7 thoughts on “Maureen Duffy, The Erotic World of Faery

    1. Argh, yes. I constantly confuse the two. I did this in a lecture once and had students writing to me about it for days. Fixed now, thanks.

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  1. Have just finished this fascinating book (relevant to my current research into the mid-nineteenth century, but actually she covers such a vast field that it’s relevant to everything!) and have been looking around to see if others, like me, felt the Freudianism too heavy-handed. It seems you did; I’ll be interested to see the reactions of other folklorists. But I totally agree with you that she is an excellent literary historian and an excellent writer.

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    1. Yes, though I think the period in which she was writing would have influenced the sheer amount of Freudianism here. Might be worth checking to see if Jungianism was also present (though I didn’t notice it, and it is quite unmistakeable), as this too was big in the 1970s.

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  2. Sounds as if she isn’t keen on Jung. Speaking of the desire to escape from the difficulties of life in the earlier twentieth century, she writes: “It led too to the perversion of the observed, clinical insights of Freud into the neo-mysticism of Jungian pseudo-psychology.” (end of the chapter “Do You Believe in fairies?”, p 200 in the paperback edition I have.)

    Reading this book has interested me in her other work as novelist and poet—I think I tried one of her novels once and for some reason didn’t get into it, but they are very well-regarded.

    I’m now going to read a recent book on fairy stories, ‘Seven Miles of Steel Thistles,’ by Katherine Langrish. Then of course there’s Marina Warner…

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    1. I would like to try Langrish, that book is very well regarded. But Warner – she’s like Robert Macfarlane, or he is like her: lofty writing about essential verities, masses of facts and concepts, but a feeling of no rigour, no connecting tissue, just nothing there, underneath the show. I tried one of her books (think it might have been Signs and Wonders) and was so disappointed.

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  3. Yes, I’m sure the Langrish book is excellent. Very interesting what you say about Warner, and about Robert Macfarlane—actually I heard Macfarlane speak and loved his presentation, and I have a couple of his books, though haven’t yet read them properly….I admire what I know of him so far, so I am interested in this verdict of “no rigour, no connecting tissue…” As I say, haven’t yet read him thoroughly and so will see if I find the same….. I do support his Lost Words project though. Warner has recently come out with a new book…

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