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Cunningham, R. (1986). ‘True’ and ‘False’ Creativity?. Free Associations, 1(7):117-123.

(1986). Free Associations, 1(7):117-123

‘True’ and ‘False’ Creativity?

Rachel Cunningham, M.A.

Creativity and Perversion, by Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel, Free Association Books, 1984/N.Y.: Norton, 1985

I have just read one of your publications, J. Chasseguet-Smirgel's Creativity and Perversion, and would like to say some things about it. I found it a stimulating book and was interested in her clarifying the connections between fixation to the anal-sadistic phase and the escaping from repression of anal values, by means of idealization. In this way she demonstrates the link between ‘perversion’ and the tendency to aestheticism and beautification which serve to disguise, to dress up.

Chasseguet-Smirgel considers that she lives at a time when false values aesthetic and intellectual as well as ethical seem to be gratified with admiration and success at the expense of true values (p. 66). She writes:

while I was first interested in what differentiates the ‘true’ from the ‘false’, and why the false is so popular, I soon came to the conclusion that the pervert was the ‘prototype’ of those who go in for falsity. For this reason I became interested in perversions and in perverts, those beings who have the quite enviable faculty of creating an artful universe. (p.

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