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Donald Kalsched, Ph.D. — Violence in Fairy Tales: A Symbolic Key to Violence in our Culture and its Possible Transformation
Cost: Members = $20; non-members $30; students $10
CEUs available $25
Register here: https://jungatlanta.com/event-calendar/#!event/2021/12/4/donald-kalsched-ph-d-8212-violence-in-fairy-tales-a-symbolic-key-to-violence-in-our-culture-and-its-possible-transformation
When Bruno Bettleheim published The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales in 1989, controversies erupted about how all the violence in the Grimm’s tales might traumatize our children or provoke them to violent behavior. Bettleheim said this was nonsense — that violence was part of life and that children were actually helped by having imagery for violence that placed it in the context of the human imagination and surrounded it with meaningful stories. Today, the violence in Fairy Tales seems mild — even quaint — in comparison with a profusion of terrifying films, horror videos on TV, video games that specialize in killing, and the mind-numbing violence of actual mass-killings in our schools, synagogues and churches. It is as though violence has jumped the tracks — breaking free of its origins in human “stories” — and becoming something truly demonic, senseless, meaningless, and traumatic. We are losing the ability to talk about it. It has become “speechless horror.”
C. G. Jung, following the Roman playwright Terrence, said “I am human — therefore nothing human is alien to me.” He also said, “we need an imagination for evil” and I believe this is especially true for the violence that saturates American culture today. We need to re-locate it in our human experience. Fairy Tales are a good place to look for an understanding of the archetypal and human factors surrounding violence — thus restoring our imagination for this evil reality. In this lecture we will explore the Grimm’s tale, The Handless Maiden, which gives us images both of violence and its healing. We will discover that we can’t understand our current violence without understanding modern psychological theories of affect-regulation, trauma and dissociation. Such an understanding leads us back to the human stories that are violated by violence and gives us insight into how violence can be transformed.
Donald Kalsched, Ph.D. is a Jungian Psychoanalyst and Clinical Psychologist who lives in Topsham Maine. He is a training analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts and also a member of the C. G. Jung Society of New England. His two books The Inner World of Trauma: Archetypal Defenses of the Personal Spirit (Routledge, 1996) and Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-Spiritual Approach to Human Development and its Interruption (Routledge, 2013) have sold thousands of copies in the US and have been translated into many languages. More information at .