The Recovery of Psychic Center in Daudet's Les Lettres de mon moulin


In Daudet's Les Lettres de mon moulin (1869), the windmill symbolizes a mythical circle, an unconscious representation of the self. As a symbolic structure, the mill reveals a movement through time and space and the striving for unity in the reconciliation of bipolar values. The secondary pole of the narrator's being appears in "Le Phare des Sanguinaires." Windmill and lighthouse correspond mythically to Eros and Logos. Their sexual valorization and opposition reflect the dynamics of a male psyche in which the ego struggles to integrate its feminine contrasexual and unconscious factor, the anima. Healing through the reconciliation of opposites (feeling/reason and romanticism/realism) materializes in "Le Poète Mistral." The hero's journey is confirmed as a success by the circular imagery of "Nostalgies de Caserne" that concludes a continuing process of individuation. (JFH)

Hamilton, James F
Release Year:
1995-1996 Fall-Winter; 24(1-2): 133-43