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The Freudian RobotDigital Media and the Future of the Unconscious$
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Lydia H. Liu

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226486826

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226486840.001.0001

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Sense and Nonsense in the Psychic Machine

Sense and Nonsense in the Psychic Machine

(p.99) 3 Sense and Nonsense in the Psychic Machine
The Freudian Robot

Lydia H. Liu

University of Chicago Press

This chapter reconsiders literary modernism by focusing on some of the most radical theories of language and writing that have emerged at the threshold of sense and nonsense. One of these views is grounded primarily in a mathematical figuring of alphabetical writing and a speculative treatment of the unconscious mechanism of language, which is taken to function automatically like a psychic machine. The chapter reestablishes some of the forgotten linkages among the radical theories and experiments across the disciplines, especially those bordering on nonsense and schizophrenia. It reflects on the problem of sense and nonsense between the communication machine and the psychic machine, and offers an interpretation of Joyce's approach to alphabetical writing.

Keywords:   psychic machine, alphabetical writing, modernism, schizophrenia, nonsense, sense

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