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Summary The Manticore

Summary The Manticore ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Robertson Davies ´ 9 Summary Summary The Manticore Hailed by Washington Post Book World as a modern classic Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy is a glittering fantastical cunningly contrived series of novels around which a mysterious death is woven The Manticore 2nd book in the series after Fifth Business follows David Staunton a man pleased. The Foreigners We DeserveA remarkable journey of Jungian psychoanalysis Manticore will therefore appeal to Platonists as myself who recognise the limits of language but also its necessity in figuring out what we are Aristotelian scientific types are likely to be disappointed Freud thought in terms of flaws in the psyche brought about through trauma Jung in terms of psychic purpose and its adaptations There is no rational way to choose between the two perspectives the facts fit either Aesthetically however Jung takes the upper hand and Davies knows why human beings are remarkably elegant creatures even at their least attractive Understanding this basic principle makes life interesting as well as bearable We are all full of foreigners alien psychic beings vying for attention and supremacy The we reject their presence the power they exert A possible lesson here for Trump in his policy formulation as well as in his personal life

Summary ¹ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Robertson DaviesThe Manticore

Summary The Manticore ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Robertson Davies ´ 9 Summary Summary The Manticore With his success but haunted by his relationship with a larger than life father Percy Boyd As he seeks help thru Jungian therapy he encounters a wonderful cast of characters who help connect him to his past his father's death The title refers to elements of the unconscious which unfold thru t. The Manticore begins by betraying us Dunstan Ramsay that incorrigible saint chasing old man who provided the heart and soul and voice of Fifth Business is no longer our narrator Instead this is the story of David Staunton the son of Dunstan s lifelong frenemy Boy Staunton At the end of Fifth Business Boy dies and now David has gone to Zurich seeking the wisdom of a Jungian analyst to make sense of his behaviour since his father s death Partly an exploration of the psychology of Jung and partly a work of biographical fiction akin to Fifth Business The Manticore is a journey into David s past and into his psycheThe analysis is both and less than a framing device It allows Davies to depart from some of the entrenched conventions of the modern novel rendering David s narration in the form of journal like entries interspersed with script like dialogue between himself and Dr von Haller The events intersect tangentially with those of Fifth Business providing at times a different perspective on characters familiar from the first book Probably the most interesting differences are David s thoughts on Ramsay himself of course as well as how David perceives his father s character However this is not just a retelling of Fifth Business after all David was a minor player in that book barely on the reader s radar and notable only really because he happens to be Boy s son The Manticore gives David his own history fleshing him out as a person and also gives him his own voice one uite distinct from Ramsay sThough this is the Deptford trilogy the return to Deptford in this book is brief and not all that notable The village is not depicted here so much as mentioned as a milieu for some of David s boyhood experiences with his grandfather and his ever present nannyhousekeepermaternal figure Netty Indeed places and locations are much less prominent in The Manticore than they were in Fifth Business I ll hazard that this is because David telling this in the form of his analytic journey is focusing on the people of his past not the places The characters though always at arms length from us are much important than where they are or what they re doing And in this case because we are interested in learning how David projects his own thoughts and feelings onto other people the somewhat surreal uality of the other characters is not a problem but an advantage This is one of the few times where a character is actually allowed to be an archetype rather than a three dimensional personAs von Haller guides David through his analysis she points out how the people in his life have assumed various aspects within his conscious and unconscious mind His sister Caroline Netty his mother Leola his stepmother Denyse and his first and only love Judith have all at times carried the role of the Anima His law professor Pargetter is the Magus and onto Netty s brother David projects his own Shadow The characters in The Manticore morph from people into Jungian archetypes before our very eyesI m hesitant to comment on how Davies incorporates Jung because all I ve learned about Jungian philosophy has been through the Deptford trilogy So it s entirely possible Davies has gotten something wrong With that caveat in mind however I uite enjoy the Deptford trilogy as a vehicle for Jungian philosophy I imagine alone the subject might be rather dry whereas this is a kind of case study that provides suitable material Davies also includes a subtle tension between Jungian and Freudian methodologies he overtly pans the latter at certain points but one of the subplots if you will concerns David s ongoing sexual abstinence If The Manticore were written using Freudian analysis instead this would likely be the centrepiece of the entire book And while David s sexual life is important to understanding him it s only one part of the puzzleI have to admit that I find Jung s psychology appealing than Freud s as much as I find any psychology appealing which is not very I mean it asks us to look at the people in our lives in terms of archetypes and deconstruct how we project our desires upon them interpreting them to fit into roles we define This is very literary way of viewing the world and hence appeals to me a lover of literature Archetypes are always very mythological which recalls Ramsay s syncretism of history and myth and his obsession with saints Just as in Ramsay s view history consists of repeating patterns of myth each person s life consists of repeating patterns of archetypes as we project these archetypes onto our new acuaintances There s a very comforting dualism at work here between the psychology of the individual and the psychology of the society Not being a student of psychology or well versed in Jung s theories and his critics of course I don t know how well they stand up to further scrutiny For the purposes of a novel however they are uite compellingFor all his endorsement of Jungian psychology though I think Davies injects a healthy amount of psychological agnosticism into The Manticore as well By that I mean he rather slyly advocates for making one s own decisions and having the courage to analyze oneself when appropriate He reminds us that Freud Jung Adler et al all had to begin somewhereDavey did you ever think that these three men who were so splendid at understanding others had first to understand themselves It was from their self knowledge they spoke They did not go trustingly to some doctor and follow his lead because they were too lazy or too scared to make the inward journey alone They dared heroically And it should never be forgotten that they made the inward journey while they were working like galley slaves at their daily tasks considering other people s troubles raising families living full lives They were heroes in a sense that no space explorer can be a hero because they went into the unknown absolutely alone Was their heroism simply meant to raise a whole new crop of invalids Why don t you go home and shoulder your yoke and be a hero tooThat s from Liesl who reprises her role as sceptic and Devil s advocate Jung s archetypes did not just spring forth from the head of Zeus fully formed no he developed them over time through his own reflection and introspection Hence any psychology theory is not the end of the framework of one s analysis it s only the beginning It provides tools and training to start an individual down the long road where the journey lasts a lifetime and the destination is always beyond the horizonIf The Manticore has one flaw it s that it s not Fifth Business Such is my admiration for the first book in this trilogy I have a hard time giving The Manticore five stars though I think it s uite worthy of each and every one I understand why Davies chose to depart from the voice of Ramsay in this book and David is a competent replacement but he s not Ramsay He can t be And though I know it s not rational this not being Ramsay is a stumbling block in my enjoyment of this bookBut I got over it I had to The Manticore is both a companion and a seuel to Fifth Business it revisits and continues events from the previous book while providing a whole parallel biography that s rich in its own way While it s not necessary for you to have read Fifth Business to read The Manticore I don t see why you would skip the first book Similarly if you read Fifth Business it s possible to stop and never open this book but in that case I think you would be making a mistake It s not that they are meant to be read together but the books of the Deptford trilogy are like the movements in a single encompassing symphony Each is its own piece exuisite but it s the sum total of all three books that elevates them from excellent to truly remarkable The Manticore builds upon the themes begun in Fifth Business and all the while it tells us the story of another man attempting to make sense of the death of his fatherMy Reviews of the Deptford Trilogy Fifth Business World of Wonders

