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About Iris Murdoch’s Novels via Carl Gustav Jung (I)

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About Iris Murdoch’s Novels via Carl Gustav Jung (I)

Clementina Mihăilescu’s book Interpersonal Relations in Iris Murdoch’s Novels via Kelly and Jung is closely related to the novelist’s endeavour to bring her knowledge as Platonist philosopher to bear on topics regarding the effects of the contingent and accidental nature of life, of the loss of faith (and of their subsequent consequences manifested under the form of the egoistic natural inclinations and of the dark side of the human personality). For this investigation of the hidden side of Murdoch’s literary characters to be successful, Mihăilescu has turned towards Carl Jung’s psychological model, more precisely his process of individuation, that resembles Murdoch’s ‘unselfing’ and George A. Kelly’s Personal Construct Psychology focused on corollaries of ‘commonality’ and ‘sociality’. Together with his vectors of action (through the constructs of ‘aggressiveness’ and ‘hostility’ and his vectors of perception, through the constellations ‘anxiety/certainty’, ‘threat/fear’ and ‘guilt/courage’), all incorporated in a diagram called by her “the metaphor of the iceberg”, meant to reveal and illuminate the geometry of the psychological space of Murdoch’s characters.

Keywords: contemporary British literature, Iris Murdoch, contemporary novel, Jung and modern literary consciousness.

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