Bernard J. Paris

Photo of Bernard Paris

Most Recent Books


The International Karen Horney Society page is now HERE

Short Bio

I received a Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1959 and have taught at Lehigh University, Michigan State University, and the University of Florida, where I am Emeritus Professor of English, having retired in 1996. In the order of their emergence, my primary areas of interest have been Victorian and comparative fiction, the psychological study of literature, Shakespeare, and the life and work of Karen Horney and her place in the history of psychoanalysis. My most recent writing has been on George Eliot and Joseph Conrad, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and John Milton; I am currently working on Thomas Hardy. Much of my work as a critic has focused on the analysis of literary characters as imagined human beings.

My first book, Experiments in Life: George Eliot's Quest for Values (1965) was a revision of my doctoral dissertation and reflects my training in thematic analysis and the history of ideas. Much of my subsequent work in literary criticism has been devoted to the development of a psychological approach to literature based on the theories of Karen Horney and other Third Force or Humanistic Psychologists, particularly Abraham Maslow. I have written nine books and have edited another that apply this approach to a variety of texts and critical issues. For information about them, please click here. Four of these books either are or have been out of print and can be accessed in electronic form from the links page. Some essays of mine have been posted here and also some chapters from recent books.

In addition to my work in literary criticism, I have written a biographical study: Karen Horney: A Psychoanalyst's Search for Self-Understanding. In this book, I explore the relationship between Horney's personal history and the evolution of her psychoanalytic ideas. I also try to present a thorough account of her thought, to place it in relation to the history of psychoanalysis, and to make a case for its enduring power and importance. In the course of doing research for my biographical study, I discovered a number of unpublished essays and lectures by Horney, and I have edited these and her uncollected writings in two volumes for Yale: The Therapeutic Process: Essays and Lectures (1999) and The Unknown Karen Horney: Essays on Gender, Culture, and Psychoanalysis (2000). In the early 1990s, I founded the International Karen Horney Society (IKHS), of which I am Director. The Society now has a website on which information about Horney and postings of some of my writings can be found (see Links).

For more details about any of the above, please see the descriptions of my books and the longer version of my bio.