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Psychology in Literature: Odyssey of the Mind  

How do inner workings of the mind and outer events in the world mirror and parallel one another? In his poetic drama Peer Gynt, Henrik Ibsen delves into this question with such mythopoetic brilliance and profound psychological insight that what emerges is a psychosocial odyssey through the evolution of human consciousness. Happily, Ibsen asked Edvard Grieg to write music for the play: Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites convey the Peer Gynt story with musical wonderment equal to the literary wonderment of Ibsen’s dramatic accomplishment. For a combined literary-musical experience, we will coordinate Ibsen’s drama with Grieg’s music. We will interactively read in class Peer Gynt, by Henrik Ibsen, translated by Rolf Fjelde (University of Minnesota Press, 1980). Please bring a copy of that text to class.


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