ORIENTERING 1970: Literary history is full of settlements and conflicts between changing directions. At a distance, such settlements almost always seem exaggerated. Sometimes you see a kind of justification. And rarely have they been politically necessary.
The settlement with Sigurd Hoel has been such a politically necessary settlement, – with Hoel then as a common denominator for the tradition we associate with psychoanalysis and Freudianism: the psychologizing novel, or psychologism, as this direction is somewhat derogatoryly called.
The urge to give psychological explanations in this way, to explain, for example, Nazism and fascism from a psychological pattern characterized Hoel's generation and much of the war and post-war Norwegian literature. Freud, who once opened the way to a new reality, eventually became the concept behind which reality was hidden.
Today, psychologists' causal explanations appear to be too simple, often banal. Torture can hardly be explained by unfortunate childhood experiences or a special family pattern (the bombs are not triggered by hidden mechanisms in the president...
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