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Lieberman, J.S. (2011). Psychoanalytic Aesthetics: An Introduction to the British School by Nicky Glover Karnac, London, 2009; 254 pp; £20.99. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 92(4):1067-1070.

(2011). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 92(4):1067-1070

Psychoanalytic Aesthetics: An Introduction to the British School by Nicky Glover Karnac, London, 2009; 254 pp; £20.99

Review by:
Janice S. Lieberman, Ph.D.

This most ambitious volume by the Australian psychotherapist Nicky Glover contains a Foreword by Neil Maizels and seven chapters devoted to the contributions to the field of art and creativity by psychoanalysts from Freud to Klein followed by developments in the British School by Winni-cott, Bion, Ehrenzweig, Fuller, Wollheim, Meltzer and others. Glover is quite knowledgeable about the British School, having originally studied art history and psychoanalysis in England. She finds its members to be quite heterogeneous in their approach to art although there is much cross-fertil-ization of ideas. The book is quite erudite: the reader will have to be rather sophisticated to follow her thoughts, which are densely packed. It must be noted that the book is published by the Harris Meltzer Trust, Donald Meltzer being one of the theorists discussed.

Glover notes and emphasizes the aesthetic struggle within the infant's mind and that: “The study of the aesthetics of the analytic encounter has been a distinguishing feature of most post-Kleinian thinking” (p. 159). There have been three traditional aspects to the study of aesthetics:

ο    the nature of the creative process and the experience of the artist

ο    the interpretation of the art

ο    the nature of the aesthetic encounter

Glover does not see these categories as discreet, but as overlapping and interdependent.

[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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