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Archetypal Theory And Criticism

Archetypal theory and criticism, although often used synonymously with Myth Theory and Criticism, has a distinct history and process. The term "archetype" can be traced to Plato (arche, "original"; typos, "form" , but the concept gained currency in twentieth!century literary theory and criticism through the wor" of the #wiss founder of analytical psychology, C. $. %ung (&'()!&*+& . %ung,s Psychology of the Unconscious (&*&+, -. M. .in"le,s translation of the &*&&!&/ Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido appeared in 0nglish one year after publication of the concluding 1olume with bibliography of the third edition of %. $. 2ra3er,s The Golden Bough: A Study in agic and !eligion (/ 1ols., &'*4, 5d ed., &/ 1ols., &*&&!&) . 2ra3er,s and %ung,s te6ts formed the basis of two allied but ultimately different courses of influence on literary history. %ung most fre7uently used "myth" (or "mythologem" for the narrati1e e6pression, "on the ethnological le1el" ("ollected *, pt. &8 +( , of the "archetypes," which he described as patterns of psychic energy originating in the collecti1e unconscious and finding their "most common and most normal" manifestation in dreams ('8/'( . Thus criticism e1ol1ing from his wor" is more accurately named "archetypal" and is 7uite distinct from "myth" criticism. 2or %ung, "archetype is an e6planatory paraphrase of the Platonic eidos" (*, pt. &8 9 , but he distinguishes his concept and use of the term from that of philosophical idealism as being more empirical and less metaphysical, though most of his "empirical" data were dreams. :n addition, he modified and e6tended his concept o1er the many decades of his professional life, often insisting that "archetype" named a process, a perspecti1e, and not a content, although this fle6ibility was lost through the codifying, nominali3ing tendencies of his followers. At mid!century, Canadian critic ;orthrop 2rye (&*&/!*& introduced new distinctions in literary criticism between myth and archetype. 2or 2rye, as <illiam =. <imsatt and Cleanth -roo"s put it, "archetype, borrowed from %ung, means a primordial image, a part of the collecti1e unconscious, the psychic residue of numberless e6periences of the same "ind,

2rye fre7uently ac"nowledged his debt to %ung. notably in Anatomy of "riticism.armon. howe1er labeled. :ndeed. and later settles on a concept of "archetype" as a literary occurrence per se. 2urther. @n a general le1el.s theori3ings about archetypes. 2ergusson. and $eorge Per"ins. so far as : can >udge" (&&&!&/ . )th ed.s and 2rye. myth criticism seems singularly unaffected by any of the archetypal theorists who ha1e remained faithful to the origins and . while archetypal criticism based on %ung was ne1er lin"ed with any academic tradition and remained organically bound to its roots in depth psychology8 the indi1idual and collecti1e psyche. then. and boundaries are elusi1e. &edipus !e'. -ut <heelwright. are said to include 2ra3er. #heridan -a"er. and the analytic process. myth critics.and thus part of the inherited response!pattern of the race" (Literary "riticism (4* . where the communicability of archetypes is accounted for by a theory of a collecti1e unconscious!!an unnecessary hypothesis in literary criticism. Bichard Chase. %ung. a practice subse7uently followed in some handboo"s of literary terms and histories of literary criticism. for e6ample. and he. 2rye.s specifically named archetypes!!"persona and anima and counsellor and shadow" !!and referred to his theory as %ungian criticism (Anatomy /*& . The #arper #andboo$ to Literature. aligned with writers in comparati1e anthropology and philosophy. and the @edipus comple6 than to anything ta"en from %ung. &*)9 . dreams. &*'+. %essie <eston.. barely mentions %ung (The Burning %ountain. but in the disciplines of literature the two schools ha1e largely ignored each other. which obscured crucial differences and contributed to the confusion in terminology reigning today (see C. first misinterprets %ungian theory by insisting on a ?amarc"ian 1iew of genetic transmission of archetypes. o1erlap. and others often owe more to #igmund 2reud. howe1er.olman and <illiam .orthrop 2rye.ew Criticism. and 2rancis 2ergusson. an e6clusi1ely interte6tual recurring phenomenon resembling a con1ention (** . ?eslie 2iedler. accepted some of %ung. 2rye. including one edited by 2rye himself.s wor".ugh . Myth criticism grew in part as a reaction to the formalism of . . &*') . 0rnest %ones. Philip <heelwright. which %ung e6plicitly re>ected. %oseph Campbell. A #andboo$ to Literature. 0rnst Cassirer. and . Claude ?A1i!#trauss. essentially redefined and relocated archetype on grounds that would remo1e him une7ui1ocally from the ran"s of "%ungian" critics by se1ering the connection between archetype and depth psychology8 "This emphasis on impersonal content has been de1eloped by %ung and his school.

