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The “Forever 27” Tragedy


The “Forever 27” Tragedy

Dis-covering Dionysus in the Self-Annihilation of Kurt Cobain

Zachary Kampf, July 3, 2019

Kurt Cobain cover image“I’m going to be a superstar musician, kill myself, and go out in a flame of glory. … I want to be rich and famous and kill myself like Jimi Hendrix” (as cited in Cross, 2014, p. 34). These were the eerily prescient words of a 14-year-old Kurt Cobain. A few years later, he would take the world by storm with the legendary grunge band Nirvana, only to tragically enact this gruesome adolescent fantasy at age 27—the same age as Hendrix when he died. Cobain is now remembered as perhaps the most infamous member of the “27 Club,” a cultural meme referring to the many prominent artists who have died in the height of their fame at age 27, often by self-destructive means such as addiction or suicide. This “viral narrative,” as Simmons (2018) has described the meme, emerged around the year 1970 and has since captivated the collective imagination (Simmons, 2018, p. 32). Instantiated in the lives and deaths of Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and of course, Jimi Hendrix (among many others), the “Forever 27” narrative encapsulates the idea that Dionysian abandon, taken to the extreme of self-sabotage and even one’s own undoing, is somehow inextricably linked with the achievement of greatness.

Little has been written on the psychological significance of this macabre fascination, with the exception of several efforts to debunk widespread superstition of a numerological curse, or false perceptions of an increased risk of death amongst musicians aged 27 (Hann, 2015; Kenny, 2015; Stein, 2011; Wolkewitz, Allignol, Graves, & Barnett, 2011). However, from a Jungian perspective the 27 Club phenomenon need not be concretized in such a way as to be concerned with any causal mechanisms that might underlie the untimely demise of renowned artists. Rather, the fascination can be viewed as expressive of an underlying archetypal resonance, as if the Forever 27 narrative is a modern day pastiche of ancient Greek tragedy, the hamartia of each character distilled into a general allegory of what not to do—an allegory that touches a deeply embedded pattern within each of us. While there are many ways to approach this phenomenon psychologically, the application of a typological lens—specifically the archetypal model proposed by John Beebe (2006)—yields particularly interesting insights, and the story of Cobain provides a rich illustration.

It should be noted that while the discussion below is drawn from existing biographical material that is extensive and well researched, the analysis remains speculative. It cannot be assumed that the public image presented in the biographical material reflects the true self. Only Cobain himself could be the final authority on his typological assessment. Therefore, the intention of this analysis is not to suggest a formal diagnosis or clinical vignette but to propose some of the functions and archetypes that may have been in operation as Cobain spiraled into his tragic finale.

“In the Sun I Feel as One”

INFP functions and archetypes according to the Beebe model.Cobain’s habitual way of orienting to and navigating the world seems to have been directed by his deeply held subjective value system, or introverted feeling (Fi). He notoriously despised the limelight of his own achievements, just as Jung (1921/2014a) asserted, Fi types “neither shine nor reveal themselves” (¶ 640). The passive aggression of which he was often accused, and even admitted to in interviews (watchmojo, 2017), can also be understood as an expression of introverted feeling reticence. Jung (1921/2014a) described such reservation with the adage “still waters run deep” (¶ 640), insisting that what is commonly mistaken as a lack of feeling or relatedness (especially from the perspective of an extraverted bias) is in fact a depth of feeling not readily accessible to consciousness and therefore difficult to convey. However, the eyes betray much and can allude to an underlying melancholy that Jung (1921/2014a) felt was typical of Fi types. Cobain was known for the penetrating intensity of his blue eyes, containing a depth of emotion that was perhaps most gut-wrenchingly displayed during the MTV Unplugged performance of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.” His eyes were cast down or closed throughout the entirety of the piece, save one brief but bone-chilling stare in the silence just after the screaming dynamic climax. Cobain would end his life only a few months following that performance. In retrospect, many who were involved in the production felt that the pain revealed in that momentary gaze should have alerted them to the severity of his despair (Cottingham, 2007; Cross, 2014).

