Books by Norman N. Holland

(most recent first)

Literature and the Brain. Gainesville FL: PsyArt Foundation, 2009. Our brains can convert the merely imaginary events of stories, poems, plays, and films into real pleasure, because we know we cannot act to change what we are seeing. This is only one of the special ways our brains behave with literature, ways that this book reveals as we proceed from the creation of literature to transport to enjoyment to meaning and finally to evaluation. Available at:

Know Thyself: Delphi Seminars. With Murray M. Schwartz. Gainesville FL: PsyArt Foundation, 2008. We develop a relational method of teaching in which students (and teachers) learn what the subject matter means to them and what they can learn about themselves from that learning experience. Available at:

Meeting Movies. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson Press, 2006. The book combines analyses of eight classic movies with personal associations and shows how the analyses derive from the associations.

Poems in Persons, revised edn. Christchurch, N.Z.: Cybereditions, September 15, 2000. Available at and Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This much revised edition contains new material about the scientific status of psychoanalysis; the relation of new discoveries in neuroscience to literature; an account of H.D.'s analysis with Freud based on newly available materials; and a fresh approach to psychobiography.

Death in a Delphi Seminar: A Postmodern Mystery (1995). A postmodern murder mystery. It takes place in an English department, and you use reader-response theory to understand the characters and the crime. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995. You can learn more about it here.

Hou Xian Dai Jing Shen Fen Xi. Postmodern Psychoanalysis: Essays by Norman N. Holland. (1995). This is a collection for readers of Chinese of fifteen of my essays bearing on psychoanalysis and psychoanalysis-and-literature, translated by Guoqing Pan. Shanghai: Shanghai Arts Publishing House.

The Critical I (1992). A critique of contemporary literary theory against psychological knowledge about human personality and readers' responses. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992.

Holland's Guide to Psychoanalytic Psychology and Literature-and-Psychology (1990). An outline and guide to reading and research in the theories developed in The I (especially) , Poems in Persons, Brain of Robert Frost, and psychoanalytic psychology and literature-and-psychology, generally. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1990.

The Brain of Robert Frost: A Cognitive Approach to Literature (1988). Using Robert Frost's and a group of professors' responses to a poem, this book shows how contemporary theories from cognitive and brain science mesh with theories of writing and reading based on identity. New York and London: Routledge, Chapman, and Hall, 1988.

The I (1985). A magnum opus: a theory of human nature, based on a re-interpretation of psychoanalytic theory from the point of view of identity. I understand a person's identity as an identity theme established early in life plus the history of the variations acted out on that theme. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1985. The Spanish translation is El Yo available online here . also available as El yo. Santiago de Chile : Editorial de la Universidad de Santiago de Chile, 2007.

Laughing: A Psychology of Humor (1982). The theories of 5 Readers Reading and Poems in Persons answer the ancient question: Why do we laugh? Because we suddenly and safely re-create out identities. Based on a case study of one young woman's response to cartoons. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1982. The Chinese translation is Xiao (trans. Pan Guoqing, Shanghai: Shanghai People's Publishing House, 1991).

5 Readers Reading (1975). An experimental study of five different readers reading the same short stories, showing in detail the processes described in Poems in Persons. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1975.

Poems in Persons: An Introduction to the Psychoanalysis of Literature (1973). A new model of the literary process based on a psychoanalytic theory of identity. Writers re-create their personal identities in the works they write. In turn, readers re-create their identities as they take in the literary work. Readers edit the work into their own version of the transformational process described in Dynamics (below). The implications for teaching and criticism. New York: Norton, 1973. New York: Norton, 1975. New York: Morningside--Columbia University Press, 1989.

The Dynamics of Literary Response (1968). A model of literary response (superseded by later works, above): the reader introjects a process of psychological transformation (from unconscious fantasy toward conscious significance) that is embodied in the literary work. New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1968. New York: Norton, 1975. New York: Morningside--Columbia University Press, 1989. La dinamica della risposta letteraria (Trans. Fernando Villa. Rev. Gabriella Fenocchia. Bologna: Il Mulino, 1986) is the Italian translation, and Wen Xue Fan Ying Dong Lie Xue (Trans. Pan Guoqing. Shanghai: Shanghai People's Publishing House, 1991) is the Chinese translation.

Psychoanalysis and Shakespeare (1966). A survey of everything that psychoanalysis had had to say about Shakespeare up to 1964, including both a retrospective and a prospective psychoanalytic theory of aesthetics. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966. New York: Octagon Books, 1976.

The Shakespearean Imagination (1964). An introductory book on Shakespeare with New Critical analyses of thirteen major plays. New York: Macmillan, 1964. Bloomington: Midland--Indiana University Press, 1968.

The First Modern Comedies: The Significance of Etherege, Wycherley, and Congreve (1959). A New Critical study of Restoration comedies as contrasting raw "nature" with social "appearance." Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1959. Bloomington: Midland--Indiana University Press, 1967.

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