The trickster in postmodern literature with special reference to Peter Carey's novel Illywhacker
Conradie, Pieter Willem
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Peter Carey’s novel Illywhacker (1985) contains an example of an Australian trickster figure, who serves as a model of the trickster’s continual appearance in contemporary literature as a vehicle for the shadow archetype of the collective unconscious. This figure can be approached academically through multiple perspectives, such as picaresque criticism, postmodernism, magic realism, postcolonialism, deconstructionism, and new historicism. While taking into account the wide-ranging scope of these various approaches to Illywhacker, this dissertation sees the novel as particularly suited to a Jungian reading, and thus offers an alternative approach to previous ones. It tries to show the relevance of Jung’s interpretation of the trickster, as part of an ongoing investigation of literary figures who might be seen as tricksters. The trickster is an important character type in literature, and in Illywhacker he may be considered to have a therapeutically archetypal function, which is to inspire individuation. Through the trickster’s therapeutic function the reader as ego-bound individual may become conscious of feeling-toned complexes that have been repressed and subsumed into the shadow of the personal unconscious.
- Humanities