Wednesday, April 06, 2005

openness to the unconscious

In an article in the Apr. 4, 2005 New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar writes of playwrite Edward Albee:
Albee's plays tend to cherish, in both their animal and their human protagonists, childlike, creaturely, feral qualities--authenticity, impulsiveness, imagination, openness to unconscious thoughts. Woe betide any character who displays adult human virtures such as rationality, courtesy, prudence, or restraint.
My journey has been to learn to embrace the characteristics on that first list. I hadn't quite realized until I read that passage how much I grew up in a world where the characteristics on the second list are good and those on the first list are bad. MacFarquhar doesn't seem to be embarrassed to criticize Albee for embracing the value of the unconscious (I assume in the Jungian sense, what Freud called the subconscious).

Reading that point of view in the New Yorker is particularly resonant for me because the New Yorker is so important to the culture in which I grew up that when my mother heard that I had decided not to subscribe any more she started to give me a subscription as gift.

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