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Kohut, H. (1952). Psychanalyse De La Musique: By André Michel. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1951. 244 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 21:109-111.

(1952). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 21:109-111

Psychanalyse De La Musique: By André Michel. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1951. 244 pp.

Review by:
Heinz Kohut

Much of the psychoanalytic literature on music, sparse as it is, has escaped the author's attention (e.g., Ferenczi's classical description of the use of music in the course of psychoanalytic therapy in The Further Development of an Active Therapy in Psychoanalysis, 1921). In other respects, too, the book is often sketchy, and can hardly be called a monograph in the usual sense. The author, who seems to be pedagogue, psychoanalyst, poet, and musician, composed the volume from several articles written during a period of five years, which may account for some of its unevenness.

The two greatest weaknesses of Michel's approach are insufficient documentation and—even more detrimental—an almost exclusive preoccupation with genetic id psychology which leads to an overly schematic classification of composers according to the classical stages of the development of the libido. He is most convincing where he does not try to establish genetic links from scanty biographical data but restricts himself to the interconnections between the composer's character and his work: Stravinsky, e.g.,

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