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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Kanter, V. (1951). The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe. A Psycho-Analytic Interpretation: By Marie Bonaparte. Foreword by Sign. Freud. Translated by John Rodker. (London, 1949: Imago Publishing Co. Pp. 749. 35 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:58-62.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:58-62

The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe. A Psycho-Analytic Interpretation: By Marie Bonaparte. Foreword by Sign. Freud. Translated by John Rodker. (London, 1949: Imago Publishing Co. Pp. 749. 35 s.)

Review by:
Victor Kanter

This study, originally published in 1933 in a French edition, has now been made available to the English-speaking world. The translation by Mr. Rodker is, on the whole, admirably lucid and elegant. There is a brief, austere foreword by Freud in which he refers to Marie Bonaparte as 'my friend and pupil'. 'Thanks to her interpretative effort', he continues, 'we now realize how many of the characteristics of Poe's works were conditioned by his personality, and can see how that personality derived from intense emotional fixations and painful infantile experiences. Investigations such as this do not claim to explain creative genius, but they do reveal the factors which awaken it and the sort of subject matter it is destined to choose.'

It is difficult within the limits of a review to illustrate the scope and depth of this massive achievement in applied psycho-analysis. Some indication of the reading and research which have contributed to it is given by the index of books, publications and proper names which extends to twenty-four pages in double column! Freud's numerous reflections upon the processes of artistic creation, scattered throughout his writings, are recollected by Marie Bonaparte in this study, and considered in relation to the works of a single writer of genius. The relevant contributions of other psycho-analysts, in particular those of Jones, Rank and Ferenczi, are discussed with reference to Poe's development and to the inner personal significance of his poems and stories.

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