The problem with displacing the supernatural “back” into the realm of psychology … is that it remains precisely that: only a displacement. The unearthliness, the charisma, the devastating noumenon of the supernatural is conserved. One cannot speak in the end, it seems to me, of a “decline in magic” in post-Enlightenment Western culture, only perhaps its relocation within the new empire of subjectivity itself … But the effect was to demonize the world of thought. We have yet to explore very deeply the social, intellectual, and existential implications of the act of demonization.
Nabokov saw the intellectual vacuity of Freudian theory and its pervasiveness in the popular and the professional imagination. He thought it corrupted intellectual standards, infringed on personal freedom, undermined the ethics of personal responsibility, destroyed literary sensitivity, and distorted the real nature of childhood attachment to parents–the last of which has been amply confirmed by modern developmental psychology.