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The work of Sigmund Freud has penetrated almost every area of literary theory and cultural studies, as well as contemporary culture. Pamela Thurschwell explains and contextualises psychoanalytic theory and its meaning for modern thinking. This updated second edition explores developments and responses to Freud's work, including: * tracing contexts and developments of Freud's work over the course of his career * exploring paradoxes and contradictions in his writing * focusing on psychoanalysis as an interpretative strategy, paying special attention to its impact on literary and cultural theory * examining the recent backlash against Freud and arguing for the continued relevance of psychoanalysis. Encouraging and preparing readers to approach Freud's original texts, this guide ensures that readers of all levels will find Freud accessible, challenging and of continued relevance.