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Mahon, E. (1996). The Impact Of Psychoanalysis On Creativity. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44:271-291.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44:271-291

The Impact Of Psychoanalysis On Creativity

Eugene Mahon

I had planned to present a straightforward account of the influence of psychoanalysis on creativity and vice versa, but I shelved that idea when to my surprise, I found in the attic of Columbia University several notebooks which suggest that the Freud-Fliess correspondence did not end in 1902, but in fact has gone on to the present day. The notebooks are entitled Freud-Fliess 1895-1994, and are called The Never-ending Dialogue. One section deals directly with the topic of creativity, and I will present it here.

Freud: I've been asked to talk about the impact of psychoanalysis on creativity.

Fliess: Or the other way around perhaps?

Freud: That's what I like about you Fliess. You don't just follow your nose, so to speak. You turn everything around.

Fliess: Not everything!

Freud: Did I offend you? There is no dialogue without offense and defense.

Fliess: Or compromise, Sigmund.

Freud: A Brennerian concept, my dear Fliess. You quote a futuristic revisionist.

Fliess: Sometimes you amaze me with your clairvoyance. I stick to numbers and the nose, Pythagoras my guide, I guess. Who's yours?

Freud: A man's first guide is his mother.

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