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Title: 'Royal Roads' : the representation of dream in the modernism of H.D., Virginia Woolf and James Joyce
Author: Thornton, Lorraine.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2667 1646
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis aims to establish the importance of dream in the fictions of H. D., Virginia Woolf and James Joyce. By examining the emergent dream psychology at the turn of the 20th century, I chart its impact on their writing, and in particular I explore the way in which these writers are deeply resistant to the theories of Freud. I suggest that they harbour what Harold Bloom has called an 'anxiety of influence' towards contemporary psychoanalysts. I investigate their sense of rivalry, which is due partly to their parallel venture of finding an adequate language and framework for representing the life of the dream. I argue that these three writers' 'resistance' to psychoanalysis precipitates a radical negotiation and transformation of the dream psychology of their milieu, which they render in their fiction. H. D., Woolf and Joyce search for a vision in which scienceand spirituality can be united. Freud was criticised by these writers for his scientific and positivistic outlook, which Jung had already articulated as 'psychology without the soul.' These writers are on a quest to put the soul back into what they see as a materialist psychology, and often look towards mystical phenomena to transcend the split that they discern. H. D. epitomises this search in her admonition that she wishes to found a dream psychoanalysisthat could embrace occult phenomena, which lay 'outside the province of established psychoanalysis.'She was, of course referring to Freudian psychoanalysis, but Jungian psychologywas amenable to this spirituality. This thesis also explores how these three writers, unknown to themselves, beckon towards a Jungian dream psychology, especially in their rendering of a collective unconsciousand use of mythical archetypes. I have named my thesis 'Royal Roads', after Freud's famous assertion that 'Dreams are the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.' Yet this thesis maintains that H. D., Woolf and Joyce embody the modernist impulse to 'make it new', and thus embark on a journey of revisionism in which they create their own 'royal roads' to the dream.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available