Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) August 23, 2020: I want to discuss the Jungian analyst Dr. Claire Douglas' admirably honest book Translate This Darkness: The Life of Christiana Morgan (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), in which the author highlights the long extramarital love affair between Christiana Morgan (1897-1967) and Dr. Henry A. Murray, Jr. (1893-1988), both long affiliated with the Harvard Psychological Clinic (he as its director).
Morgan's experience of being psychoanalyzed in Switzerland by the Swiss psychiatrist and psychological theorist C. G. Jung, M.D. (1875-1961), involved her learning to consciously induce images to arise in her psyche from her unconscious, which images she subsequently processed by making paintings of them. In turn, Morgan's later work as a psychoanalyst enabled her to formulate important points about the process of psychoanalysis, which Dr. Douglas quotes (and so do I below). In my estimate, Morgan's astute account of creativity in the patient-analyst relationship, quoted below, is as relevant today as anything Jung or any other more famous analyst ever said about the patient-analyst relationship.
The garrulous Dr. Jung, who appears to have been incapable of being succinct in any of his publications, has published his views in the short 200-page 1969 book The Psychology of the Transference, translated by R. F. C. Hull, extracted from Jung's The Practice of Psychotherapy, 2nd ed. (1966), volume 16 of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung, edited by Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler; executive editor William McGuire (Princeton University Press).
But I first want to discuss the life and work of the American Jesuit Renaissance specialist and cultural historian Walter Jackson Ong, Jr. (1912-2003; Ph.D. in English, Harvard University, 1955), because his account of British and American Romanticism is relevant to Dr. Douglas' detailed discussion of the Byronic hero and the American Romantic novelist and poet Herman Melville (1819-1891) in connection with the long extramarital love affair between Morgan and Murray.
As Ong argues, the spirit of Romanticism is here to stay for the foreseeable future of Western culture. Consequently, the Morgan-Murray fascination with Romanticism and especially with the Byronic hero can still be instructive for people today.
WALTER J. ONG'S LIFE AND WORK
Now, on Ong's father's side of the family, his ancestors left East Anglia on the same ship that brought Roger Williams to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631 - five years before the founding of Harvard College in 1636. Also on his father's side of the family, his and his father's middle name Jackson commemorates the family relationship with President Andrew Jackson. However, on Ong's mother side of the family, his ancestors were more recent Catholic immigrants. Both Ong and his younger brother were raised and educated as Roman Catholics. The future Jesuit priest entered the Jesuit novitiate in September 1935. As part of his lengthy Jesuit training, he completed three graduate degrees (in philosophy, English, and theology) before he advanced to Harvard University for his doctoral studies in English.
Now, around the time of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Harvard College in 1636, the Harvard professor Perry Miller (1905-1963) published his massively researched book The New England Mind: The Seventh Century (Harvard University Press, 1939). To the best of his ability, Miller discussed the logic of the French Renaissance logician and educational reformer and Protestant martyr Peter Ramus (1515-1572), whose logic had dominated the curriculum at Harvard College, just as it dominated the curriculum at Cambridge University in East Anglia (see the index of Miller's book for specific page references to Ramus). However, in the end, Miller called for someone to undertake a more thorough study of Ramus.
In the late 1940s, Ong stepped forward to undertake such a study - with Miller serving as the director of his dissertation. Ong's massively researched dissertation was published in two volumes by Harvard University Press in 1958): (1) Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue: From the Art of Discourse to the Art of Reason and (2) Ramus and Talon Inventory, a briefly annotated bibliography of more than 750 volumes by Ramus, Talon, other Ramists, and critics of Ramus that Ong had tracked down in over 100 libraries in the British Isles and Continental Europe.
From Ong's historical survey of the verbal arts of grammar, rhetoric, and logic (also known as dialectic), Ong subsequently worked out a sweeping account of Western cultural history in his later books:
(1) The Presence of the Word: Some Prolegomena for Cultural and Religious History (Yale University Press, 1967), the expanded version of Ong's 1964 Terry Lectures at Yale University;
(2) Rhetoric, Romance, and Technology: Studies in the Interaction of Expression and Culture (Cornell University Press, 1971);
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).