, who is smarter than me, and quite bit better educated, writes --
"You should be aware that most folklorists consider Bettelheim's work to be a load of bunk. He's terrifyingly reductionist, and wilfully made up psychological anecdotes to support his theories. And that's before you take a step back to all the critiques of Freudian psychology in general. I wouldn't recommend using him for the starting point of any analysis of a fantasy story."
I thank Ms Tower for informing me of Dr. Bettelheim's reputation among folklorists -- as I mentioned the other day, I read The Uses of Enchantment primarily because David Mamet recommended I do so, and while Mamet may not be a very good folklorist, he's taught me many useful things about constructing narratives. (On the other hand, he has also taken up conservative politics. So there's that.) I take seriously Ms Tower's caution against Freudian analysis of stories, and if I actually understood what constitutes Freudian psychology I would endeavor to avoid doing that. I don't pretend that this is "the" meaning of The Wizard of Oz, but I believe it is one possible meaning. The point being, this movie has lasted for generations for some reason, and continues to enchant and move audiences despite its dated appearances. There is, for instance, a convincing argument to be made about Wizard being a simple metaphor about a child's development of wisdom in the negotiation of a confusing society. My goal here is to reduce the narrative (which I guess makes me reductionist, although I hope not terrifyingly so) to its smallest possible core, which leads me to a story that is solely about Dorothy and her fears and desires. And, since the adventure is, literally, "all in her head," her head seems like a good place to start.
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