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The Mother in the Age of Mechanical ReproductionPsychoanalysis, Photography, Deconstruction$
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Elissa Marder

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823240555

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823240555.001.0001

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Introduction: Pandora's Legacy

Introduction: Pandora's Legacy

(p.1) Introduction: Pandora's Legacy
The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Elissa Marder

Fordham University Press

The first section of this chapter presents the main claims of the book regarding the uncanny, technological status of the maternal function, and describes the book's three parts: The chapters in Part I examine how the maternal function troubles Freud's meta-psychological accounts of the psyche; the chapters in Part II interrogate how the maternal function serves as an unacknowledged reference point for modern technologies of reproduction such as photography and the telephone; and the chapters in Part III explore how the maternal function becomes a productive literary figure. The second section of “Pandora's Legacy” is devoted to a reading of Hesiod's treatment of Pandora and, making use of scholarship by classicists Jean-Pierre Vernant, Nicole Loraux, and Froma Zeitlin, argues that Pandora, the first woman, who was made and not born, paradoxically establishes a “matrix” for the technological dimension underlying the concept of human birth, even though she is neither born from a mother nor can even be considered strictly human herself.

Keywords:   Pandora, Elpis, Hesiod, prosthesis, birth, work, replicant, bios, human, anxiety

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