Sigmund Freud and Literature, Not Science


Really, where's the controversy here?
Psychoanalytic theory has changed a lot in the 75 years since his death, but literature still feels the strong influence of Freud's ideas, argues Jane Ciabattari.
This is the polite way of saying that Sigmund Freud was wrong about everything. The article then goes into the 20th Century's attempt to understand his work:
Freud’s theories also have inspired literary critics for more than a century.

In the 1940s, Lionel Trilling noted the “poetic quality” of Freud’s principles, which, he wrote, descended from “classic tragic realism… a view which does not narrow and simplify the human world for the artist, but, on the contrary, opens and complicates it”.
 
Postmodernism, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism – including the work of French theorists Claude Levi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze and Julia Kristeva – all have roots in Freud’s thinking. 
Susan Sontag argued against Freud and for an “erotics of art” in her 1964 essay Against Interpretation. Harold Bloom applied Freud’s Oedipus complex to rivalries among poets and their precursors in his The Anxiety of Influence (1973), an approach given a feminist slant by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar in Forward into the Past: The Complex Female Affiliation Complex (1985). Peter Brooks mined Freud’s dream-work for ideas of how novels are plotted in Reading for the Plot (1992).
If you keep trying to apply Freud to science, you will fail every time. If you accept Freud as a philosopher or as someone who made an attempt to understand the human condition, he is very relevant. Just not "scientific." He is wonderful as far as forming the basis of an argument about the workings of the human mind, but only inasmuch as your fiction will allow.