Though he was often labeled as shy or withdrawn, Cobain possessed an ability to connect with others on a deep, unspoken, emotional level. As a child, he exhibited the introverted feeling characteristics of “a peaceful, grounded aura” and a “fine-tuned sensitivity to the inner life of others” (Haas & Hunziker, p. 104). According to biographer Charles Cross (2014), care and concern for his little sister was of top priority for him, and his unusually high degree of conscientiousness regarding her wellbeing was an early display of a lifelong pattern of sensitivity to the needs and pains of others. Later in life he was able to translate this sensitivity to the stage, an attribute immediately perceived by former manager Danny Goldberg (2019) upon first witnessing Nirvana in live performance: “Kurt connected very deeply with the audience. … He was able to convey his inner spirit in a way that created instant intimacy. To this day, I cannot describe exactly what he did, only how it felt” (p. 21). Slim Moon, a friend from Nirvana’s early days, similarly attested to Cobain’s uncanny tendency of being “really quiet and then suddenly [capturing] the room” (as cited in Goldberg, 2019, p. 41).

Costanzo, 2013, EMP, Seattle – Kurt Cobain’s guitarThought, according to Jung (1921/2014a), is more easily articulated than feeling. Consequently, introverted feeling types may be drawn to the arts as they search for effective modalities for self-expression. This innate potential for artistry unfolded very early for Cobain. He was reportedly singing Beatles songs by age two, and by age four was even crafting original pieces with piano and voice (Cross, 2014). Throughout his life, he showed evidence of a rich fantasy world on which to draw artistic inspiration, suggestive of auxiliary extraverted intuition (Ne). For INFP artists, the raw fantasy material of Ne, combined with the exemplary depth of feeling in Fi, can result in artwork that is profoundly moving, stirring the audience at an unconscious level to create the aforementioned inexplicable sense of intimacy. Like many INFPs, Cobain possessed a powerful and lively imagination. He loved fantasy figures, such as superheroes or Disney characters, gifting them to his sister and delighting in her vocal impersonations of the characters. He related so tangibly to his imaginary friend “Boddah” that his parents became concerned, tricking him into believing Boddah had been drafted in the war and was no longer present at home. When his childhood behavior became increasingly problematic, he blamed many of his wrongdoings on the friendly phantasm. Boddah’s presence persisted into his last days—his suicide note was addressed, “To Boddah” (Cross, 2014, p. 351).

Cobain was a prolific doodler, which also suggests an INFP type. His journals, released to the public in 2002, were inundated with stream of consciousness jottings—typical of extraverted intuition—depicting various dimensions of his inner life. The journals yield a palpable sense of internal conflict and provide insight into the more pathological expressions of his typology, eventually culminating in his tragic induction to the 27 Club. Much of the tension pivots on thwarted attempts to reconcile his formidable ambition for commercial success with his sense of obligation to punk culture­—a subpopulation that disdains adherence to the mainstream and values authentic self-expression above all. Such value conflicts are deeply troubling for an INFP, the preferred function (Fi) being primarily concerned with creating and preserving internal harmony (Haas & Hunziker, 2006). It is also the case that the internal discord is rarely apparent on the surface for INFPs. Introverted feeling types seek first and foremost to align their lives with subjectively held core principles—the way in which the dilemma plays out or comes to resolution in the external world is generally of little consequence (Haas & Hunziker, 2006).

The apparent disregard for external resolutions of internal impasses is evident in the many letters contained in Cobain’s journals. He became estranged from his family when his parents divorced, and the schism set a precedent for a number of quarrelsome relationships that would riddle his life thereafter.He frequently wrote letters to friends, family, and significant others, ostensibly with the intention of mending the damage he had caused in the relationships. But according to Cross (2014), the vast majority of these letters were written yet never sent. Contrary to extraverted feeling (Fe)—which would desire the fruition of harmonious relation between self and other in the outer world—Cobain’s letters ignore the recipient, instead using the epistolary relationship primarily as a mirror through which to explore and differentiate his own befuddled inner tensions. It was as if, by completing each letter, Cobain could prove to himself that he had remained true to his own principles, at which point it became redundant for him to send the letters. According to Jung (1921/2014a), for those preferring Fi, “Objects serve at most as a stimulus” for inner images, and so with his inner demands satisfied, Cobain could simply move on with little consideration for the intended recipient (¶ 638).

