There is no form or species of literature that may not be interpreted by psychoanalytic methods. Be the author ever so objective, no matter how much he has sought to make his personality intangible and elusive, there are means, with the aid of clues, of opening up the barred gates of his soul. Men like Flaubert and Merimée, who believed in the impersonal and objective theory of art and who strove deliberately to conceal their personalities, failed in doing so. Their presence is revealed in their stories; they could not hold themselves aloof. It is true we have been aided by external evidence in learning what methods they employed to render themselves impersonal; the real Merimée and Flaubert, however, were made to emerge by the help of their published personal letters. It matters not whether the author writes realistic or romantic fiction, autobiographical or historical tales, lyric or epic poems, dramas or essays, his unconscious is there, in some degree.
But in a field which is largely new, it is best to take those works or species of writing where the existence of the unconscious does not elude our efforts to detect it. Therefore, much will be said in this volume of works where there is no question that the author is talking from his own experiences, in his own person, or where he is using some character as a vehicle for his own point of view. Such works include lyric poetry which is usually the personal expression of the love emotions of the singer. Burns, Byron, Shelley, Keats and Swinburne have left us records of their love affairs in their great lyric poems. Most of these were inspired by frustration of love, and were the results of actual experiences. And though much is said in them, other facts may be deduced.