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Post-Jungian Criticism

Theory and Practice

James S. Baumlin, Tita French Baumlin, George H. Jensen

Publication Year: 2004

This groundbreaking collection brings the range and diversity of post-Jungian thought into the realm of contemporary literary and cultural criticism. These essays explore, expand, critique, and apply post-Jungian critical theory as they revisit and reread Jung’s own writings from numerous perspectives. No longer treated as a source of clear, unequivocal, authoritative pronouncement, Jung’s writings are themselves subjected to critical, deconstructive readings, and several of the essays confront head-on Jung’s evident racism, antifeminism, anti-Semitism, and political conservatism. While not downplaying such charges, the contributors outline an alternative, post-Jungian theory responsive to contemporary feminist, postcolonial, and poststructural concerns. The result is not just a critical reinterpretation but, more important, a regeneration of Jungian thought.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Series: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture

Post-Jungian Criticism

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xvi

I am honored to have been asked to write this foreword, grateful to have been given a completely free hand, and responsive to the editors’ invitation to range widely. I would like to focus on four specific issues, in the spirit of encouraging debate between the community of professional Jungian analysts and the academic world, and also in the hope of stir-...

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Introduction: Situating Jung in Contemporary Critical Theory

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pp. 1-30

The present place of Jungian theory and archetypal criticism in the academy can hardly be sketched without mention of fad and fashion. From the introduction of Jung’s theory of the collective unconsciousand archetypes, authors were drawn to its rich, varied symbolism and critics to the power of its hermeneutics. From the publication of Frye’s...

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Jung’s Ghost Stories: Jung for Literary Theory in Feminism, Poststructuralism, and Postmodernism

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pp. 31-54

A ghost and a woman. The story that Jung told late in life about the origin of his psychology places the feminine and the occult at the heart of his inner experience. Jung’s ghostly inner feminine voice becomes the prototype for his concept of the anima as a male’s archetypal unconscious femininity. His ghost reference is even more striking...

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Theorizing Writerly Creativity: Jung with Lacan?

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pp. 55-74

This chapter compares the place of literature—the creative use of the written word—in Jungian and Lacanian theory. I shall analyze and argue against a tendency in recent Jungian scholarship to over emphasize the similarities between the two thinkers. Where as Jung is primarily concerned, in the literary work as in the consulting room, with images—...

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Detective Films and Images of the Orient: A Post-Jungian Reflection

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pp. 75-92

The purpose of this chapter is to examine detective films from the perspective that is offered by analytical psychology. It will focus on the centrality of the act of detection, as both a narrative and psychological activity, and will examine the relationship of the detective to the Orient. More specifically, it will explore the way that images of Oriental cultures...

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Airing (Erring) the Soul: An Archetypal View of Television

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pp. 93-116

Every night millions of Americans are abducted by an alien presence. These abductions, however, are not the stuff of tabloid journalism. We will not see a host of UFOs hovering in skies over suburbia and secretly spiriting Americans into their disc-shaped bellies for the purposes of enigmatic experimentation. No, what abducts myriad Americans...

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Jane Iterare: Jane Eyre as a Feminist Revision of the Hero’s Journey

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pp. 117-138

Since its 1847 publication, Jane Eyre has remained among the most popular novels in English, influencing generations of appreciative readers. Why so? What accounts for its fascination for, and hold upon, readers, women especially? Part of its appeal, surely, lies in its deep exploration of female psychology, its charting (through various archetypal figures...

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Jungian Insights into Victorian Cultural Ambiguities: Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White

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pp. 139-158

Following trends in postmodern thought, Jungian literary criticism has given increasing attention to the convergence between the psychological and the cultural. Applying Jung’s concepts of individuation, anima, animus, and shadow, I wish to explore such a convergence in one of the most popular novels of Victorian England, Wilkie Collins’s The...

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Drs. Jung and Chekhov: Physicians of the Soul by

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pp. 176-182

What then, is responsible for this “funny happening”? Why doesChekhov’s relatively small, seemingly parochial body of work take itsplace in the mythic cosmos of the Greeks and Shakespeare? What canJung tell us about the work of this man whose life and his own showsome interesting commonalities? To begin, in a collection that deals...

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Opened Ground from a Jungian Perspective: The Father Archetype in the Poetry of Seamus Heaney

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pp. 183-198

A self-declared “Jungian in religion” (“Artists” 409), Seamus Heaney has sought to re-establish in modern society something of the ancient religious quality of myth, the healing element of ritualistic connections with ancient powers. As Suzanne Langer has commented, “The ultimateend of myth is not wishful distortion of the world, but serious envisage-...

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“The Sun’s Children”: Shadow Work in the Poetry of LeRoi Jones/Imamu Amiri Baraka

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pp. 199-222

In 1961, when LeRoi Jones wrote “Hymn for Lanie Poo,” his use ofimagery reflected the psyche of a black man living in white-dominatedAmerica, wherein blacks embodied the “negative group projections, thecollective shadow” of whites (Zweig and Abrams xx). As a member ofthis “collective shadow,” the writer learned firsthand of its oppressive...

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Sharing a Shadow: The Image of the Shrouded Stranger in the Works of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg

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pp. 223-242

Jung conceived of the attempt to know the shadow as “a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality” (“Shadow” 8), and the casting of this abstract moral problem in concrete terms has historically been the province of poets, novelists, and dramatists. By examining literature as a psychic process, we gain insight into the way the “relative...

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In the Buddha’s Shadow: Jung, Zen, and the Poetry of Jane Hirshfield

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pp. 243-262

Of all the Jungian archetypes, the shadow is probably the easiest for the modern Western reader to grasp. By now we are convinced by our experiences and world events that the human creature is a divided soul. We humans are not alone in our skin: we share our body and psyche with a dark stranger. The participants in this internal struggle are familiar to us...


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pp. 263-296


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pp. 297-300


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pp. 301-318

E-ISBN-13: 9780791485736
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791459577
Print-ISBN-10: 0791459578

Page Count: 334
Illustrations: 3 b/w photographs, 1 figure
Publication Year: 2004

Series Title: SUNY series in Psychoanalysis and Culture