Time, Place, and Idea: Essays on the Novel

Time, Place, and Idea: Essays on the Novel

Time, Place, and Idea: Essays on the Novel

Time, Place, and Idea: Essays on the Novel

Excerpt

The following essays were published over a period, roughly, of a decade, from the early 1950's to the early 1960's. There are statements in them to which I would perhaps no longer subscribe, or that today I would qualify, but I have left everything to stand as it was originally written. The significance of the title, Time, Place, and Idea, to certain of the individual essays should be obvious, but there are in the book as a whole, I find retrospectively, other basic preoccupations and ideas, the most important of which have been unconscious or barely conscious. The first of these seems to be the concept of polarity, with the correlated distrust of Absolutes, in D. H. Lawrence's sense.

So, the polarity of the dynamic consciousness, from the very start of Life! Direct flowing and flashing of two consciousness streams, active in the bringing forth of an individual being. The sweet commingling, the sharp clash of opposition. And no possibility of creative development without this polarity, this dual circuit of direct, spontaneous, interchange. No hope of life apart from this. The primal unconscious pulsing in its circuits between two beings: love and wrath, cleaving and repulsion, inglutination and excrementation. What is the good of inventing "ideal" behavior? -- [The Birth of Consciousness in Psychoanalysis and the Unconscious, New York, 1960, p. 24]

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