RINAKER, CLARISSA: A Psychoanalytical Note on Jane Austen. Psa. Quarterly, V, 1.
Die amerikanische Dichterin Jane Austen hatte ihr Leben lang mit unbewußten Haßimpulsen zu kämpfen, die aus schweren Kindheitserlebnissen stammten, die ihrem Ödipuskomplex eine besondere Note gegeben hatten.
It is necessary to mention a few dates. Jane Austen was born in 1775, the youngest daughter of a country clergyman; her father died in 1805, and she then lived with her mother till her own death in 1817.
The Gothic novel
and the contemporary poetry - Byron and Scott - evoked greatly enhanced and self-indulged sensibility and poignant feeling. Jane Austen was temperamentally unable to feel these violent emotions and, as a realist, did not believe they were genuine.
There has probably never been a more ferocious debunker of passionate or sexual love than Jane Austen in the four central novels.
Although it is impossible to know the childhood history of Jane Austen or to do more than guess at what her character was, I suggest that in her youth, probably 1797 or 1798, just before writing Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen did in fact refuse a Charming lover; this may have been at the persuasion of her father or because she could not support the idea of leaving him alone, and could not break the bond which bound them so closely to one another.
It seems as though, by thus reworking her fantasies, Jane Austen had finally uncovered for herself the hidden motives behind the too warm, too loving, family relationships which circumscribed her life.
A Psychoanalytical Note on Jane Austen
Since the influence of deep unconscious forces on literary creation is pretty generally recognized, the study of that type of sublimation gives the psychoanalyst an opportunity to meet the layman on common ground and lead him from distrust or prejudice to a more tolerant understanding of the workings of the unconscious.
Jane Austen is particularly attractive for such a study because she is one of the most beloved and apparently "normal" of novelists, and yet the unconscious origin of both her humor and her imaginative inventions is clearly revealed in two short fantasies which can be briefly discussed.
Gradually, through years of living and writing, of suffering and surviving real disappointments, of looking upon the life about her and learning to accept the world of reality in greater measure, Jane Austen was able to make a finer weapon of her scorn and her wit and to fashion from her repressed desires more life-like creations.
AUSTEN-LEIGH, W. and R. A. Jane Austen Her Life and Letters, a Family Record, 1913 p. 336
AUSTEN-LEIGH, J. E. Memoir of Jane Austen Ed. R. W. Chapman, 1926 Pp. 125-6 See letter to Lewes, 1848 in Mrs.
The Myth in Jane Austen
It seems as though, by thus reworking her fantasies, Jane Austen had finally uncovered for herself the hidden motives behind the too warm, too
loving, family relationships which circumscribed her life.
In the midst of her satirical observation Jane Austen had hidden a myth which probably holds good for her myriad admirers, but in her last novel she rejected her myth, her fantasy, because she had learned that, like all myths, it was eventually an enemy of life.