Kelly, 2012, Kurt Cobain’s suitcase, EMP museumTo other types, such a preoccupation with authenticity might seem out of proportion, but for an INFP, a violation of central values or a sense of disingenuousness is felt so deeply that it manifests in the body as gut physical reactions (Haas & Hunziker, 2006, p. 104). In his journals, Cobain (2002) confessed, “I only feel with grunts screams and tones and with hand gestures and my body” (p. 124). And in his suicide note, he left his fans and loved ones with the statement, “Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach” (as cited in Cross, 2014, p. 352). For the majority of his professional career, Cobain suffered from a stomach ailment that apparently was never formally diagnosed; in some interviews he admitted the issue was likely psychosomatic, though it nevertheless caused him great difficulty and made long tours on the road torturous (Cross, 2014). He had difficulty keeping food down and vomited often. In conjunction with a naturally thin physique, his frequent illness gave rise to rumors of heroin addiction since nausea and vomiting are common in opiate withdrawal. Cobain denounced these rumors as unjust, yet paradoxically admitted he was indeed using heroin. He even asserted that he acquired the greatest of his vices purposefully: “I just decided that if I’m going to feel like a junkie every fucking morning … then I may as well take a substance that kills the pain” (as cited in Eccleston, 2013, ¶ 6).

While it is easy to foster sympathy for his daily battle with stomach illness, it is more difficult to understand the twisted logic behind his seemingly conscious decision to abuse opiates. However, habitual orientation by introverted feeling would place the extraverted thinking function (Te) in the inferior position, subjugating it to the whims of the anima. To better understand how Cobain’s thinking turned self-destructive under the anima’s spell, it is first important to note that the internal belief system constituted by the Fi function is not derived from experience or interaction with the environment. Rather, the belief system is innate, arising within the subject from the unconscious. Consequently, according to Haas and Hunziker (2006), Fi types are often only dimly aware of their core principles until there transpires an environmental situation which transgresses them. When such a situation occurs, an individual relying solely on Fi (that is to say, without a well-developed extraverted auxiliary function) would then stop adapting, as Fi—by utilizing such defenses as denial or repression—attempts to subordinate the external situation in adherence to internal values (Myers & Myers, 1980, p. 79).

There appeared to be two key situations in Cobain’s life that created just such a gridlock in adaptation—difficulties surely exacerbated by the more general challenge of developing a preferred introverted feeling function within the context of a culture primarily valuing extraverted thinking (Shaw, 2017). The first was the divorce of his parents, which offended what seemed for Cobain the innate preeminence of the traditional nuclear family. The second was his unsolicited elevation to figurehead of the grunge movement. In punk rock, Cobain found an apposite mirror for his internal moral compass, and he used it to gauge his own artistic integrity. But his newfound celebrity status was antithetical to punk rock values, resulting in a tension that undermined the very foundations of his ego orientation.

“Tender Age in Bloom”

Divorce is surely a difficult process for many children, but according to Cross (2014), the experience was profoundly psychologically disturbing for Cobain, completely morphing his character from a well-adjusted, sweet, and compassionate young boy into a morose, reclusive, capricious, and uncontrollable family menace. In his inconsolability, he was displaced from one family member to the next. After exhausting the list of relatives capable of managing his behaviors, he was then placed with friends and their families, and before the end of adolescence he was essentially transient and homeless. According to Sandner and Beebe (1995), such chronic pressure leveraged against the ego’s development can incite autonomous defenses from the unconscious, especially from the “attitudinal shadow,” or the opposing personality—that function which is opposite in attitude to the ego’s typical mode of orientation (p. 324). In more or less normal developmental circumstances, the superior function is relied upon to bring one into relationship with others, while the opposing personality, serving within a self-regulating system of checks and balances, upholds the boundaries of the ego by adopting an oppositional stance and defending one against others.

With extraverted feeling in this oppositional position, one could expect a normally thoughtful and compassionate INFP to lash out and become uncharacteristically depreciating of others when facing stressful conditions. However, when stress becomes chronic and the natural mode of adaptation via the superior function is continually thwarted by unrelenting pressure from the environment, defensive measures from the opposing personality can run amok, eventually causing one to “so identify with this opposing personality that it replaces the natural personality attitude” (Sandner & Beebe, 1995, p. 327). This dynamic might account for the remarkable shift in Cobain’s personality following the divorce. As a child powerless in his ability to affect the environmental affronts to his innate Fi ideals, Cobain’s opposing Fe defended him against the transgressive milieu by means of isolation and the denigration of others.

