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L., B.D. (1943). The Creative Unconscious: By Hanns Sachs. Cambridge: Sci-Art Publishers, 1942. 240 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 12:106-107.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:106-107

The Creative Unconscious: By Hanns Sachs. Cambridge: Sci-Art Publishers, 1942. 240 pp.

Review by:
B. D. L.

Hanns Sachs never uses other sciences to illuminate psychoanalysis, but in the truest sense applies psychoanalysis, which he knows well, to other fields. It is not from Shakespeare or from the economists that he makes up a psychological science approximating or modifying psychoanalysis. He takes clinical analysis, its knowledge and its methods and asks himself from this standpoint, what did Shakespeare mean by Measure for Measure? Why did not the Romans utilize machines: was there something psychological behind that? Did Freud come to identify himself with Moses?

In the present collection of essays Sachs is at his best where he holds to this point of view and is most illuminating when he remains nearest to clinical insights. In the first essay, for instance, called The Community of Daydreams, the content of which will be familiar to those who have read Gemeinsame Tagträume, the interpretation of creative art as a community of daydreams not only answers many questions, solves many obscure points of understanding, but is based on patients who had daydreamed in common with another person. In these patients as in artists the guilt of fantasy was alleviated by the social note of sharing. The second essay, Personal and Impersonal Art, continues the thought of the first essay mainly in accordance with Freud's idea of libidinal types. Sachs distinguishes the types of art in which the id, ego or superego play dominant rôles. The Measure in Measure for Measure, is the best piece of Shakespearian exposition since Freud and Jones wrote on Hamlet. As there is 'objective' and 'psychological' reality, so is there 'objective' and 'psychological' justice, and conceiving that Shakespeare saw the nature and play of psychological justice, Sachs satisfactorily clears up the action of Measure for Measure.

The Delay of the Machine Age was published in This QUARTERLY in 1933. It too is based on good psychoanalytic clincal material, namely, the work of Tausk on the influencing machine in schizophrenia.

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