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This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Monday, December 29, 2014


In this June 2013 essay I ruminated for a while on the way in which the focal presences of various works might be considered "ego-oriented" or "affect-oriented," using two Rider Haggard novels as my examples. I derived these terms from Carl Jung, but I've only used them a few times on my various blogs-- in contrast to my other principal use of the term "affect."  Also in 2013 I formulated the concept of "sympathetic affects" and "antipathetic affects" as a logical extension of Rudolf Otto's incomplete (in my opinion) schema.

Thus I'm retiring the term "affect-oriented."  The Jung quotes cited in the above essay don't consistently use "affect" as the only counterpoint, but also provide use the words "ego" and "object" as the consuming passions, respectively, of the introvert and the extrovert.

the idea of the ego [for the introvert] is the continuous and dominant note of consciousness, and its antithesis for him is relatedness or proneness to affect.
For the extravert, on the contrary, the accent lies more on the continuity of his relation to the object and less on the idea of the ego.

My substitute term, "object-oriented," is a little dicey simply because the focal presence it describes may be, more often than not, not a thing but a character: a "Dracula" rather than a "Wonderland." But it should signify only the basic fact behind object relations theory: that everything that is outside the intrapsychic world of the ego is experienced as an "object," regardless of its level of intentionality.

I've re-styled this terminology for the next essay in line. In passing I'll note that Stephen King has some inkling of the same distinction in his 1982 book DANSE MACABRE, where he distinguishes between "inside horror" and "outside horror."

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