By Matt Cardin.
After having fallen into semi-official disrepute among the mainstream Western literati and intelligentsia for a century or three, the muse/genius/daimon was resurrected and rehabilitated for a new era beginning roughly in the 1990s.
Yes, Jung and the entire field of analytical psychology had valiantly championed the idea of the objectivity of the psyche throughout the 20th century, and this had kept the muse/genius/daimon somewhere within earshot.
But the Jungian tradition officially remained a kind of quirky backdoor phenomenon, great to be used as fodder for conversations at high-end cocktail parties, or to be mined for talking points by Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth, but finally and firmly divorced from the really respectable discourse that embodied the collective common sense of the era’s high intellectual culture.
The end result was that even Jung couldn’t keep the muse and her kin from falling into disrepute.
But then James Hillman managed to get on the best-seller lists with a thoroughly daimon-based exploration of creativity and life calling in The Soul’s Code (1997)… A decade later Elizabeth Gilbert fairly shook the world with her talk about muses and geniuses at the 2008 installment of the zeitgeist-gauging TED Conference.
Continued in article Perspiration Meets Inspiration or, The Return of the Muse.