They’re Jung and easily Freudened.


I saw a brilliant film tonight, more on’t tomorrow – but for tonight, before I hit the hay, I will share another bit of my research from today. You may question quite what I’m researching, but here is a fun poem, anonymous, from Punch, March 1920 :

[A reviewer in a recent issue of The Times Literary Supplement asks, “Why should the characters in the psychological novel be invariably horrid?” and is inclined to explain this state of affairs by the undiscriminating study of “the theories of two very estimable gentlemen, the sound of whose names one is beginning to dislike – Messrs. Freud and Jung.”] – [this is from the article too]

In QUEEN VICTORIA’S placid reign, the novelists of note
In one respect, at any rate, were all in the same boat;
Alike in Richard Feverel and in Aurora Floyd
You’ll seek in vain for any trace of Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

They did not fail in colour, for they had their PEACOCK’S tails:
Their heroines, I must admit, ran seldom off the rails;
They had their apes and angels, but they never once employed
The psycho-analytic rules devised by JUNG and FREUD.

They ran a tilt at fraud and guilt, at snobbery and shams;
They had no lack of Meredithyrambic epigrams;
The types that most appealed to them were not neurasthenoid.
They lived, you see, before the day of Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

(I’ve searched the last edition of the famous Ency. Brit.
And neither of this noble pair is even named in it;
Only the men since Nineteen-Ten have properly enjoyed
The privilege of studying the works of JUNG and FREUD.)

Their characters, I grieve to say, were never more unclean
Than those of ordinary life, in morals or in mien;
They had not slummed or fully plumbed with rapture unalloyed
The unconscious mind as now defined by Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

The spiritual shell-shock which these scientists impart
Had not enlarged or cleared the dim horizons of their art;
They had not learned that mutual love by wedlock is destroyed,
As proved by the disciples of the school of JUNG and FREUD.

The hierophants of pure romance, ev’n in its recent mood,
From STEVENSON to CONRAD, such excesses have eschewed;
But the psycho-pathologic route was neither mapped nor buoyed
Until the new discoveries of Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

That fiction should be tonic all may readily agree;
That its function is emetic I, for one, could never see;
And so I’m glad to find The Times Lit. Supp. has grown annoyed
At the undiscriminating cult of Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

Let earnest ‘educationists’ assiduously preach
The value of psychology in training those who teach;
Let publicists who speak of Mr. GEORGE , without the LLOYD,
Confound him with quotations from the works of JUNG and FREUD –

But I, were I a despot, quite benevolent, of course,
Armed with the last developments of high explosive force,
I’d build a bigger “Bertha,” and discharge it in the void
Crammed with the novelists who brood on Messrs. JUNG and FREUD.

2 thoughts on “They’re Jung and easily Freudened.

  • December 1, 2010 at 4:34 am
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    Hah! That's almost the only line I remember from Finnegan's Wake! Perfect title for the post!

    Reply
  • December 1, 2010 at 5:19 am
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    Nice find! My favorite stanza:
    "The spiritual shell-shock which these scientists impart
    Had not enlarged or cleared the dim horizons of their art;
    They had not learned that mutual love by wedlock is destroyed,
    As proved by the disciples of the school of JUNG and FREUD."

    Reply

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