Skip to Content

The Horst Frenz Prize Citations 2009

2009 Prize Winner:

Ariel Ross (Emory University), for her paper, "'I Will Move Hell': Virgil's Repetition Compulsion," presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting at Harvard University.

The paper on which we confer the Horst Frenz Prize for 2008 is a study, at once, of Freud and Virgil - an unlikely conjunction, perhaps, but one linked by the narrative and epiphenomenal use of myth as a rebus that sheds light on human nature and human destiny. In tracing the Virgilian overtones of Freud's search for truth in The Interpretation of Dreams, this paper, titled, "'I will move Hell': Virgil's Repetition Compulsion," impressed the judges with its resourcefulness, its erudition, and - mirabile dictu! - its readability. It demonstrates the dictum that sound exposition offers an engaging critical narrative as well as astute logical analysis. Deftly, the author provides insight into narrative (as well as dreams) as an unfolding (a movebo) of opposing forces of fulfillment and destruction, a conflict between the forces of Eros and Thanatos. "In Beyond the Pleasure Principle," the author writes, "these two forces are mythologized, given names: the life drive and the death drive, or Eros and Thanatos.... Eros, which seeks to create, bring together, build up, is opposed by Thanatos, which seeks to destroy, pull apart, break down."

The judges are proud to award the Horst Frenz Prize for the best presentation at the 2008 ACLA conference to Ariel Ross.

2008 Frenz Prize Committee:
Eugene Eoyang, Lingnan University and Indiana University (Chair)
Virginia Jackson, Tufts University
Pericles Lewis, Yale University