In Jungian Literary Criticism: the essential guide, Susan Rowland demonstrates how ideas such as archetypes, the anima and animus, the unconscious and synchronicity can be applied to the analysis of literature. Jung’s emphasis on creativity was central to his own work, and here Rowland illustrates how his concepts can be applied to novels, poetry, myth and epic, allowing a reader to see their personal, psychological and historical contribution.
This multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach challenges the notion that Jungian ideas cannot be applied to literary studies, exploring Jungian themes in canonical texts by authors including Shakespeare, Jane Austen and W. B. Yeats as well as works by twenty-first century writers, such as in digital literary art. Rowland argues that Jung’s works encapsulate realities beyond narrow definitions of what a single academic discipline ought to do, and through using case studies alongside Jung’s work she demonstrates how both disciplines find a home in one another. Interweaving Jungian analysis with literature, Jungian Literary Criticism explores concepts from the shadow to contemporary issues of ecocriticism and climate change in relation to literary works, and emphasises the importance of a reciprocal relationship. Each chapter concludes with key definitions, themes and further reading, and the book encourages the reader to examine how worldviews change when disciplines combine.
The accessible approach of Jungian Literary Criticism: the essential guide will appeal to academics and students of literary studies, Jungian and post-Jungian studies, literary theory, environmental humanities and ecocentrism. It will also be of interest to Jungian analysts and therapists in training and in practice.
Chapter 1: Why Jung? Why Literary Criticism: An Introduction; Chapter 2: Jung, Reading, Writing: Signs, Symbols, Close Reading as Active Imagination, Alchemy; Chapter 3: Jung and Literary Forms: Archetypes, Individuation, Myth; Chapter 4: Jung and Literary Genre: Shadow, Anima/Animus, Self and the Numinous, Trickster; Chapter 5: Jung for History and Historicity in Literary Studies; Chapter 6; Jung and Literary Studies for the Anthropocene, Climate Change and Ecocriticism; References.
Accessing and understanding the work of C. G. Jung presents several challenges to readers who aren’t formally trained in analytical psychology, from deciding which of his many volumes is most useful to them, to identifying and using the key concepts appropriately. The Essential Guides approach these challenges head-on. They offer those new to Jung an accessible and engaging introduction to the relevant theories and ideas in their discipline that are written by leaders in the field. The books also provide readers familiar with Jungian concepts with an insight into how his ideas can be applied outside the consulting room, to the arts, sciences and humanities.