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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

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

Elissa Marder

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823240555.003.0001

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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