[27 January 2014]
PopMatters Comics Editor
They’ll say it’s the dream that drove them apart. And they’ll be right, if they’re talking about Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
The thing that really did break apart one of the most profound and productive working relationships that spanned the cusp of the late 19th and 20th centuries, was a dream of Carl Jung’s.
In it, Jung dreamt of being in a house (although a house entirely unfamiliar to him he immediately thought of it as “my house”) with two floors. The upper, a luxurious salon outfitted in modern rococo style. Exploring the lower floor it found it styled in an older medieval vintage. Some impulse drove him even lower, into a cellar clearly recognizable from Roman times. And when he noticed a slab with an iron ring set in stone. Once moved, he entered into an underground cave bedecorate with primeval human culture, a cave where human experience just ran out.
For Jung, this dream had all the power of a breakthrough. It allowed him the radical reinterpretation of Freud’s now very familiar schema of the psyche—the Superego, Ego and Id. For Jung, this dream was the insight into the need for a fourth, deeper, more primal level—the collective unconscious. And the birth of the notion of the collective unconscious was what would ultimately break apart the working relationship and ultimately the friendship between Jung and Freud.
In catering to their own characters’ journeys into the underworld (the underworld is always pop culture, Dear Reader) creators of The Unwritten, Peter Gross and Mike Carey tap the power inherent in this crucial moment.
Thus far in the series, we’ve seen things go exceedingly well for Tom Taylor and his cohorts. And we’ve also seen the great villainy he’s been up against, not least of all the mysterious Pullman whose prosthetic wooden arm seems to have the power to dissolve anything it touches into a puddle of words.
By the opening of Orpheus in the Underworlds, we see the journey from the other side. We see Detective Didge be vaporized in the same way we’ve seen countless others vaporized before. But this time we follow her journey, down into the murky, uncertain dark of the real live Underworld. Only to have her yanked back, in one of the finest denouement’s of the series thus far, because she’s dyslexic.
But this isn’t the end of the story. Far from it. This is only the beginning for Tom Taylor who now realizes, from Didge’s report of her time down there, that the missing Lizzie Hexam is actually bound for Hell. And who Tom will find reigning as king once he get’s there…
Please enjoy our exclusive preview of The Unwritten Volume 8: Orpheus in the Underworlds.