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Tozzi, C. (2020). From Horror to Ethical Responsibility: Carl Gustav Jung and Stephen King Encounter the Dark Half within Us, between Us and in the World. J. Anal. Psychol., 65(1):219-234.

(2020). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 65(1):219-234

From Horror to Ethical Responsibility: Carl Gustav Jung and Stephen King Encounter the Dark Half within Us, between Us and in the World

Chiara Tozzi

This paper explores the experience of horror. The term is usually understood collectively to refer to experiences of terrorism, racism and other conflicts; however, the paper explores the equal horror for the individual of facing deep and painful psychic contents and traumatic experiences. The paper explores the way that both C.G. Jung, through analysis of the psyche, and the author Stephen King, through his horror novels, have accepted and explored the experience of encountering ‘the dark half’ or ‘It’ that is the other within themselves, forming images and symbols capable of linking their personal experience to that of the collective. This encounter is transformed, as far as Jung is concerned by analytical psychology and for King by fiction, through an attitude of active imagination. This led both men to developing an ethical responsibility towards the images of the unconscious, as well as the personal and collective contents of human life. The paper depicts how encountering the ‘dark half’, through Jung and King can provide a Jungian analyst with a special attitude with which to deeply explore and ethically process the experience of horror in different fields, including therapeutic practice, analytical training and in the traumatic and conflictual facing of the other, with which, today as always, the world presents us.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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