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(1960). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XL, 1959: The Contribution of Psychoanalysis to the Biography of the Artist. David Beres. Pp. 26-37.. Psychoanal Q., 29:274-275.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XL, 1959: The Contribution of Psychoanalysis to the Biography of the Artist. David Beres. Pp. 26-37.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:274-275

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XL, 1959: The Contribution of Psychoanalysis to the Biography of the Artist. David Beres. Pp. 26-37.

Biographical reconstruction cannot, with the tools of psychoanalysis, go further than the stage of assumption. The writer does not have available the patient himself to form further associations or correct faulty interpretations. Furthermore, the analyst must guard against identifying himself with the object of his study. He must keep in mind his proper aim, elucidation of the relation between the artist's life and his work. Here we are offered rewarding insight into the processes leading to creativity and imagination.

There are many errors in biographical data. In modern examples, we must guard against the assumption that the artist's conscious use of contents of the id is valid. Further difficulties arise when the analyst applies preconceived theories

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to fit the life under investigation. We must not assume a direct relation between psychopathology and the creative act. One must distinguish between the artist's neurosis and his gifts and capacity to sublimate.

Beres reviews various theories pertaining to creativity, some favorably. He supports his views by citing his writings on Coleridge. 'The external experiences of the artist enter into the creative act to an important degree, but as the day residues of the dream they are secondary to the unconscious stimuli, the repressed content, to which they are attached. The first is the province of the scholar, the second that of the psychoanalyst.'

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Article Citation

(1960). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XL, 1959. Psychoanal. Q., 29:274-275

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