Literature and Psychology
Full course description
In the first part of the course students will become familiar with the basic elements of psychoanalysis (Freud) and analytical psychology (Jung). Special attention will be paid to depth psychological theories on art and literature.
In the second part we shall read a number of widely diverging depth psychological interpretations of literary texts, such as Sophocles’s Oedipus rex, Saint-Exupéry’s Le petit prince, Goncharov’s Oblomov, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, several fairy tales, myths, poems, and short stories.
The last part of the course is devoted to some epistemological aspects of depth psychological literary criticism. We will go into three main questions: What types of rules are to be observed when interpreting literary texts? To what extent does depth psychological literary criticism qualify as an academic discipline? And, finally, to what extent do depth psychological theories like psychoanalysis and analytical psychology qualify as academic disciplines?
- To introduce depth psychological literary criticism.
- To help students develop their sensitivity for depth psychological dimensions that works of art and literature may have.
- To provide the means to distinguish adequate literary interpretations from less adequate ones: on what reasonable grounds, if at all, can we decide that one (depth psychological) interpretation of a work of literature does more justice to the text than a competing one?
SKI2084 Writing in an Academic Context: Improving Argumentation and Style.
HUM1007 Introduction to Philosophy
- Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment (2nd, 1991).
- Umberto Eco, The Limits of Interpretation (2nd, 1991).
- Marie-Louise von Franz, Puer aeternus (3rd, 2000).
- Sigmund Freud, Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming (1908).
- C.G. Jung, Psychology and Literature (1930).
- Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations, the Growth of Scientific Knowledge. London: Routledge. (1963).
- Adolf Grünbaum, The Foundations of Psychoanalysis. A Philosophical Critique (1984).