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Chasseguet-Smirgel, J. (1992). Creation in the work of art and its framework. Free Associations, 3(1):51-70.

(1992). Free Associations, 3(1):51-70

Creation in the work of art and its framework

J. Chasseguet-Smirgel

My point of departure for the ensuing reflections was provided by the clinical material of a patient who came to me for analysis, after having had so-called treatment with an analyst (so-called) who had offered her sessions of varying lengths of time (between seven and twenty minutes). She presented a personality in which an important psychotic sector coexisted with an almost inextinguishable thirst for truth. In the fourth year of her analysis, by which time her paranoid fears and transferential violence had considerably lessened, with, however, a persistence and even a reinforcement of a long-established obsessional ritual, she brought to me a dream.

On a wall, which could be a wall of your lounge, there was a picture showing a human face behind glass, but instead of being painted, this face was in relief and was alive. When I passed my hand over the glass, the image moved and made faces at me. This made me think of several things. First of all, of a school friend. They had told us to write an essay on some subject — I have forgotten exactly what. This friend wrote about a family who owned a chest of drawers. It had carved on it a human head. This head was alive and demanded to be fed.

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