Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0001316, Tue, 17 Sep 1996 10:37:16 -0700

Re: Nabokov?Freud?Jung (fwd)
Harington's comment on the VN-Freud-Jung thread

VN would not have agreed with you that Freud "wrote so brilliantly about
neurosis and the human psyche." Nor would I. VN understood that Freud's
mission had been to rob the psyche of its secrets, which are the stuff of
art and of VN's fiction.

And I think VN was also prescient: he knew that ultimately Freud would be,
if not discredited, relegated to a position as a kind of well-meaning but
overzealous meddler. VN was unconvinced that Freud's theories would
ultimately benefit either mankind or art, and time has proved him right:
they have benefited neither.

As for Jung, VN probably liked him as a person more than Freud (he is,
after all, more the sort of the fellow you might encounter in a corner of
a VN story) but he couldn't subscribe to the idea of the archetype simply
because it is an effort to type, and VN hated typing.