Autumn 1957 • Vol. XIX No. 4 NonfictionOctober 1, 1957 |

Psychology and Literature

Frederick J. Hoffman PSYCHOLOGY AND LITERATURE S O MANY attempts have been made to discuss precisely the relationship of psychology with literature or to suggest the usefulness of psychology to criticism that one needs first of all to see if a new perspective isn't somehow available. I believe we know both the advantage and the limitations of the biographical study of writers; and no one can escape these days the dark presence of Jung's "primordial images." Perhaps we may find our best access to the problem by looking once again at a structure and terminology contributed at the beginning of the century and before by Sigmund Freud and elaborated upon by him in subsequent years. I refer of course to Freud's definition, description and analysis of the psychic economy. These involve a series of metaphors, as bold a series as was ever advanced by a cautious scientist. Begin- ning only with the facts of the unconscious and the conscious mind, Freud saw first of all, or suspected, both the

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