Creases in Culture: Essays Toward a Poetics of Depth


This collection of essays, written over a period of years, entertains the shared place of psyche and poetics. Dr. Slattery has explored the manner in which the psyche is poetic and how poetry is deeply psycho-mythical. Influenced in part by the archetypal psychologist James Hillman’s idea of the “poetic basis of mind” that comprises the soul’s foundation, Slattery’s writing moves into the interactive field in which myth is the ground for both psyche and poetry. The essays develop a further understanding of what has been called mythopoiesis, the fundamental myth-making and shaping capacity of the soul.

Praise for Creases in Culture:

If the task of depth psychology is to track the movement of the invisible through the visible forms of the world, then Dennis Slattery is a master psychologist. In Creases he lifts the depth dimensions of everyday tools from metaphor to motorcycles into view, and explicates the condign from Dante to Dostoevsky. Creases opens a fascinating aperture into a deeper realm which courses just below the surface of our daily lives.

—James Hollis, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and author. 

Creases in Culture gathers together eleven essays that fold in on each other, pressing together depth psychology and literature that wrinkles the smooth ways of mind and turns the reader toward the depth of literature and the poetics of the deep. One comes away from this book with a sense of having taken a fine stroll with a companion who is delighted by the tricks and turns of the imagination.

—Robert D. Romanyshyn, Ph.D. Creator of the multimedia DVD, Antarctica: Inner Journeys in the Outer World.

The book is a tour-de-force, in the breadth and wealth and depth of its ideas, in the beauty of its language, of a sort that doesn’t appear often in modern times. So this is my suggestion as you pick up this volume: find a comfortable chair, make sure your cell phone and computer and television are turned off, try to get everyone out of the house, a fireplace on a cool evening is recommended if possible, and let yourself go rummaging around in Dennis Slattery’s mind. Motorcycle helmets are optional.

—From the Foreword by Lynn Cowan, Ph.D., author of Tracking the White Rabbit: A Subversive View of Modern Culture and Portrait of the Blue Lady: The Character of Melancholy.

Dennis Patrick Slattery, Ph.D. is core faculty, Mythological Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria California. He has been teaching literature and mythology for over 40 years. He is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of 21 books, including five volumes of poetry; he has published over 150 articles and reviews on literature, psychology, mythology, as well as popular essays on surprises in the world.

Creases in Culture Table of Contents

Section I: Formal Essays

    Chapter 1  Psychic Energy’s Portal to Presence in Myth, Poetry, and Culture 

    Chapter 2  The Wonder of Wandering: Archetype, Myth, and Metaphor in William Faulkner’s “The Bear” 

    Chapter 3  Mytho-Poiesis: The Shared Ground of Psyche’s Dreaming and Poetic Impulse

    Chapter 4  Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Red Book: C.G. Jung’s Divine Comedy

    Chapter 5  Mimesis, Neurology and the Aesthetics of Presence  

Section II: Cultural Essays

    Chapter 6  Motorcycles as Myth and as Metaphor

    Chapter 7  The Power and Poetry of Love

    Chapter 8  The Soul’s Claim: Choose It or Lose It

    Chapter 9  Humanities Education: Necessities for Cultivating the Whole Person

    Chapter 10   Poetics of Soul: Revisioning Psychology as Mythical Method

    Chapter 11  The Memorable Teacher: Father Zosima’s Active Love and Learning in The Brothers Karamazov

Order Creases in Culture direct from the publisher, Fisherking Press.