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Hildebrand, H.P. (1988). The Other Side of the Wall. A Psychoanalytic Study of Creativity in Later Life. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 15:353-363.

(1988). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 15:353-363

The Other Side of the Wall. A Psychoanalytic Study of Creativity in Later Life

H. Peter Hildebrand


The writer presents a theory of creativity in later life which draws not only on classical psychoanalytic thinking but also the work of the object-relations theorists in Great Britain and structuralist accounts of myth. He then critically considers the application of psycholinguistic hypotheses to the understanding of 'Hamlet', particularly the views of Major on the significance and symbolism of Proper Names.

The writer then applies this theory to 'The Tempest', the last complete play of Shakespeare, and tries to demonstrate that the play represents the reworking and reintegration of such themes as sibling rivalry, usurpation, murderous impulse and acceptance of mortality in ways which link the work to themes which have already been treated dramatically in earlier plays. He lays particular importance on Shakespeare's acceptance of his own mortality and his renunciation of illusion as a defence against the fear of death. Links between the plays are demonstratd and the essay ends with a reference to the work of Auden, whose poetic style on the theme of the play complements the ideas presented.

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