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The “Iron John” Quality of Masculinity: Rough, Fierce, Wild
April 16, 1988 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm PDT
“Iron John” (“Hans”) is a Grimm’s fairy tale which deals with the quality of masculinity that is essentially opposite to the feminine, neither dependent nor derivative of it. The poet Robert Bly’s treatment of the Grimm tale in New Age magazine, “What Men Really Want”, will provide the point of departure for the workshop. (Upon registration, a reprint of this article will be sent to the regsitrant).
The problem addressed by Bly is the feminization of men. This is an issue especially important in a time of feminine empowerment. The fairy tale, however, is not a modern invention. Men have always needed a knowledge and feeling of themselves that is authentic to the phallic archetype…that does not emerge as only reaction to the feminine. How does roughness, fierceness, wildness live itself out in a male without damaging the feminine in himself or in the other?
The workshop depends upon input from the participants, who have reflected upon the Bly interview. It is recommended that each participant also read the fairy tale itself, only half of which is treated by Bly in his interview.
Related Lecture: Phallos: The Archetypal Source of Masculinity
EUGENE MONICK, M.Div., Ph.D., a diplomate of the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, is in private practice in New York City and Scranton, PA. He is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary and earned his doctorate at the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities. As an Episcopal priest he has served parishes in Maine and continues to do so in the dioceses of New York and Bethlehem, PA. He is the author of Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine, published 1987 by Inner City Books.