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This book is the first to apply systemati­cally Jungian psychology to the study of literature throughout the ages. The ten essays are purposefully different, illus­trating the universality of Jungian arche­typal analysis and criticism.

 

The book has been divided into seven sections: the first five follow chronologi­cal order from Euripides to Goethe and finally Yeats; the sixth and seventh are presented separately because they ex­plore unique psychological experiences. Each essay is divided into two parts: an ectypal and an archetypal analysis of the works discussed. The ectypal section presents a brief historical summary of the period, acquainting readers with ap­propriate facts concerning the author’s environment. The archetypal analysis, however, is the most important aspect of A Jungian Approach to Literature.

 

Archetypes, contained in the collec­tive unconscious, exist at the deepest level within the subliminal realm. They are “made manifest in archetypal (pri­mordial) images: experienced in such universal motifs as the Great Mother, the Spiritual Father, Transformation, the Self, and others.” The Jungian archetypal approach to literature acts as a broaden­ing force in the life experience.