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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

From Little Acorns: A Radical New Psychology

An Interview With James Hillman

I think there is a paradigm shift going on in the culture. The old psychology just doesn’t work anymore. Too many people have been analyzing their pasts, their childhoods, their memories, their parents, and realizing that it doesn’t do anything — or that it doesn’t do enough.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

On The Sorrow Of Receiving A Teaching Award

After eighteen years on the faculty of Southeast Missouri State University, I was honored last spring with an award for “outstanding teaching.” There was a ceremony like the one they have for the Oscars: the nominees were assembled, their names were read aloud by our dean, and the winner (yours truly) was announced. Horrified, I stood and walked to the podium, where the dean handed me an engraved plaque. We shook hands and posed for a photograph, the flash bouncing off our bald heads. I approached the microphone to deliver my acceptance speech, but the dean held me back while the awards for “scholarship” and “service” were presented. As it turned out, I never was allowed to say anything. So this, without further ado, is my acceptance speech:

The Parental Fallacy

The elevation of the parents . . . to the neglect of all other realities — societal, environmental, economic — shows that adulation of an archetype can obliterate common sense.

Where Silence Starts

Imagining motherhood is like imagining old age: there are no reliable forecasts. I assumed I would know more. While pregnant, I supposed that mothers’ intuition was a hard, certain thing, a perpetually replenished reservoir of basic instinct. If there were problems, the gut would howl. If there were risks, the heart would rattle. If the jumbled trivia of daily existence were pulled into a knot, the mother’s hands would separate the strands. But it has not been that way for me. If there is a road map or compass inscribed in my soul, I have not found it. Every day since the first with Jeremy has been a mystery. I am no wiser for having given birth.

Letters To My Friends

As Fate would have it, my daughter has become a Beavis and Butthead fan. We went to Kate and Marcus’s house for dinner recently, and they gave her a Beavis and Butthead key chain to play with, a little novelty that at the touch of a button plays such witticisms as “Ass-wipe!” and “Let’s break something!” followed by the characters’ trademark snickers. Sylvia, who is nearly three, couldn’t quite comprehend the words, but sensed that they were silly and a little evil. Whenever silence would descend on our conversation, she would press the button, we’d hear “What a dick!” and she’d smile.


Trudy Deere Goes To Heaven

I’ve been in the hospital four days when they put another woman in the room with me — an old farm wife from Beardstown, by the name of Trudy Deere. Trudy Deere has been in a car accident. She’s recuperating.

The Road Out Of Acorn Lake

Yvonne and I wasted our last two years of high school looking for guys at a Minnewashka Valley dance club called the Prison. Some local business wizard leased a big, cement-floored warehouse at the intersection of 22W and I-94, painted bars on the walls, dressed his waitresses in convict-striped miniskirts and tank tops, fuck-me high heels and plastic handcuffs, hooked a revolving white strobe to the ceiling, and played the whoop-whoop escaped-prisoner alarm at the top of every hour. The guy knew how to extend a theme. Even way out there at the northwest corner of Sioux County, Minnesota, you could spot a smart one sometimes. Natural smarts.

Readers Write

The Laundromat

“It’s more than just the missing sock, Tom. Can’t you see how this reflects a bigger problem in our relationship?”

I tried to slam down a faded pair of his boxer shorts, which I was folding, but it’s hard to make boxers sound dramatic. Tom just looked at me blankly. I could tell that, once again, he just didn’t understand.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


Fate is not an eagle; it creeps like a rat.

Elizabeth Bowen

More Quotations ▸
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