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|Title:||Jung, Sawyer, Science Fiction, and the Eupsychia: Reconciling Opposites in the Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy|
|Keywords:||science fiction;Robert Sawyer;Carl Jung;utopia|
|Abstract:||Frank and Fritzie Manuel’s 1979 tome Utopian Thought in the Western World organizes the history of Utopia into a series of ‘constellations’. Nestled in the middle is their constellation ‘Eupsychias of the Enlightenment’ wherein they mention the following on Rousseau: “Rousseau’s eupsychian legacy is the fantasy of a perfectly autonomous, fulfilled ‘I’ for everyman, the wholeness of a communal ‘I’ that is an organic unity, and the integration of the entire, individual ‘I’ with the communal ‘I’ with hardly a ripple on either surface” (440). Rousseau’s appeal to the “healthy psychological attributes of man in a hypothetical state of nature” pose decidedly valid concerns to any critic sensitive to the ‘essentializing’ tendencies of Enlightenment thought; however, Rousseau’s attention to the utopian nature of the mind, soul, psyche, or state of the individual is alien to those presently living in late modern capitalism: a culture in which the individual is situated (reified) primarily as a productive site for the consumption of commodities and political ideologies. Has the eupsychia been wholly coopted? a thing of the past, relegated to a historical ‘constellation’? My argument is decidedly no. Sawyer’s ‘Neanderthal Parallax’ offers a SF narrative whereby Eupsychia may be thought anew without falling victim to perils of essentialism. That is to say, Sawyer’s Trilogy allows for Eupsychia to be brought back into utopian discourse, during a time where there is resurgence in trying to (re)think the Utopian in an otherwise anti-utopian cultural milieu. Using the psychoanalytic approach specific to Carl Jung, I attempt to unpack the nature of Sawyer’s eupsychia in terms of the reconciliation of archetypal opposites. This Deep psychological approach will be presented as one way of interpreting Eupsychia in non-essentialist terms while simultaneously sustaining a critique that hinges on dualisms.|
|Appears in Collections:||Science Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Genre|
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