Impressions and Transformations: A Psychoanalytic Study of the Effects of Early Linguistic Disruptions, Emotional Trauma, and of Testimony through the Study of Oscar Hijuelos’ Thoughts without Cigarettes
This article takes a psychoanalytic approach to the analysis of Oscar Hijuelos’ Thoughts without Cigarettes. Hijuelos’ memoir is studied for the manner in which offers illustrations of the developmental significance of language and of the psycho-emotional and social effects that stem from its abrupt cessation. My work examines the significance of memory, as well as the transformative effects of writing: It is a look into the way in which this late writer’s narrative conceals the paradox that embraced the affective relation he held with his first and later objects of affection, as well as with his first and second tongue. This paper studies how life-long narratives are of much significance to academics and professionals interested in the area of language and psychoanalysis. Through the analysis of Oscar Hijuelos’ memoir I highlight the manner in which written testimonials often unveil writers’ known and unknown histories of object-relations, introjections, projections, transferences, repetitions and need for reparation. Equally important, this article considers the manner in which Hijuelos’ testimonials became the medium through which he articulated the perceptions of his experiences, and how such articulation created a space for him to eventually understand, transform and even attempt to heal from the dislocations and internal void that shaped and reshaped his hidden drives, life long needs and translingual subjectivity.
Akhtar, S. (2009). Comprehensive dictionary in psychoanalysis. London, UK: Karnac Books.
Bohórquez-Arcila, P. (2008). Living between languages: Linguistic exile and self- translation. (Doctoral Dissertation). York University, Toronto.
Britzman, D. (2006). A note on “Identification with the Aggressor”. In Novel Education: Psychoanalytic Studies of Learning and Not Learning (pp. 41-59). New York, NY:
Britzman, D. (2010, September). Psychoanalytic Theory and Pedagogy. Graduate Seminar. York University, Toronto.
Derrida, J. (1982). “Signature, Event, Context”. Margins of Philosophy. (A. Bass, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Derrida, J. (1996). Monolingualism of the other and the prosthesis of origin. (P. Mensah, Trans.). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Felman, S. (1987). Jacques Lacan and the adventure of insight psychoanalysis in contemporary culture. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Freud, S. (2002). Civilization and its discontents. New York, NY: The Penguin Group. (Originally published 1930)
Freud, S. (2006). Beyond the pleasure principle. In A. Phillips (Ed.), The Freud Reader (pp. 132-195). New York, NY: the Penguin Group. (Originally published 1920)
Heller-Roazen, D. (2005). Echolalias: On the forgetting of language. New York, NY: Zone Books.
Hijuelos, O. (2011). Thoughts without cigarettes: A memoir. New York, NY: Gotham Books.
Klein, M. (1975). The origins of transference. Envy and gratitude and other works 1946-1963. New York: Free Press.
Klein, M., & Riviere, J. (1964). Love, hate and reparation. New York, NY: Norton. Nietzsche, F. (1980). On the advantage and disadvantage of history for life. (P.
Preuss, Trans.). Indianapolis, IN Hackett Publication Company.
Pavlenko, A. (2007). Autobiographic narratives as data in applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 28, 163-188.
Phillips, A. (1998). The beast in the nursery. New York, NY: Pantheon Books. Stengel, E. (1939). On learning a new language”. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 20, 471-479.
Winnicott, D.W. (2005). Playing and reality. New York, NY: Routledge.
This is an Open Access journal. All material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence, unless otherwise stated.
Please read our Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies for more information.