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Literary and artistic creation

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[[Freud ]] considered [[literary ]] creations and, more generally, artistic creations enigmatic because of their ability to produce [[emotion ]] in the [[spectator ]] (the [[essence ]] of art) and in [[regard ]] to the origin of themes chosen by authors. Far from contenting himself with applying the [[psychoanalytic ]] method to the [[analysis ]] of works of art, Freud emphasized the heuristic [[value ]] of such works for the psychoanalytic study of the [[human ]] [[psyche]]. [[Literature ]] and art occupy a considerable [[place ]] in his [[work ]] (the works of [[Goethe ]] and [[Sophocles ]] [[being ]] among the first), as in the work of his disciples (Nunberg and Federn, 1962-1975).
In works of literature Freud [[identifies ]] and confirms several [[clinical ]] observations, the most perceptive being the [[Oedipus ]] [[complex ]] in Sophocles' <i>Oedipus Tyrannus</i> and his analysis of [[Hamlet ]] in [[Shakespeare]]'s <i>Hamlet</i>. Freud treats the characters of [[fiction]], more than their authors (pathography), as [[true ]] clinical cases. Freud (1907a [1906]) wrote that Wilhelm Jensen's fantasy (<i>Gradiva</i>) could be subtitled a "[[psychiatric ]] study," although he simultaneously questions the value of the subtitle, because the [[author ]] ignores (as does [[psychoanalysis ]] itself) the [[split ]] between the normal and the pathological.It is easy to see how novelists would interest Freud, since their literary creations are based on [[self]]-analysis: "[The author of a literary work] directs his attention to the [[unconscious ]] in his own [[mind]], he listens to its possible developments and lends [[them ]] artistic expression instead of suppressing them by [[conscious ]] criticism. Thus he experiences from himself what we [[[psychoanalysts]]] learn from others—the laws which the activities of this unconscious must obey" (1907a [1906], p. 92). The novelist is a [[psychoanalyst ]] who [[lacks ]] the [[technique ]] and [[patients ]] but is capable of incorporating in his art his [[knowledge ]] of the unconscious acquired through self-observation. To the extent that the author projects himself into his characters, this disposition justifies describing what authors do as psychoanalytic analysis. Thus in "Dostoyevsky and [[Parricide]]" (1928b [1927]), Freud simultaneously analyzes <i>The Brothers Karamazov</i> and Dostoyevsky, and he deepens our [[understanding ]] of the [[concept ]] of [[castration ]] through his analysis of [[hysterical ]] epilepsy.The [[third ]] element in the psychoanalytic study of literary creation, after the characters and the author, is the reader. In "Psychopathic Characters on the [[Stage]]" (1942a [1905-1906]) and "Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming" (1908e [1907]), Freud emphasizes what the reader gains by [[identifying ]] with the hero. In addition to Aristotelian [[catharsis]], such [[identification ]] "gives [[people ]] the [[sense]], which they so much [[desire]], of a raising of the potential of their [[psychical ]] [[state]]" (1942a [1905-1906], p. 305). At first, it is surprising to see [[pleasure ]] and tension [[identified ]] in this way, but there is a simultaneous [[discharge ]] of the tension involved, since the reader continues to [[enjoy ]] the contrast between the tribulations of the hero and his own personal security. In literature there are several sources of [[satisfaction]]: pleasure in the heroic [[revolt ]] against the [[father ]] or his representations, masochistic pleasure in identification with the hero, and pleasure in not being threatened in the [[real ]] [[world]].In Freud's work, artistic creation occupies a less important place than literary creation. In <i>[[Leonardo ]] [[da Vinci ]] and a [[Memory ]] of His [[Childhood]]</i> (1910c), Freud mainly emphasizes the [[conflict ]] between artistic realization and [[scientific ]] investigation. But Freud also examined the origin of the [[design ]] of the painting <i>Mona Lisa</i> (the smile of Mona Lisa, said to be Anna Metterza). His examination led to an [[interpretation ]] that associated a vulture with Leonardo's memory traces from childhood. The risks and limitations of such [[interpretations ]] are illustrated by Freud's famous [[translation ]] error, since the "vulture" was in fact a kite.The fecundity of such study of works of art extends well beyond the question of artistic creation, for the psychoanalytic study of works of art develops new insights into [[homosexuality]], again attesting to its heuristic value. In turn, analysis of a work of art can implicate the [[analytic ]] method, as shown in "The [[Moses ]] of [[Michelangelo]]" (1914b), which is carried out as if Freud were [[listening ]] to a [[patient]], incorporating details that would generally be overlooked. Here, as elsewhere, Freud compares his point of view with those of [[other ]] disciplines, especially art [[history]].After Freud many other authors continued his work on creativity, enlarging the study to other fields (primarily [[music]]). It is worth noting that Freud did not include in his study the field he knew best, namely [[theoretical ]] creativity. This oversight reflects the [[division ]] he established between fantasy and critical [[reason]], while he himself served as proof of the effectiveness of theoretical [[fantasies ]] (the witch of [[metapsychology]]).Since Freud, literary and artistic creation has also been extensively studied in its relation to [[psychopathology ]] ([[psychosis]]), and this has given rise to clinical developments of unequaled value in the field of "art [[therapy]]."
* [[Applied psychoanalysis and the interaction of psychoanalysis]]
* [[Autobiography]]
* [[André Breton, André]]* [["Claims of Psycho-Analysis to Scientific Interest"]]* [["Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming"]]
* [[Creativity]]
* [[Fantasy (reverie)]]
* [[Repetition]]
* [[Reverie]]
* [[Hanns Sachs, Hanns]]
* [[Sublimation]]
# [[Freud, Sigmund]]. (1907a [1906]). [[Delusions ]] and [[dreams ]] in Jensen's "Gradiva." SE, 9: 1-95.
# ——. (1908e [1907]). Creative writers and day-dreaming. SE, 9: 143-153.
# ——. (1910c). [[Leonardo da Vinci ]] and a memory of his childhood. SE, 9: 63-137.# ——. (1914b). [[The Moses of Michelangelo]]. SE, 13: 209-238.
# ——. (1928b [1927]). Dostoevsky and parricide. SE, 21: 177-194.
# ——. (1942a [1905-1906]). Psychopathic characters on the stage. SE, 7: 303-310.
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