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Deutsch, F. (1952). The Art of Interviewing and Abstract Art. Am. Imago, 9(1):3-19.

(1952). American Imago, 9(1):3-19

The Art of Interviewing and Abstract Art

Felix Deutsch, M.D.

A few years ago I dealt with the problem of understanding emotional conditions of people as these were expressed in artistic production. I had chosen poetic art as an example, to show that the artistic expression of a poet may be determined by his neurotic traits and that the choice of specfiic themes and topics of those writers is intimately related to their personality structure and to their unsolved emotional problems, which they unconsciously discharge in their writings. Deutsch (1).

In the following exposition an attempt is made to acquaint the reader with some thoughts about the art of interviewing and of searching through subterranean pathways into the past, where the child's undeveloped ego reigns over body and mind. The resemblance of the mixture of primitive, viz. primary throught processes of that age period to abstract pictorial art will be pointed out.

The problems of the interview are concerned with the interpretation of meaning by the patient, as compared with the intended meaning of the interviewer. If the interviewer suspcts that the patient does not understand him, then it is not possible for the interviewer completely to clarify this situation in any finite time merely by talking with him further.

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