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The Daimonic in Literature

The following is taken from Wikipedia link Wikipedia, and gives the interpretation of daimons in literature. Literature isn't a strong point, or even an interest of mine (apart from science fiction and very imaginative mythic stories). In terms of polarities, I'm more science than art. But this is such an interesting subject I thought I should includse it. Besides, it nicely complements the Daimonic in Psychology. So without further ado, here is the Daimonic in Literature


The journey from innocence to experience is not an idea that originated with this term; rather the Hero's Journey is a topic older than literature itself. But the "daimonic" subsequently became a focus of the English Romantic movement in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the diagram below, we see the common threads of the daimonic notion. Typically, the daimonic tale centers around the Solitary, the central character of the story, who usually is introduced in innocence, wealth, and often arrogance. But under the masks of control and order lies a corruption and unconscious desire towards disintegration. Some event, either external or internal, leads the character towards some type of isolation where he is forced to confront his daimons

The Daimonic Circle

The fall, or the descent, (from hubris) into the liminal world where light and dark meet is usually very dramatic and often torturing for the hero and the audience alike, and comes in myriad forms. In the depths, in hitting bottom, he ultimately discovers his own fate and tragedy (catharsis), and in a final climax is either broken or driven towards rebirth and self-knowledge. The glory of the daimonic is in the humble resurrection, though it claims more than it sets free, as many a foolish men are drawn into its vacuum never to return. As Stefan Zweig writes, the hero is unique for "he becomes the daimon's master instead of the daimon's thrall".

The daimonic has always been, and continues to be, a great source of creativity, inspiration, and fascination in all forms of art.





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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 10 December 2009