Literature and Psychoanalysis

By Edith Kurzweil; William Phillips | Go to book overview

15. Henry James' Dream of the Louvre, "The Jolly Corner," and Psychological Interpretation

Cushing Strout

THE JAMES FAMILY compellingly attracts our intellectual interest because of its rich mixture of influentially productive genius and disabling emotional conflict, both amply documented. William and Henry were themselves interested in psychological matters of motivation, especially in states of mind bordering on the abnormal. Characteristically, each has left us a report of a nightmare, and each has turned his personal experience to professional account. Just as the philosopher took notes on his bizarre nightmare of disassociated identity and used them in an essay on mysticism in a philosophical journal, 1 so did the novelist recount in his autobiography what he called "the most appalling yet most admirable nightmare" of his life. 2

The novelist described the dream in his autobiography, A Small Boyand Others ( 1913)

From The Prychohistory Review ( 1979), 8(1-2):47-52. Copyright © 1979 The Psychohistory Review. Reprinted by permission.

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