ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Psychoanalysis and the ‘Man of Culture’ in India

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The profusion of literature festivals in India has spawned another phenomenon—the production of the “man of culture.” The production of such a neoliberal subjectivity occurs in conjunction with its rejection by psychoanalysts. There have been instances of patients from disadvantaged backgrounds, who, while in therapy with acclaimed psychotherapists, suddenly face rejection. The therapist simply stops responding to their requests. More “humanitarian” therapists respond with negative comments and unwillingness to accept any more requests. The work of psychotherapy equally belongs to the patient as it does to the therapist. But, not unlike fancy canines left to fend for themselves in the bylanes, erstwhile “analysands” find themselves on various cultural fora, trying to seek emotional succour.

The “man of culture” inevitably has been a gendered creation. The Jaipur and the Kerala Literature Festivals provide archetypical templates for such men of culture. However, unlike individuals who have succeeded in their literary and cultural entrepreneurship, the neo-liberal man of culture is left to languish in the outback of academia or the knowledge/cultural ecosystem. Misogynist cribbing over salon culture and toxic masculine channels of tarnishing reputations are then activated to subdue one’s perceived foes. In this era of cultural shadow-boxing in India, not even a George Sand or an Ottoline Morrell could have survived.

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Updated On : 31st Jan, 2023
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