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Dune essay [Part I] - Esej o Dini [I Dio]

 I wrote a seminar for one of my classes at uni about Paul Atreides. The goal of the seminar was to describe a person/a character through 3 psychological personality theories. I chose Paul Atreides, and the three theories I'm using are Jung's, Freud's and Maslow's. Of course, considering my choice, most of the analysis was done through the lens of Jung's ideas, but the other two are included too. Since the paper has 10 pages (and it's in Croatian, so I need to translate it) I'll post it here in several parts, starting with the Introduction. So, without further ado, here goes Part  I (warning to all who haven't read Dune but plan to, here be spoilers!):

Do Modern Myths Exist?
An Analysis of Paul Atreides Through the Theories of Jung, Freud and Maslow

1. Introduction

A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows. To begin your study of the life of Muad'Dib, then, take care that you first place him in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate Muad'Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place.
-from "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
(Herbert, 1990)

The first novel in the chronicles of Dune begins with this citation. Already from this citation, even if we just took the book for the first time in our hands, it is clear that the central character in the story is Paul Atreides, Muad'Dib - because of that we will mostly concern ourselves with that character in this essay. But before the analysis of Paul Atreides, we need to say a few words about the book.

Dune is one of the most important novels in soft Sf, if we take the classification which separates soft and hard SF depending on the sciences on which they're based on - hard SF on traditionally harder sciences like physics and chemistry, and soft SF on traditionally softer sciences like psychology and sociology (Wolfe, 1986). The novel's place as a classic in the genre is reinforced by the often cited commentary of Sir Arthur C. Clarke who said that he knows "nothing comparable to it except Lord of the Rings" (Herbert, 1990). Despite the cult status in SF reader circles, the classic status of Dune is often challenged because of the simple fact that its a science fiction novel (Gioia, 2008). Considering that it's a classic of soft SF, the analysis of the main character of Dune from the perspective of psychological personality theories should prove to be fruitful.

A short summary of the novel will serve the purpose mentioned in the citation at the beginning - illustrating the influences and environment in which the character of Paul Atreides was located and in which he grew. This is a short description of Dune offered in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (D'Ammassa, 2005):

"[Dune] is an elaborate interstellar political drama set in a corrupt human empire held together only because a drug derived from a spice grown on the planet Arrakis makes it possible for starship pilots to ply their trade. The various noble houses of the empire contend for power, and when House Atreides is granted management of Arrakis in place of the Harkonnens, it seems like a great honor, although it is eventually revealed to be a trap through which Atreides is to be destroyed. The original novel is remarkable for its complexity, its messianic theme, and the sheer scale of events..."
 
The plot could at first seem as a relatively simple space opera, but Herbert offers us in Dune a richly developed and complex world in which the characters, through the plot, appear in a live and plausible world. Gioia (2008) calls this approach to writing 'thick' writing, and he borrows this term from anthropology where it signifies a description of a culture which offers deep contextual meaning of a certain situation. Herbert indeed offers such a wide societal context which reminds Gioia (2008) of an anthropological study of a society which includes its history, religion, philosophy, institutions and customs. Because of that 'thick' style of writing, the novel uses themes from sciences and disciplines like psychology, comparative religion, sociology, philosophy, anthropology and politics (Hero and Society in Dune, 200) in an artistic-literary way . That's why, for the social sciences, Dune represents a speculative playground of ideas like that in the relationship between great works of hard SF and the harder sciences.
In this essay, we will try to analyze Paul Atreides using the viewpoints from three personality theories: Jung's, Freud's and Maslow's.

References:
D'Ammassa, D. (2005). Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Facts On File: New York.

Gioia, T. (2008). Conceptual Fiction: Dune by Frank Herbert. Retrieved on 24. 5. 2010. at http://www.conceptualfiction.com/dune.html.

Herbert, F. (1990). Dune. Berkley Books: New York.

N. N. (2008). Hero and Society in Dune. Retrieved on 24. 5. 2010. at http://courses.moodleshare.com/mod/resource/view.php?id=111.

Wolfe, G. K. (1986). Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Glossary and Guide to Scholarship. Greenwood Publishing: Westport, CT.

***

Napisao sam seminar o Paulu Atreidesu za jedan kolegij na faksu. Cilj seminara je bio da se opiše jedna osoba/lik kroz 3 psihologijske teorije ličnosti. Ja sam odabrao Paula Atreidesa, i tri teorije koje koristim su one Junga, Freuda i Maslowa. Naravno, s obzirom na moj odabir, većina seminara se ticala Jungove teorije, ali i druge dvije su uključene isto. S obzirom da seminar ima deset stranica (i na hrvatskom je, tako da ga trebam prevoditi) postat ću ga u više dijelova, počevši sa uvodom. Bez duljenja, evo prvog dijela (upozorenje svima koji nisu pročitali Dinu ali planiraju, ima spoilera!):


Postoje li moderni mitovi?
Analiza lika Paula Atreidesa kroz teorije Junga, Freuda i Maslowa