psychology!!%ames . and to e6amine those forms or patterns in which the uni1ersal forces of our nature there find ob>ectification" (1ii .s insight that %ung. As .#. @ther forms pre1iously labeled "%ungian" are here subsumed under the term "archetypal" because whate1er their immediate specific focus. &*/9 "to mo1e beyond clinical in7uiry within the consulting room of psychotherapy" to formulate archetypal theory as a multidisciplinary field (Archetypal & . Archetypal theory then too" shape principally in the multidisciplinary >ournal refounded by .eoplatonism.illman puts it.illman in &*(4 in . and $iambattista Fico.s "mundus archetypalis" is also the "mundus imaginalis" that corresponds to the :slamic "alam al!mithl" (5 was an early mo1e toward "a reappraisal of psychology itself as an acti1ity of poesis" (/9 . the structure of language. . 01angelos Christou.eraclitus. as the "second father" of archetypal psychology." The first systematic application of %ung. philosopher. but in the processes of imagination" (6i . Marsilio 2icino.! born. these forms operate on a set of assumptions deri1ed from %ung and accept the depth!psychological structure posited by %ung. . Plotinus. and mystic "nown for his wor" on :slam.illman in1o"es . The ne6t significant de1elopment in archetypal theory that affected literary studies grew out of the effort made by D.illman (b.illman also disco1ers archetypal precursors in . . . . then. Proclus. %ung termed his own theory "analytical psychology. :n !e()isioning Psychology. nor the analysis of beha1ior." as it is still "nown especially in 0urope. 2urther. Corbin.illman. This article.traditions of depth.s ideas to literature was made in &*59 by Maud -od"in in Archetypal Patterns in Poetry: "An attempt is here made to bring psychological analysis and reflection to bear upon the imaginati1e e6perience communicated by great poetry. especially analytical. treats the only form of literary theory and criticism consistent with and deri1ed directly from the psychological principles ad1anced by %ung. Eurich!trained analyst %ames . This boo" established the priority of interest in the archetypal o1er the mythological. $ilbert Curand. but %ungian thought is more commonly referred to today in all disciplines as "archetypal psychology.enri Corbin (&*45!(' . the organi3ation of society. the published te6t of his &*(/ Gale Terry ?ectures (the same lecture series %ung ga1e in &*5( .illman locates the archetypal neither "in the physiology of the brain.enri Corbin. Bafael ?ope3!Pedra3a. 2rench scholar.

but : am strangely attracted by genuine fiction.Eurich. They also attest to his self! confessed lac" of interest in literature8 ": feel not naturally drawn to what one calls literature.s Alchemy of .s +e. &*'/ . psycholinguistics (Paul =ugler. which he oddly belie1ed..s no1el She: The #istory of an Ad1enture (&''+!'( . . Their discourse is conducted in poetic language. fantastical in1ention" (Letters &8)4* ." assert their "inship with #emiotics and #tructuralism but maintain an insistent focus on psychoid phenomena." "Ulysses: A Monologue. These archetypalists.s -magining: A Phenomenological Study. which comprises a handful of essays8 "The Type Problem in Poetry. "-y spea"ing of soul as a primary metaphor. focusing on the imaginal and ma"ing central the concept that in 0nglish they call "soul. and the theory of analysis (Patricia -erry.illman." As %ung himself noted8 "?iterary products of highly dubious merit are often of the greatest interest to the psychologist" ("ollected &)8'(!'' . %ung was also more preoccupied with dreams and fantasies. This e6plains his fascination with a te6t li"e Bider . philosophy (0dward Casey.iscourse: An Archetypal Approach to Language. archetypal psychology recogni3es that psychic reality is ine6tricably in1ol1ed with rhetoric" (. Miller.aggard. that is." "Psychology and ?iterature. mythology (Bafael ?ope3! Pedra3a. in contrast to literature. &*(9 . especially <illiam -la"e and %ohn =eats. that discourse was anticipated by 01angelos Christou.s Logos of the Soul (&*+5 and e6tended in religion (Ca1id ?. This burgeoning theoretical mo1ement and the generally unsatisfying nature of so much early "%ungian literary criticism" are both lin"ed to the problematic nature of %ung. their notions of "soul!ma"ing" come from the Bomantics.s #ermes and #is "hildren. i.e." "@n the Belation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry. which they characteri3e as meaningful. &*(+ .s own writing on literature. Polytheism. &*'/ . rather than defining soul substanti1ely and attempting to deri1e its ontological status from empirical demonstration or theological (metaphysical argument. with its unmediated representation of the "anima. because he saw them as e6clusi1ely (purely products of the unconscious.s /cho0s Subtle Body.s lac" of awareness as a reader despite his sense that they "may show how ideas that play a considerable role in my wor" can be applied to literary material" ("ollected &)8&4*n ." and ":s There a 2reudian Type of PoetryH" These essays re1eal %ung. According to . Archetypal &* . Spring: An Annual of Archetypal Psychology and *ungian Thought. &*(( .illman.

