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Kolb, L.C. (1986). The Vidonian Society. Am. J. Psychoanal., 46(2):102-102.

(1986). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 46(2):102-102

The Vidonian Society

Lawrence C. Kolb, M.D.

I knew Alec Martin personally only from my winter contacts with him at the occasional evening meetings of Vidonia, that ancient Ovidian society organized by A. A. Brill. Vidonia is dedicated to social pleasures and the arts as related to our professional life, poking fun at professionalisms and the rituals of our organizational components. Alec had become its perennial Sargent at Arms entertaining and guiding guests during the short periods of business seriousness needed by his bibulous fellow members. He was a joyous man-a wonderful and pleasurable companion-with that enormous capacity for witty loquacity which seems to come with the Irish lineage.

To me, Alec was different from most North American psychoanalysts. Many probably thought so too as they reflected on his dedication to fostering thought about leisure time activities. In pushing this dedication it seemed to me he perceived the potential for constructive free association-the basis of real creativity. He was not encrusted as so many of us are in the view that personality of women and children reflects only a pervasive defensiveness. From where did his dedicated interest in leisure and its consequences arise? What sustained that dedication? How much derived from his Irish family and culture, his work in Baltimore, where under Adolph Meyer personality assets were recognized, or from his own lifelong experiences? We owe to him both the intellectual stimulus and our sensitization to the importance of pleasure in molding the positive aspects of personality as well as his modeling of the creative functions of playfulness so important in the rooting of genuine human originality.

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