Melancholia, the Death Drive and Into the Wild

  • Derek Hook
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial book series (STIP)


Freud’s notion of melancholia has been stretched and distorted virtually beyond recognition by varying instances of social and postcolonial theory. It has likewise been challenged even from within psychoanalysis. This chapter aims to defend facets of Freud’s original conceptualization via the consideration of fragments of a case history. Crucial here is a sense of the psychotic nature of melancholia; the relation to notions of limbo and death (the experience of a twilight world); the role of redirected aggression; and the role of the death drive and the hated lost object. The chapter tackles these issues via a psychosocial sensibility, offering a series of societal instantiations of the foregoing facets of melancholia.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Hook
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDuquesne UniversityPittsburghUSA

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