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In essays on the subject of centricity, I've most often used the image of a geometrical circle, which, as I explained here,  owes someth...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


One of the key features of my ongoing theory is the notion that every coherent narrative, even if it contains elements of all four of Northrop Frye's mythoi, only one of the mythoi dominates the narrative.   One of my earliest examinations of this concept of mythos-dominance (and, implicitly, of the "submissiveness" of any other mythos-elements) appears in this 2010 essay.

As I've recently been rereading Jung's tome PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPES, I find it interesting that even though Frye does not invoke Jung's four psychological functions (sensation, intuition, thinking, feeling), Frye's "logic of dominance" (my term) mirrors the logic Jung uses to assert that only one of the psychological functions can be dominant when it is in a "conscious" state.  Jung defines his use of the term "conscious" thusly:

To recapitulate for the sake of clarity: the products of all functions can be conscious, but we speak of the "consciousness" of a function only when its use is under the control of the will and, at the same time, its governing principle is the decisive one for the orientation of consciousness.
What Jung says with application to the operation of the conscious psyche in general psychological terms can be applied no less to the operations of the psyche as it arranges the elements of narrative into a coherent mythoi.  Jung explains his point about "sovereignty" as relating to the potential of the functions to negate or undermine one another.

This absolute sovereignty always belongs, empirically, to one function alone, and can belong only to one function, because the equally independent intervention of another function would necessarily produce a different orientation which, partially at least, would contradict the first. But since it is a vital condition for the conscious process of adaptation always to have clear and unambiguous aims, the presence of a second function of equal power is naturally ruled out. This other function, therefore, can have only a secondary importance.” 

Again, I note that Jung's logic follows a deductive line of reasoning, which parallels Frye's methodology as described in the above essay.

More Jung stuff to come.


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