Here I look closely at Jung’s argument against Freud in his critical but lesser known essay “On Psychic Energy,” where he accuses Freud of a reductio ad causam—that is, Freud sees the path of sexual energy in the mind as simply redirected according to a mechanistic model and not transformed more fundamentally into a different vehicle of meaning and significance. This transformation posits the introduction of spontaneously unfolding sources of meaning and has implications for the transfigurations associated with the poetic process. The philosopher Leone Vivante is a vital source here for articulating a model of poetic creativity he calls “ontological” to be distinguished from the more familiar notions of mimesis and self-expression.
KeywordsJung Freud Vivante Mimesis Self-expression Ontology
- Jung, C. G. “On Psychic Energy.” The Collected Works of C. G. Jung: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. Ed. Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, Gerhard Adler, and William McGuire. Vol. 8. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981. 3–66. Print.Google Scholar
- Place, Vanessa. “Interview with Vanessa Place.” Interview by Jacob Bromberg. Thewhitereview.org. The White Review, Oct. 2014. Web. http://www.thewhitereview.org/interviews/interview-with-vanessa-place/.
- Vivante, Leone. Essays on Art and Ontology. Trans. Arturo Vivante. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1980. Print.Google Scholar