Ever since I first had the theories of Freud and Jung pounded into me by lecturers labouring under the preposterous assumption that such theories were indispensable aids to literary criticism, I’ve been deeply suspicious of psychology and psychoanalysis.
I warmed to Freud somewhat after I discovered that he had a cocaine habit for a while, but I can’t say I’ve ever been bowled over by any of his major theories. I hasten to add that even in translation it’s obvious that he was a skilful prose stylist, and I do dip into him from time to time (I have tiny soft-spots for Totem and Taboo and The Future of an Illusion). I frankly can’t get myself excited about Jung, though. And I have tried. Nada. Maybe next year. Continue reading