Rites and myths of seduction

by Aldo Carotenuto

Book, 2002



Call number


Call number



Wilmette, Ill. : Chiron Publications, 2002.

Physical description

216 p.; 23 cm

Local notes

“Every seduction is a promise, a half-opened door into the unfamiliar, momentarily glimpsed, world of splendor—an expectation not only attenuated by desire and waiting, but intensified.”

Since Biblical times, the act of seduction has been a constant in our history showing the way to discovery, creation, and love, but also to perdition. Seduction can be defined as "carrying elsewhere," the sweeping of the subject beyond usual experience. Jungian analyst Aldo Carotenuto examines the unconscious motivations at play in seduction in infancy, in the couple relationship, and in the analytical relationship.

Seduction includes a secret invitation to embrace transformation, an openness to change despite risks and suffering. The many facets of seduction are illuminated through a lively discussion of Satan, figures from Greek mythology, star-crossed lovers such as Paolo and Francesca, and the master of seduction, Don Juan.

In the analytical relationship, the patient must maintain equilibrium between fear and attraction; the analyst must realize that the analytical process animates fantasies of seduction. In a fable told by a patient, an analyst, and a narrator, the secret meaning of an encounter are revealed. This book fosters a clear understanding of the affective roots of seduction that can lead to transformation and the discovery of a new identity.

Aldo Carotenuto, psychoanalyst and prominent international exponent of Jungian thought, is a member of the American Psychological Association, President of the Associazione di Psicologia e Letteratura, and Professor of Psychology of the Personality at the University of Rome. He is the author of more than twenty works, including books on the art of psychotherapy, individuation, transformation, healing, and other Jungian themes.

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