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Sayers, J. (2015). Art and Analysis: An Adrian Stokes Reader edited by Meg Harris Williams. Published for the Harris Meltzer Trust by Karnac, London; i-xxv + 176 pp; £20.49 paperback; £16.09 Ebook. Brit. J. Psychother., 31(2):275-278.

(2015). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 31(2):275-278

Art and Analysis: An Adrian Stokes Reader edited by Meg Harris Williams. Published for the Harris Meltzer Trust by Karnac, London; i-xxv + 176 pp; £20.49 paperback; £16.09 Ebook

Review by:
Janet Sayers

In Art and Analysis visual artist and literary critic, Meg Harris Williams, seeks to convey several achievements of the art critic, Adrian Stokes (1902-1972). They include his pioneering use of psychoanalysis as means of understanding aesthetic experience; and his paralleling of his own ‘acutely observed immersion’ in art and landscape with the immersion of psychotherapists in their material in translating it into ‘verbal art-form’ (p. xxii).

Stokes's use of psychoanalysis as means of understanding aesthetic experience included his drawing on ideas gleaned from Melanie Klein with whom he was in psychoanalytic treatment from 1930 to 1935, for a few months in 1938, and again in 1946. These ideas included her theory about infantile fantasies of attacking part-objects of the mother's body (her breasts, for instance); fear of the mother's persecuting retaliation; depressive concern about the damage done by attacking her; and the reassurance of her surviving, repaired, restored, and whole, thereby serving as an integrating figure in the ego.

This

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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