Robertson Davies ´ 9 Summary

Summary The Manticore ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Robertson Davies ´ 9 Summary Summary The Manticore He story are eventually manifested as a fantastic mythical creature a manticore The Manticore won the Governor General's Literary Award in the English language fiction category in 1972 Many believe that the selection was due in part to the fact that Davies didn't win in 1970 for Fifth Busines. I love the way that Robertson Davies chooses narrators after Fifth Business I would probably have continued using Dunstan Ramsey as a narrator and indeed Davies returns to him in the third novel World of Wonders But my inclination would not have been nearly as interesting Instead by choosing Boy Staunton s son David as the focus it gives this second novel a different tone This is probably as close as I will ever get to Jungian analysis and I enjoyed a peek into the process Davies is very much into myth and archetypes Ramsey is obsessed with the interaction of myth and history and David learns his mythology through analysis although Ramsey was one of his school teachers and he does retain some of that learningI appreciate myth having read a lot of Greek and Roman mythology as a child We lived in a farm community and received boxes of books from the University of Alberta as part of their Extension Program devised so that folks like us with no local library could still get reading materials As a child the librarians chose my books I remember how exciting it was when I was deemed old enough to receive a list of books and actually choose for myself what they would send Whoever was in charge of sending children s books seemed to think that mythology was children s fare perhaps not realizing how violent and truly odd some of those tales were I thank that person whoever they were as mythological tales do make an excellent basis for a liberal arts education and they are largely overlooked in schools or taught in such a sanitized version as to be virtually unrecognizable Davies excellent books always remind me of those childhood days long summer days spent reading about Zeus Posideon Demeter laying in the shade in the long grass enjoying summer Perhaps that is what inspired me to pick up this series again at this time of year

  • Paperback
  • 320
  • The Manticore
  • Robertson Davies
  • English
  • 01 April 2019
  • null