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Wilson, E., Jr. (1987). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVI, 1982: Mythical Knowledge and the Myth of Knowing. Jean Guillaumin. Pp. 823-837.. Psychoanal Q., 56:595.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVI, 1982: Mythical Knowledge and the Myth of Knowing. Jean Guillaumin. Pp. 823-837.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:595

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVI, 1982: Mythical Knowledge and the Myth of Knowing. Jean Guillaumin. Pp. 823-837.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

Guillaumin emphasizes how the dialogue between mythologues and psychoanalysts oscillates between the question of the endopsychic versus the public origin of myths, thus reflecting the difference between the approaches of Freud and Jung. Actually, in Freud's thought, the two epistemologies succeeded each other periodically and seemed at times contradictory. Contemporary mythologues have redefined the myth. They insist on a different level of understanding, which requires critical attention to the facts and sources, but also calls attention to the desire of the myth and the function of the mythogenesis, too often hidden in the past by an interest in the myth itself. With respect to Greek mythology, myth represents a complex integration of very different elements which are harmonized in a sort of unitary economy. As Loraux demonstrated, Heracles is an integrated and intelligible organization, a character. There is thus made possible a psychoanalytic reading of Heracles' unconscious, in which we may discern the influence of the superego and psychic bisexuality. A mythical dimension and a continuous interweaving with myth have been involved in psychoanalytic theory from its beginnings. The parricidal and incestuous murder of Laius is related to the murder in Totem and Taboo and to the hidden murder in Moses and Monotheism. Psychoanalysis, which some would claim is a myth that originated in the nineteenth century, illustrates some of these functions. We now see more in the Oedipus myth than Freud discussed, and Freud could just as well have expanded his treatment of the myth to include the homosexual conflict of Oedipus' father or the pregenital aspects involved in the myth. Freud's rather reductive focus on certain aspects of the myth and the relative deformation of other aspects of the oedipal conflict may have been determined by didactic, political, and moral considerations of the time, in spite of his concern for scientific objectivity.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1987). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLVI, 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 56:595

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