1. Uvod

Početak je pravi trenutak za obraćanje pažnje na pravilnu uravnoteženost. To znaju sve sestre reda Bene Gesserit. Na početku proučavanja života Muad'Diba potrebno ga je, dakle, najprije smjestiti u njegovo vrijeme: rođen je 57. godine vladavine Cara Padišaha, Shaddama IV. Također, svakako ga treba postaviti na pravo mjesto: planet Arrakis. Neka vas ne zbuni činjenica da je rođen na Caladanu, gdje je i živio sve do petnaeste godine. Arrakis, planet poznat kao Dina, njegov je pravi dom.
Iz 'Uputa o Muad'Dibu' princeze Irulan
(Herbert, 2004, str. 7)

Ovim citatom počinje prvi roman iz sage o Dini. Već iz ovog citata, ako smo tek prvi puta primili knjigu u ruke, jasno je da je centralni lik priče Paul Atreides, Muad'Dib – zbog čega će se i u ovom seminaru razmatrati prvenstveno taj lik. No, prije same analiza Paula Atreidesa, potrebno je reći nešto o samoj knjizi.

Dina je jedno od najvažnijih djela soft SF-a, ako uzimamo podjelu SF-a na tvrd i mekan prema znanostima na kojima se temelji – tvrdi SF na tradicionalno tvrđim znanostima poput fizike i kemije, a mekani SF na tradicionalno mekšim znanostima poput psihologije i sociologije (Wolfe, 1986). Mjesto klasika u žanru SF-a potvrđuje i često citiran komentar Sir Arthura C. Clarka koji Dinu „može jedino usporediti sa Gospodarom prstena“ (Herbert, 1990). Unatoč kultnom statusu u krugu obožavatelja znanstvene fantastike, status klasika Dine se često osporava samom činjenicom da pripada znanstvenoj fantastici (Gioia, 2008). S obzirom da je klasik mekane znanstvene fantastike, analiza glavnog lika Dine iz perspektive psihologijskih teorija ličnosti trebala bi se pokazati posebno plodotvorna.

Kratki sadržaj romana će poslužiti cilju navedenom u uvodnom citatu – prikazivanju utjecaja i okoline u kojoj se razvio i smjestio lik Paula Atreidesa. Ovako Dinu ukratko opisuje Enciklopedija znanstvene fantastike (D'Ammassa, 2005):

„[Dina] je razrađena međuzvjezdana politička drama smještena u korumpiranom ljudskom carstvu koje na okupu jedino drži droga dobivena iz začina koji raste na planetu Arrakisu i koji omogućuje putovanje svemirskim pilotima. Razne plemenite kuće carstva se natječu za moć, i kada Kuća Atreides dobiva Arrakis pod upravu umjesto Harkonnena, to se naizgled čini kao velika čast iako se kasnije otkriva da je to u stvari zamka pomoću koje će Atreidesi biti uništeni. Roman je osobit zbog svoje kompleksnosti, mesijanske teme i veličine događaja koje prikazuje…“
 
Radnja se naizgled čini kao ona relativno tipične space opere, ali Herbert u Dini nudi bogato razrađen i kompleksan svijet u kojem se likovi kroz radnju pojavljuju u živom i plauzibilnom okruženju. Gioia (2008) ovakav pristup pisanju naziva 'thick' pisanjem, a taj termin je preuzeo iz antropologije gdje označava opis kulture koji nudi duboki kontekstualni smisao određene situacije. Herbert zaista nudi taj širi kontekst društva koji Gioiu (2008) podsjeća na antropološku studiju nekog društvu koja uključuje njegovu povijest, religiju, filozofiju, institucije i običaje. Baš zbog tog 'thick' pisanja, roman književno-umjetnički obrađuje znanstvene i stvarne teme koje dolaze iz psihologije, komparativne religije, sociologije, filozofije, antropologije i politike (Hero and Society in Dune, 2008).. Zbog toga Dina za društvene znanosti predstavlja spekulativno igralište ideja, kao što je slučaj sa odnosom velikih djela hard SF-a i tvrđih znanosti.

Paul Atreides će se u okviru ovog seminara analizirati kroz tri teorije: Jungove, Freudove i Maslowljeve.

Literatura:

D'Ammassa, D. (2005). Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Facts On File: New York.

Gioia, T. (2008). Conceptual Fiction: Dune by Frank Herbert. Pronađeno 24. 5. 2010. na http://www.conceptualfiction.com/dune.html.

Herbert, F. (1990). Dune. Berkley Books: New York.

Herbert, F. (2004). Dina: Prva knjiga Kronika Dine. Izvori: Zagreb.

N. N. (2008). Hero and Society in Dune. Pronađeno 24. 5. 2010. na http://courses.moodleshare.com/mod/resource/view.php?id=111.

Wolfe, G. K. (1986). Critical Terms for Science Fiction and Fantasy: A Glossary and Guide to Scholarship. Greenwood Publishing: Westport, CT.



Tags: dune, literature, psychology
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