on which of these le1els was the reader affectedH Confirmation of this theory was %ung. not because of its literary 7ualities but because he sensed that the drama e6pressed his own personal myth (Letters &854*!&4 . part /. archetypal criticism on the margins of academic discourse and outside the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines and departments. a "ind of literature!as! therapy standard. This way of proceeding had the effect of putting.s idiosyncrasies as a reader. "1isionary. solely on psychobiographical grounds8 Cid the te6t originate in. period.citing %oyce.iawatha.s reading of %aust: part & was "psychological". <olfram 1on . the te6t offered confirmation (and poetic representation of the only direct contribution %ung made to literary theory8 a distinction between "psychological" and "1isionary" te6ts ("ollected &)8'*!*4 .s &*'9 effort at an authoritati1e demonstration of archetypal literary criticism e6emplified this pattern. ignoring their own role in the act of reading and basing critical e1aluation solely on a te6t.offman." as well as wor"s by Carl #pitteler and <illiam -la"e. while sweeping aside culture! and te6t!specific problems. . ranging widely and nai1ely o1er genres. and "eeping.i1ine "omedy. and languages in search of the uni1ersal archetypes. and orthodo6 %ungians were left with little in the way of models for the psychological analysis of literature.s life and wor" was %ohann <olfgang 1on $oethe. -ut the great literary te6t for %ung.s %aust. 2rancesco Colonna. Many fell prey to %ung.s e6perience of consciousness and the personal unconscious or his or her e6perience at the le1el of the archetypal collecti1e unconsciousH And concomitantly. periods. This heuristic distinction was formed.s #ypnerotomachia Poliphili (&9** .er *ungian Approach to Literature attempts to co1er the 2innish epic The 2ale1ala. the . :ssues of genre. howe1er. and .s The "onference of the Birds. Pierre -enoit.s indi1iduation process.s tales. T.enry <adsworth ?ongfellow. A. the Persian Atar." Thus %ungian theory pro1ided no clear a1enue of access for those outside of psychology. . 0. was created "in the full light of consciousness" (&)8&/5 .s Ulysses as an e6ample. and remain principally shaped by. -ettina =napp.s contribution to the ad1ancement of the reader. 2urther.s L0Atlantide (&*&*!/4 .s ". and language were ignored or sub>ected to gross generali3ation as %ung searched for uni1ersals in te6ts as disparate as the fourth!century Shepherd of #ermas. and te6ts by 0uripides. the author.

