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Jungian Metaphor within the Selected Works of H.D., W.B. Yeats, and James Joyce

Dib Nassif, Roula Maria (2018) Jungian Metaphor within the Selected Works of H.D., W.B. Yeats, and James Joyce. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis will argue for the centrality of Carl Jung’s theory of individuation and alchemy in modernist poetics. Jung’s position in this context is relatively unexamined, and published works often represent misreadings and distortions of Jung’s theory in this field; in particular, Jungian literary criticism’s use of Jung’s theories of the anima, the collective unconscious, alchemy, and individuation. The specific works discussed in this novel context are H.D.’s Trilogy, Yeats’s poems and A Vision, and Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, and Finnegans Wake. These works will be read in light of Jung’s central theme of alchemy, which is a metaphor for ‘individuation’, or personal development, a process attained through an ‘alchemical marriage’, or union of antinomial (‘male’ and ‘female’) elements of the psyche. In the works of H.D., Yeats, and Joyce, there are attempts at developing a related alchemical model, a Jungian poetics, which serves to expand a reader’s understanding of modernist uses of language. While critical reading of Jung and his revisionists establishes the ground for this thesis’s discussion of the alchemical theme of transformation, the first chapter considers the personal philosophies of the writers pertinent to this study, surveys modernist poetics, and pays attention to Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘alchemy of the word’. The following chapters observe aspects of a Jungian poetics in each of H.D., Yeats, and Joyce’s works, examining H.D.’s verbal alchemy, Yeats’s visionary alchemy, and Joyce’s textual individuation. First, H.D. is shown to adopt alchemy as a style, through which she aims to recreate a feminine principle and establish a new mythos. The following chapter critically considers a Jungian reading of Yeats’s works in terms of the ‘evocative’ nature of poetry, as a manifestation of creativity, capable of giving the individual access to a collective unconscious. Finally, the fourth chapter continues the examination of the central alchemical theme and writing style in Joyce’s novels, through which he aims to transform both text and protagonist.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Modernist Literature, Jungian psychoanalysis, poetics, Yeats, Joyce, Hilda Doolittle, H.D.
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Depositing User: Ms. Roula Maria Dib Nassif
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2018 09:24
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2018 09:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21443

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