Kelly, 2012, Kurt Cobain’s hard core t-shirtTo degrade objects in the external world is, according to Jung (1921/2014a), a peculiarity of the introverted attitude. Because the conscious ego is primarily oriented to the subject, relation to the object falls into the hands of the unconscious. For Cobain, this dynamic led him increasingly into alienation, spending excessive amounts of time in solitude and silence (Cross, 2014)—a defense that was all the more maladaptive considering he was in a developmental period where relating with peers is of great consequence for healthy identity formation. When he did engage with peers, he often did so in manipulative and disparaging ways. Cross (2014) provided numerous anecdotes of a merciless young Cobain teasing and mocking his stepsiblings, tormenting his caregivers, and playing excessively cruel pranks on his friends. In a passive aggressive maneuver to embarrass his father, he threw a high school wrestling match by purposefully losing; when a friend’s family provided him shelter, he redressed the generosity by leaving dog feces on the father’s bed; and in one particularly disconcerting instance, he killed a neighbor’s cat by trapping it in the chimney so the stench would permeate the house. In fact, the laundry list of malicious misadventures saturating Cobain’s adolescence gave Cross (2014) the impression that he lived in a “shadow world” (p. 51), wherein the emergence of his naturally sweet disposition became a startling anomaly rather than the expected norm—a fitting description of an ego usurped by the opposing personality.

“As a Friend, as a Known Enemy”

According to Sandner and Beebe (1995), it is common for individuals who, like Cobain, identify with their opposing personality function to be found within subcultural groups. Because subgroups bond together in their opposition to the mainstream, the defensive and oppositional traits of the attitudinal shadow can be channeled into positive relations within the in-group. It is, therefore, less likely for ego functioning to be as profoundly disturbed as with instances when the personality is hijacked by the anima-structured inferior function.

Konczos, 2011, In memoriamIt was not until Cobain reached young adulthood that he discovered the subculture of punk rock, and it was only then that he found a sense of congruence between his inner and outer worlds. Judging from his biographies, the period of his immersion in punk culture appears to have been one of the most stable and influential in his life (Cross, 2014; Goldberg, 2019). Punk was so important to Cobain that Goldberg (2019) felt hopelessly incapable of understanding his most notorious client until he first came to understand an “internalized set of values [Cobain] would refer to as ‘punk rock 101’ in his suicide note” (p. 23). At the crux of this punk ethos and of such central concern for Cobain as to be highlighted in his last ever utterance, are the fundamental ideals of inviolable authenticity and unmitigated freedom of self-expression. The unpardonable sin in the creed of punk is to sell out, to deviate from the truest expression of one’s unique individuality in order to fit in, or in the worst case, to make oneself more commercially marketable.

But in a twist of fate, Cobain’s very success with Nirvana elevated him out of the antiestablishment subculture with which he so strongly related and into the mainstream he defined himself against. As his popularity exploded and his commercial success grew, he felt increasingly disingenuous with his identity as a punk rocker, putting him again at an impasse—without the sense of belonging to punk subculture, his oppositional Fe no longer had an adequate outlet to defend him against the pressures of an overwhelming environment. Further, it was as though the time spent living out of the opposing personality in adolescence left his natural Fi ego functioning impoverished and unequipped to manage the idiosyncratic demands of life in the limelight, triggering “a disastrous compensatory attempt by the unconscious to replace a failing ego with archetypal modes of adaptation” (Sandner & Beebe, 1995, p. 328). The inferior function, according to von Franz (1971/2013), serves as a gateway to the unconscious and is thus the most viable access point through which these archetypal contents can emerge. Disaster appeared imminent for Cobain when he lost his Fe connection with punk culture and his anima structured Te desperately filled the void.

“Never Met a Wise Man / If so It’s a Woman”

A developed and consciously accessible extraverted thinking function concerns itself chiefly with hard facts and objective standards of the external world. But in the inferior position, the facts are spun into a web of anima fantasies, distorted to confirm preexisting biases of nonnegotiable introverted feeling ideals and thus prone to becoming cloudy, reductionist, self-deprecating, paranoid. Even in Cobain’s better moments, Cross (2014) insisted that he “was never one to let the truth get in the way of a good story” (p. 53); he would consistently spin the facts to “tell an emotional truth rather than an actual one” (p. 38). In his darker moments, when he was prone to anima outbursts, everyone around him “felt impelled to walk on eggshells around his emotions” (Goldberg, 2019, p. 21). Jung (1921/2014a) attributed this form of hypersensitivity to the projection of inferior thinking, so that one “begins consciously to feel ‘what other people think’” (¶ 643). Relegated to the unconscious, thinking takes on the qualities of the unconscious, becoming infantile, archaic, magical. One naturally assumes the thoughts of others to be malicious and persecutory, responding with preemptive attacks and unscrupulous efforts to undermine the uncanny archetypal power of the projection carried by the other. This archaic form of Te was evident in Cobain’s feud with Pearl Jam and his frequent defamation of vocalist Eddie Vedder (Barnes, 2015). And perhaps it was most especially evident in his tumultuous marriage with Courtney Love; he often assumed her infidelity, indicting Billy Corgan in his paranoid fantasies of adulterous trysts (Cross, 2014).

