The Cry for Myth

Rollo May, Author W. W. Norton & Company $22.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-393-02768-6
Psychotherapist May ( Love and Will ) believes that America's abiding myths--of home, homeland, rugged individualism, the frontier, the seduction of the new, etc.--no longer serve as guideposts. People are rudderless, anxiety-prone and seek meaning in their lives, he claims. But some of May's patients tapped into primal myths, such as Charles, a lapsed Catholic with writer's block who saw himself as a ``rebel of God'' in order to allay neurotic guilt, and Ursula, an agoraphobic actress who recalled a dream echoing the birth of Athena from a slit in Zeus's forehead. May's interpretation of Freudian psychoanalysis as a cluster of myths lends resilience to his exploration of the existential crises of birth, adolescence, love, marriage, work and death. He blends clinical material, cultural commentary and examples of mythic figures ranging from Proteus, Greek god of change, to Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby. May's enormously stimulating, down-to-earth approach avoids Jungian jargon as he links the mythic to the everyday. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-385-30685-0
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-393-33177-6
Open Ebook - 978-0-393-24077-1
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