Fan Meurs also does a ser1ice by resurrecting successful but neglected early studies. surprisingly thorough and suggesti1e. A few names form a core of writers in 0nglish (including many Canadians !! Martin -ic"man. and disco1ering 1alue e1en in reductionist and impressionistic studies. Cespite his deliberately selecti1e focus on critical wor"s written in 0nglish on literary te6ts that are. 0liot (&*9* . . and <illiam #tein!!though no single figure has attracted the . The critical annotations are astute and. Michel de Montaigne.achman. Geats. gi1en their bre1ity.s bibliography con1eys the great 1ariety of %ungian writings on literature e1en within one language.s of T.0schenbach. effecti1ely challenges this claim. fle6ibly and cautiously used. And despite fre7uently percepti1e readings. also written in 0nglish. Pierre Corneille. $oethe. 3456(3476. . such as 0li3abeth Crew.s of -la"e. 01elyn . 1an Meurs.arold #chechter. of which he identifies slightly o1er '4 as 1alid and 1aluable literary criticism. -arton ?. *ungian Literary "riticism. and <. .o1alis. #. for the most part. though o1ersimplified in its psychobiographical approach and its treatment of characters as psychological pro>ections of the author. -." 1an Meurs still finds that "sensiti1ely. Armand. such as %une #inger. and the growth in numbers of literary scholars falling under the influence of %ung. #t. it is not surprising to find in a &*(+ essay entitled "%ungian Psychology in Criticism8 Theoretical Problems" the statement that "no purely %ungian criticism of literature has yet appeared" (-aird // .enry Murray. -ut %os 1an Meurs. <hile ac"nowledging the gra1e wea"nesses of much %ungian writing on literature as "unsubtle and rigid application of preconcei1ed psychological notions and schemes" resulting in "particularly ill!>udged or distorted readings. with the early assistance of %ohn =idd.e notes that #inger. $i1en this bac"ground." Fan Meurs. %ungian psychological theory may stimulate illuminating literary interpretations" (&9!&) . Albert $elpi. does ma"e original use in a literary conte6t of such %ungian techni7ues of dream interpretation as "amplification" and of such fantasy!e1o"ing procedures as "acti1e imagination. 0lliott $ose. has collected *4/ entries. .s critically annotated &*'' bibliography.in3. the wor" is marred by the characteristic limitless e6pansionism and psychological utilitarianism of her interpreti1e scheme. Babbi ben #imhah . the increasingly recogni3ed potential for further de1elopment and use of %ung.s ideas.s Unholy Bible: A Psychological -nterpretation of William Bla$e (&*(4 .

appeared. which self!consciously e1o"ed and criti7ued Maud -od"in.s &*59 te6t. authors. And the &*'4s saw a new. articles. dynamic nature of the archetype. 0stella ?auter. and of meaning that ta"e gender into account. 2eminist archetypal theory. dissertations. and attempts to construct theories of language. with the archetypal theorists multiplying across disciplines on the one hand and the clinically practicing followers ser1ing as (generally inade7uate critics on the other. art.attention of academic literary specialists. the productions of the practitioners are chronicled and criti7ued in 1an Meurs. and readers (?auter and Bupprecht &5!&9 . feminist archetypal theory and criticism of literature and the arts emerged full!blown in three te6ts8 Annis Pratt. archetypal literary theory and criticism flourished in two independent streams in the &*+4s and &*(4s. and no persistent commonalities fuse into a recogni3able school critics who draw on %ung.entieth "entury Women (&*'9 ." which may 1ary in indi1idual cultures. and religion. see"s to define the parameters of social construction of gender. the concept becomes a useful tool for literary analysis that e6plores the synthesis of the uni1ersal and the particular. . and 0stella ?auter and Carol #chreier Bupprecht. analysis. To date. often traditionally academic in orientation. the -ritish *ournal of Analytical Psychology and the retitled American Spring: A *ournal of Archetype and "ulture are the best resources for archetypal criticism of literature and the arts e1en though only a small percentage of their published articles treat such topics. Thus "archetype" is recogni3ed as the "tendency to form and reform images in relation to certain "inds of repeated e6perience. <ith some of its ad1ocates supported through early publication of their wor" in the >ournal Spring. 2rom the theorists.s bibliography. restored %ung. as well as in literature. essentialist.s %eminist Archetypal Theory: -nterdisciplinary !e( )isions of *ungian Thought (&*') . Thus. and boo"s. proceeding inducti1ely.s Archetypal Patterns in Women0s %iction (&*'& . drawing on earlier feminist theory as well as the wor" of %ungian 0rich . This last te6t e6plicitly named the mo1ement and demonstrated its appropriation of archetypal theory for feminist ends in aesthetics. suggesti1e. Considered according to this definition. and transcendentalist misinterpretations. and contro1ersial direction in archetypal studies of literature8 the feminist. of the imaginal.s theories.s original emphasis on the fluid. ahistorical.s Women as ythma$ers: Poetry and )isual Art by T.eumann to re>ect absolutist.

