastern Europe or the ghetto neighbourhoods of North America, the emphasis is on isolation, of a culture under siege and of the nature of their communications with the outside world.