The Anima Problem in Patrick Roth’s Starlite Terrace
Presented by Patrick Roth and Michaela Kopp-Marx, PhD
Sunday, April 3, 2022, 10 am - 3 pm PDT (UTC -7)
(the Q&A is not included in the videos)
NOTE LONGER PROGRAM THAN USUAL
Part One, 10-11:15 am: Patrick Roth reads his story “Solar Eclipse” [11:15-11:30 short break]
Part Two, 11:30 am-12:45 pm: Michaela Kopp-Marx begins to interpret the story, followed by discussion. [12:45-1:30 lengthy break]
Part Three, 1:30-3 pm: Michaela Kopp-Marx concludes her interpretation of the story, followed by discussion.
Starlite Terrace is the Los Angeles apartment building where the four protagonists live in the eponymous novel by Patrick Roth. Over the course of a year, from June 2002 to June 2003, four residents - Rex, Moss, Gary and June - tell their highly personal stories, centered on “average” people in or beyond midlife, whose thoughts, feelings and actions are influenced to a high degree by movies and the movie industry. In each of their singular collisions with life, a universal and mythic pattern is unfurled which gives these so-called ordinary people a dignity they have long since lost in everyday life. It is the narrator, a fifth protagonist as it were, who assembles the life shards of his characters into four “Hollywood individuation stories,” as Roth calls them.
This three-part program is about the second story in Starlite Terrace entitled “Solar Eclipse.” In Part One Patrick Roth will read the story to us. In Parts Two and Three the story will be interpreted from a depth psychological point of view by Michaela Kopp-Marx, who will take a closer look at the unfolding of certain themes and associated motifs through the tale, as they coalesce toward a center of meaning, the focus being the hero Moss (Moses) and his individuation process. Seen from a depth psychological perspective, “Solar Eclipse” portrays modern man’s confrontation with the anima; this masterfully written story exemplifies how a man can find a relationship with his feminine side.
Patrick Roth is a German-American writer who moved to the US in his early twenties and lived there for many years. He began his artistic career as a director and screenwriter in Los Angeles. In the early 1990s, he switched to prose and developed his cinema-influenced style as a storyteller. He is renowned as a writer of biblical-archetypal narratives, dramatized in a cinematically expressionistic prose that makes the mythical themes come alive. A prime example of this approach is Die Christus Trilogie, which caused a sensation in the 1990s. Alongside the images of the Bible, Roth’s novels also explore the world of film and its heroes. He has been a Resident Scholar of the C. G. Jung Study Center of Southern California since 2007 and is currently a member of its Board of Directors.
Michaela Kopp-Marx, PhD, is a professor of Modern German Literature at the University of Heidelberg. Her field of work and research is modern and contemporary literature, especially the interrelations between visual art, film, and literature (Rilke and Rodin: In Search of the True Way of Writing, 1999). She is particularly interested in C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology, including the theory of archetypes and symbol theory in contemporary literature, especially in the work of Patrick Roth. In addition to interpretive essays and anthologies on Roth’s literature, she published an annotated new edition of his Die Christus Trilogie in 2017. She is in training as a Jungian therapist at the Research and Training Centre for Depth Psychology according to C.G. Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz in Zurich and is authorized to conduct control case analyses.
with commentary by Michaela Kopp-Marx
Explain Jung’s concept of individuation.
Explain Jung’s concept of the anima.
Identify and elucidate a fictional character whose individuation path illustrates how men can find a relationship with their feminine side.
Explain how fiction can help us identify universal and mythical patterns in the lives of real so-called ordinary people.
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