Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To save articles in ePub format for your eBook reader…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To save an article in ePub format, look for the ePub reader icon above all articles for logged in users, and click it to quickly save the article, which is automatically downloaded to your computer or device. (There may be times when due to font sizes and other original formatting, the page may overflow onto a second page.).

You can also easily save to PDF format, a journal like printed format.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Macmillan, M. Swales, P.J. (2003). Observations from the Refuse-Heap: Freud, Michelangelo's Moses, and Psychoanalysis. Am. Imago, 60(1):41-104.

(2003). American Imago, 60(1):41-104

Observations from the Refuse-Heap: Freud, Michelangelo's Moses, and Psychoanalysis

Malcolm Macmillan and Peter J. Swales

Sigmund Freud's 1914 essay on Michelangelo's statue of Moses is unique in having been the only one of his works whose authorship he sought to conceal—that is, until 1924, when he consented to have it included in volume ten of his Gesammelte Schriften.1 Although the essay bears no relation to psychoanalytic theory as such—lacking reference to such central concepts as the unconscious, repression, or compromise formation—Freud characterized the method of inquiry that he employed therein as one that has “in point of fact a certain resemblance to the methodology of psychoanalysis” (1914, 211n1), and a number of authors have since insisted on this resemblance even to the point of proclaiming the essay to be paradigmatic of Freudian interpretive methods.

Freud's avowed purpose was to discover Michelangelo's intention in creating the statue: What was the mental constellation or emotional attitude that the artist had aimed to awaken in the viewer? Answering that question required finding the meaning and content of Michelangelo's representation, that is, interpreting it (1914, 212).

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.