Jaša Drnovšek read Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Ljubljana. He gained his M.A. in 2004 with a dissertation entitled “Masochism: Comparative Aspects in Psychoanalysis and Literature”. Jaša currently has an assistantship at the School of Humanities, University of Nova Gorcia. He also works as a theatre critic and translator of literature and theory. He has translated writers such as Gerhart Hauptmann, Eugen Fink, and Erika Fischer-Lichte. His research interests cover theatre theory and history, psychoanalysis, and the aesthetics of the performative.
In 2011/12 he concluded his doctoral studies at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School. His thesis is entitled Masochism and the Performative (General and Comparative Literature).
Further information will follow.
Abstract to "Masochism and the Performative":
This project re-interprets masochistic experience as an aesthetic phenomenon. It begins by outlining masochism theory as it was developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by Ricahrd von Kraft-Ebing, Sigmund Freud, Helene Deutsch, and Karen Horney. The project then critically re-examines masochistic experience as analysed by Theodor Reik, one of Freud’s closest followers. Compared to other psychoanalytical theories of masochism, Reiks views present the most complex contribution in this field so far. At the same time, they offer an interpretative environment for further investigations of the phenomenon.
The second part of the project confronts Reik’s theory of masochism with two aesthetic theories. The masochistic experience is paralleled with the feeling of the “sublime” as described by Immanuel Kant in Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime(1764) and in Critique of Judgement (1790). In this context, the possibility of applying masochistic experience to Kant’s “moral feeling” as found in his Critique of Practical Reason(1788) is brought into debate. The project then compares the characteristics of Reik’s masochism with categories of the performative as described by Erika Fischer-Lichte inAesthetics of the Performative (2004).
This new interpretation of masochism aims to reach beyond the borders of psychiatry/psychoanalysis. It primarily understands the masochistic experience as an aesthetic phenomenon. As such, masochism is no longer pathologised. Rather it becomes an indispensable part of our everyday lives.
Selected Bibliography: »Woyzeck. Dramski fragment kot gledališki opus« [»Woyzeck. Dramatic fragment as theatrical opus«], in: Theatre Programme of the SNG Drama Ljubljana, Season 2001/02, p. 18-19; »Prevod v sedmih slikah« [»Translation in seven scenes«], in: Theatre Programme of the SNG Drama Ljubljana, Season 2002/03, p. 10-13; »Kdo je bil Leopold von Sacher-Masoch« [»Who was Leopold von Sacher-Masoch«], in: Nova revija, January/February, 2005, p. 20-36; »Mazohizem v psihoanalizi« [»Masochism in Psychoanalysis«], in: Dialogi, No. 7-8, 2005, p. 18-43; »Mazohizem med psihoanalizo in literaturo« [»Masochism between Psychoanalysis and Literature«], in: Sodobnost, September, 2005, p. 1133-1151.
Selected Translations: Hauptmann, Gerhart, Rose Bernd, Ljubljana, 2000; Hauptmann, Gerhart, Pred sončnim vzhodom [Before sunrise], Ljubljana, 2002; Fink, Eugen, Igra kot simbol sveta [Play as a symbol of the world], in: Janez Strehovec (ed.), Teorije igre [Theories of play], Ljubljana, 2004; Fischer-Lichte, Erika, »Utelešenje = Embodiment. O prehodu iz stare teatrološke v novo kulturološko kategorijo« [»Verkörperung = Embodiment. On the change of an old, theatrological category into a new, culturological one«], in: Theatre Programme of the SNG Drama Ljubljana, Season 2004/2005, p. 66-69; Fischer-Lichte, Erika, Estetika performativnega [Aesthetics of the Performative], Ljubljana, 2008.