According to Jung (1921/2014a), the neurotic symptoms of introverted feeling types entrenched in inferior thinking often manifest as psychosomatic illness. Cobain’s desperate attempts to navigate the complexities of the music industry and his newly appointed celebrity status through his inferior Te appear to have worsened (if not caused) his stomach issues. Consequently, abrupt cancellations of Nirvana shows, and even entire tours, occurred with such regularity as to nearly become routine. He fell deeper into his dependence on heroin as his twisted Te logic continually rationalized self-medication. The reductionist tendencies of inferior Te can also manifest as dichotomous or black-and-white thinking, which Shneidman (1993) correlated with increased suicidality. Correspondingly, as Cobain continued to decompensate, his suicidal gestures became more frequent and dangerous, on several occasions requiring resuscitation by his wife (Cross, 2014).

The anima’s proclivity to overwhelm the conscious mind with dark moods and impulses might, according to Jung (1931/2014b), account for the fact that men commit suicide at a higher rate than women. This is because, in classical Jungian thought, the anima is conceived as contrasexual, as an inner compensatory femininity for masculine consciousness, and thus unique to male psychology. While many post-Jungians contend this game of gender opposites to be antiquated and obsolete, Cobain’s story does fit the classical Jungian image of an anima-possessed man, especially when considering he bitterly referred to himself as an “emasculated, infantile complain-ee,” and an “erratic, moody baby” in his own suicide note (as cited in Cross, 2014, pp. 351-352).

Cobain, 1994, Kurt Cobain’s suicide noteIrrationality and uncontrolled emotionality in anima states are common in people with characteristics of borderline personality disorder, a condition Sandner and Beebe (1995) attributed to anima possession. By the end of his life, Cobain was exhibiting many of the diagnostic criteria, including unstable sense of self, excessive self-criticism, self-harming, high risk impulsivity, out of proportion anger, and efforts to avoid imagined abandonment. The problematic aspects of such a condition are readily apparent, described by Jung (1950/2014c) with such terms as “fickle, capricious, moody, uncontrolled and emotional, … ruthless, malicious, untruthful, bitchy, double-faced” (¶ 223). However, Jung had a remarkable gift for recognizing the creative fecundity latent within neurotic suffering, stating in the same sentence that those under the sway of the anima also have a “mystical” attraction and are “gifted with daemonic intuitions” (¶ 223).

It is conceivable that the mystical quality exuded by those in possessed states might account, at least in part, for the captivating effect of the 27 Club on the public, as each member was arguably seized by both daemonic genius and demonic madness. In Cobain’s case, he indeed admitted to channeling his intense emotionality, especially his anger and frustration, into Nirvana. The strident discontent so tangible in the music, the indignation so resonant as to define and shape an entire generation, owed its existence in large part to the castigation inflicted on Cobain’s ego from the anima. To his own trepidation, Cobain confessed that without the mysterious stomach ailment, he feared he would lose all creative impetus and artistic productivity (Morgen & Renfrew, 2015).

“Amazes Me, the Will of Instinct”

With the association of ailment and artistry, we arrive again at the beginning—the viral narrative, instantiated in the 27 Club fascination, that self-destructive suffering is inseparable from artistic greatness. The difficulties that eventually drove Cobain into suicide were the very same that inspired his genius and forever transformed the landscape of popular music. The environmental wounds to Cobain’s natural INFP disposition left his ego vulnerable to an anima invasion. It was she who allowed the instinctual power of the unconscious, in both its creative and destructive properties, to flow through the inferior function and overrun his personality, attempting to restore order by instigating archetypal modes of adaptation.

The self-destructive patterns of behavior weaving Cobain together with other members of the 27 Club cluster around central themes, insinuating a particular archetypal culprit—Dionysus. The frequency with which Dionysus is referenced in the 27 Club literature is not insignificant. Though the biographers and journalists evoking the riotous god are presumably unfamiliar with an explicitly archetypal perspective, their intuitions are psychologically appropriate. The way 27 Club members saturated themselves into oblivion with rampant use of opiates, alcohol, and other depressants reflects the downward archetypal movements of Dionysus—his moistness, drunkenness, his retreat to oceanic depths. Dionysus, depicted as a child, is an image for both the 27 Club’s capacity for imagination and abundant creativity and its untempered acting out, impulsivity, and undisciplined foolishness. It seems enchantment with the 27 Club cannot be separated from the allure of the Dionysian urge itself.

