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Friday, January 26: Anima and the Muse Relationship – from Dante to Pat Conroy

Presenter: Jim Klein


Friday, January 26, 2018 7:00-8:00PM – Carondelet Center, St. Paul, MN


Members: free       Non-Members; $10


Why does it seem nearly everyone is moved by the story of Dante and Beatrice, the woman to whom he dedicated his life’s creative work – though he hardly knew her?  Why did James Blunt’s simple little pop song “You’re Beautiful” strike such a chord in 2005-6 that some radio stations for a time were playing it as frequently as once each hour?  In the Pat Conroy novel (and movie) “The Prince of Tides”, why does Tom Wingo’s closing soliloquy seem so… well… perfect?  My thesis is that each of these stories is an example of the Muse Relationship, and that the Muse is not so much a relationship between a man and a woman as it is a relationship between a man and his own Anima – his unconscious feminine aspect.  We’ll explore what the Muse Relationship is – and what it is not.  We’ll explore what contemporary author Francine Prose, in her book “The Lives of the Muses”, has to say about women who have been Muse and men who have had a Muse Relationship. We’ll sample what Jungian writers such as Robert A. Johnson, James Hillman, and Marie-Louise von Franz have had to say about the Anima and its projection.  We’ll take a look at the life of Dante’s Victorian-era namesake Dante Gabriel Rosetti – as an example of how to get the Muse Relationship “all wrong”.  I hope we’ll have a lively MJA Salon discussion!


The Minnesota Jung Association Annual Meeting will follow at 8:10 PM.




Jim Klein is a self-taught and MJA-taught Jungian.  He has been a member of MJA for 17 years, and has served on its Board and as an editor of its old print-version journal, Elements.  He is also a fairly regular Salon presenter.  He works in scientific intellectual property management for a Fortune 500 company here in the Twin Cities area.