Very Boring, To Be Honest

I don’t want to let my daily-posting pattern sip right after getting started again, so I’m putting up a very tedious post that mostly just says that instead of finishing the book review that I was supposed to polish off this morning, I spent the day working through the transcription of a lecture I attended in my first semester at Yale Divinity, a talk given at the English Department by James Hillman (G83c on the Opus Archives website). Margaret and I had been reading a fair bit of Hillman as part of our thinking through some ideas left over from her undergraduate studies, and we were excited to see that in our very first semester in New Haven, Hillman himself was giving a talk — and it was free! And we could go!
I’m working through the lecture not because I’m sliding into post-Jungian archetypal psychology, but because some slices of his work on dream interpretation cohere conveniently with the sorts of general claims I want to make about hermeneutics — and I was interested to note that in a section dedicated to spelling out his differences with non-Jungians (on one hand) and orthodox Jungians (on the other), he characterised the tenor of those differences in ways that remind me of my differences from straight-line historical-critical biblical interpreters (on one hand) and liberal-radical interpreters (on the other).
Overall, the lecture stays wedded to a metaphysics and a [poly]theology I reject. But I realise that the lecture played an important role in quickening my interest in questions of hermeneutics; I cited it in the final essay for my spring-semester Parables course (“[Something I Don’t Remember], Joke, and Dream: Three Models for Parable Interpretation”), and its general thrust has stayed with me for the thirty years since Hillman gave the talk, and Margaret and I heard it. I’m thinking about writing an article on it, but that has to come in after a lot of other, more urgent tasks.

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