chapter  4
Cathy Caruth Past Recognition: Narrative Origins in Wordsworth and Freud
Pages 15

The word ego has a place in the discourse of Romantic literature, but to speak today of the 'Romantic ego', or to read Romantic texts in terms of other psychoanalytic concepts, is necessarily to juxtapose two different

discourses: Romantic and psychoanalytic. 1 And this is also to suggest that our self-understanding, as articulated within psychoanalytic discourse, can be understood historically, in terms of the relation between psychoanalytic theory and the texts of an earlier period called Romanticism. The nature of this gesture - the representation of selfknowledge as a history of its evolving discourses - is not entirely clear, but it is nevertheless entirely appropriate, since it is precisely this configuration of self-knowledge, history, and discourse which many 'Romantic' texts explore. By reading these texts in a search for our past, therefore, we can learn more about this very attempt to recognize ourselves in them.