Bailey, 1993, Kurt Cobain MTV live and loudDionysus was, according to Hillman (1960/1999), “the God of madness” (p. 266), and it is from the cult of this mad god that Greek tragedy emerged as an outgrowth of what was “an originally religious ceremony” (Jung, 1921/2014a, ¶ 231). Madness was, in antiquity, a religious experience. To be struck by tragedy, to be overrun with maddening impulses—as were Cobain and the other Forever 27s—was to be initiated into the cult of Dionysus. In modernity there is no such framework. Hillman (1960/1999), however, postulated that Dionysus returned to the modern imagination through the symptomatology of hysteria as a “latent consciousness insisting upon entering awareness” (p. 272). Hillman contrasted this emergent Dionysian style of consciousness with the heroic mode of ego functioning typical of and reinforced by modern western culture—a mode seeking ever greater, linear progressions of consciousness and development, the alleviation of symptoms, and increased personal responsibility and volition.

Perhaps the enthrallment with the 27 Club and its tragedy, like the fascination with hysteria at the turn of the 19th century, represents the same attempt by Dionysian consciousness to enter our collective awareness. If so, the inferior function, in its ever ineradicable undermining of the ego’s agenda, presents each of us with a lifetime of opportunities for Dionysian initiation. As von Franz (1971/2013) asserted, the inferior function can never be tamed, never fully brought into consciousness or submitted to the will of the ego. Like the paranoid, twisted, and anima-infused extraverted thinking of Cobain, the inferior function’s proclivity to wreak havoc on the ego’s intentions erodes the fantasy of linear development by insisting on Dionysian circularity—birth, death, rebirth, repeat. It invites one to passively accept that the comings and goings of libidinal energy and creative output are the will of an archetypal dominant deeper and more powerful than the ego. It generates interiority and reflection as the ego learns to contend with other centers of consciousness, other motivations in the psyche. And for better or worse, it leverages the vulnerabilities and incompleteness of the ego orientation in order to release the instinctual and archetypal energy needed in a crisis in adaptation. To accept the Dionysian initiation is to appreciate the imperfections of the inferior function, its sufferings, its genius. We cannot hope to overcome the inferior function, only to surrender, remembering the words of Joseph Campbell: “The goal is to live with godlike composure on the full rush of energy, like Dionysus riding the leopard, without being torn to pieces” (as cited in Osbon, 1991, p. 24).


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Lyrics, in order of appearance

Cobain, K. (1993). All apologies [Recorded by Nirvana]. On In utero [MP3 file]. Cannon Falls, MN: DGC Records.

Cobain, K. (1991). In bloom [Recorded by Nirvana]. On Nevermind. [MP3 file]. Van Nuys, CA: DGC Records.

Cobain, K. (1991). Come as you are [Recorded by Nirvana]. On Nevermind. [MP3 file]. Van Nuys, CA: DGC Records.

Cobain, K. (1991). Territorial pissings [Recorded by Nirvana]. On Nevermind. [MP3 file]. Van Nuys, CA: DGC Records.

Cobain, K. (1991). Polly [Recorded by Nirvana]. On Nevermind. [MP3 file]. Van Nuys, CA: DGC Records.


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Costanzo, D. (2013). EMP, Seattle–Kurt Cobain’s guitar. Retrieved from

Kelly (2012). Kurt Cobain’s hard core t-shirt, EMP museum (detail) [Online image]. Retrieved June 30, 2019 from

Kelly (2012). Kurt Cobain’s suitcase, EMP museum (detail) [Online image]. Retrieved June 30, 2019 from

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Robin, R. (c. 2013). Kurt Cobain. Retrieved from


Zachary Kampf

Zachary Kampf

Zachary Kampf, MSW, LCSW, PhD, is a musician and Jungian psychotherapist in private practice with Resilient Mind Counseling in Asheville, North Carolina. He received his doctorate in Jungian and Archetypal Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2022. His research interests include the mind-body problem, archetypal cosmology, and the rhythms of the collective psyche as expressed in film and pop culture. He hosts weekly dream groups, and a monthly podcast Dionysia, exploring the deeper symbolic meaning in popular films.

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