Nation-formation and Historical Continuity in Ricky Lee’s Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata



The question of identity and subject formation is one of the more pronounced preoccupations of psychoanalysis, but much of our understanding of it is stripped of materialist and historical references. Our common idea of how psychoanalysis deals with the matter of identity is through clinical practice, with the clinic posited as a self-enclosed space. But psychoanalytic concepts can be combined with Marxist historical materialism in order to demonstrate their applicability in the critique of society. This analysis of Ricky Lee’s Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata aims to demonstrate how a blending of these two approaches can be applied in the critical reading of texts. The identity formation of the novel’s protagonist, Amapola, who assumes multiple personalities, is interpreted by situating it in the social and historical frames which the novel provides. Through an analysis of Amapola’s interactions with various characters, particularly those who typify ideas of historical continuity and collectivism, this paper attempts to show that subject formation is not just something negotiated within the confines of the clinic but a process that takes place in the larger societal setting.

Keywords: historical materialism, psychoanalytic literary criticism, nation-formation, national literature

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