and Myth Theory and Criticism. many powerfully heuristic %ungian concepts.s range of literary preferences from She to %aust. and not "merely intellectual" response. sanction %ung.Acerino. Archetypal criticism. then. which he himself identified (positi1ely as a "sub>ecti1e confession" (&)8&4*n .ard a #ermeneutics of "ulture. 2eminist Theory and Criticism. as in the feminist re1isioning of e6plicitly male!biased %ungian theory." ha1e yet to be tested in literary conte6ts. and support his highly affecti1e reaction to Ulysses. that each te6t elicit a personal. "8 G8 *ung and the #umanities: To. along with a commensurate insistence on its roots in the depth psychology of %ung8 the reissue of Morris Philipson. :n addition. multicultural collection of essays. .ew theoretical approaches appear to legitimi3e orthodo6 %ungian ways of reading. construed as that deri1ed from %ung. affecti1e. historically asserted by %ungian readers. 01en 2rench feminist %ulia =riste1a has been brought to praise a %ungian contribution to feminist discourse on the maternal8 recognition that the Catholic church.:ronically.s theory and practice of archetypal (analytical psychology.orthrop 2rye. is a fledgling and much misconstrued field of in7uiry with significant but still unreali3ed potential for the study of literature and of aesthetics in general.s &*+5 &utline of a *ungian Aesthetic and the appearance of =arin -arnaby and Pellegrino C.s change of signification in the assumption of the Firgin Mary to include her human body represented a ma>or shift in attitude toward female corporality (&&5 . Carol Schreier Rupprecht Notes and Bibliography #ee also Anthropological Theory and Criticism.s multidisciplinary. Two publishing e1ents at the beginning of the &**4s in the Dnited #tates may signal the coming of age of this "ind of archetypal criticism through its con1ergence with postmodern critical thought. . . the rise in the &*'4s of Beader! Besponse Theory and Criticism and the impetus for canon re1ision ha1e begun to contribute to a re1aluation of %ung as a source of literary study. such as "synchronicity. And new theories increasingly gi1e credence to the re7uirement.

orthrop 2rye. "Archetypal Theory after %ung. &*)5!(* .erbert Bead. %oseph P." Spring (&*() . %ames -aird. 0stella ?auter and Carol #chreier Bupprecht. The Unsounded "entre: *ungian Studies in American !omanticism (&*'4 . Martin -ic"man.. C. feminism. reprint. <imsatt. *ungian Literary "riticism.ull. .ard a #ermeneutics of "ulture (&**4 . . and Cleanth -roo"s. collecti1e unconscious (%ung . Letters (trans. %os 1an Meurs and %ohn =idd. The Tenth use: The Psyche of the American Poet (&*() . !e()isioning Psychology (&*() . "#tabat Mater" (&*((. "%ungian Psychology in Criticism8 Theoretical Problems. archetype. Albert $elpi. =arin -arnaby and Pellegrino C.eoplatonism . Archetypal Patterns in Poetry: Psychological Studies in -magination (&*59 . &*(5!() . Archetypal Psychology: A Brief Account (&*'5 . /4 1ols. "8 G8 *ung and the #umanities: To. Anatomy of "riticism: %our /ssays (&*)( . #trel"a. &*'+ . &**& . %ung. %ulia =riste1a. Boudie3. Art and the "reati1e Unconscious: %our /ssays (trans.. Morris Philipson.aomi $oldenberg. Topics -nde' "ross(references for this $uide entry: analytical psychology (%ung . / 1ols. &utline of a *ungian Aesthetic (&*+5. &*(9 . ?Aon #. The 2riste1a !eader. &*(+ . Michael 2ordham. 0rich . Balph Manheim. biography and biographical criticism. 2.. C. Literary "riticism: A Short #istory (&*)( . 3456(3476: An Annotated "ritical Bibliography of Wor$s in /nglish 9. . .illman. Annis Pratt et al. %r.%ames .ith a Selection of Titles after 3476: (&*'' .. eds. "ollected Wor$s (ed.Acerino. Maud -od"in. Toril Moi. B. Archetypal Patterns in Women0s %iction (&*'& . <illiam =. . trans. %eminist Archetypal Theory: -nterdisciplinary !e()isions of *ungian Thought (&*') ." Literary "riticism and Psychology (ed. $. and $erhard Adler. ed.eumann..