Quadrant Winter 1978

Quadrant: The Journal of the C.G. Jung Foundation

The Magic Flute— Erich Neumann. Translated by Esther Doughty

One of the many conflicting interpretations of the libretto of The Magic Flute — and one which is still widely read — laments the fact that Mozart had to work from such an unsuitable and confused text. It next makes the point despite the incongruities and banalities of the libretto the genius of Mozart’s music has managed to prevail.

At first sight, in fact, the origins of The Magic Flute seem to confirm this view. … But the significant point, and the one that concerns us here, is how the deeper layers of meaning carry through at the precise place of these gaps or incongruities in the libretto. In a sense, these incongruities can be compared to gaps in consciousness; far from damaging the integrity of the work, they actually constitute the factor that puts it in touch with its deeper levels and evokes an inner meaning which includes its unconscious aspects. …

Bewitchment — Ann and Barry Ulanov

…Human experience, fable, literature, and mythology abound with examples of bewitchment. Each source contributes a different twist to the theme; each has its own varied and subtle accent. To find shared focuses among the many genres where witches abound, we have selected several literary examples and one well-known fairy tale in particular. This tale is The Twelve Dancing Princesses: its simple plot summarizes the main features of bewitchment: its effect on the ego-connection of the female to her unconscious and upon her sexuality and feeling, and her effect, in turn, upon the men she ensnares. The story ends with our heroine rescued from the bewitched state that will involve temporary but utter dependency on the male or on her own animus. This kind of dependency gives us a hint of the origin of her vulnerability to the spells that made her a suitable candidate for bewitchment in the first place. …

Psychotherapy and Alchemy III . Solutio— Edward F. Edinger

The operation of solutio is one of the major procedures in alchemy. Basically, solutio turns a solid into a liquid. The solid seems to disappear into the solvent as if it had been swallowed up. Often for the alchemist, solutio meant the return of differentiated matter to its original undifferentiated state, i.e., to prima materia. …

The alchemists thought that a substance could not be transformed unless it were first reduced to prima materia. This procedure corresponds to what takes place in psychotherapy. The fixed, static aspects of the personality allow for no change. They are established and sure of their rightness. For transformation to proceed, these fixed aspects must first be dissolved or reduced to prima materia. This is done by the analytic process which examines the products of the unconscious and puts the established ego attitudes into question. …

Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy: A Psychological Viewpoint — Stefanie Halpern

An American Tragedy is a novel about that American state of mind which glorifies materialism and the accomplishments of the age while at the same time it ignores a deeper connection to mind and spirit. As a psychological document, the novel reflects both the battle for selfhood and a glimpse of the evolving of the new relation to the feminine as a connecting link to the unconscious. … In my analysis of the novel, I will discuss its outstanding themes from the tragic hero’s point of view as though they were dream elements; moreover, I will place a special emphasis on the uniquely archetypal drama which takes place and interject the story line for the sake of continuity. …


The Magic Orange Tree and Other Haitian Folktales. — Collected by Diane Wolkstein. Alfred A. Knopf. Reviewed by V. Walter Odajnyk.

Religious Images in Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Oh, God. Reviewed by Meredith Sabini.

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