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(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: Conscious and Unconscious Autobiographical Dramas of Eugene O'Neill. Philip Weissman. Pp. 432-460.. Psychoanal Q., 29:284.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: Conscious and Unconscious Autobiographical Dramas of Eugene O'Neill. Philip Weissman. Pp. 432-460.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:284

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957: Conscious and Unconscious Autobiographical Dramas of Eugene O'Neill. Philip Weissman. Pp. 432-460.

O'Neill's posthumously released Long Day's Journey Into Night is viewed as conscious autobiographical material with screen memories and repressions, while Desire Under the Elms, published many years before, is viewed as its unconscious counterpart. The conscious dealing with biographical and autobiographical material apparently led to a neurotic inhibition of the union between artistic creation and communication as manifested by O'Neill's direction to delay publication for twenty-five years after his death. He had been unconcerned about public moral censure of Desire Under the Elms, yet himself morally censured Long Day's Journey Into Night. O'Neill apparently was guilt ridden due to his strong ambivalence toward his father and the revelation of his mother's narcotic addiction. With his tuberculosis, he apparently was identified with his mother in her illness, yet both of them denied any illness.

Weissman views the artist as having a personal identity and a world (artistic) identity. When the artist creates from his personal identity, the product has more stringent restrictions in the realm of communication. O'Neill was seen as having an alternate aggressiveness and submissiveness toward his father. His tuberculosis stopped his overt acting out and shifted it to sublimated dramatic enactments. Desire Under the Elms, as an unconscious autobiography, is similar to free association which reveals the presence of fantasies and conflicts later portrayed in Long Day's Journey Into Night. His sense of tragedy is seen by Weissman to result from his psychic conflicts. The artist's works are reviewed and Weissman has taken great pains to avoid unfounded speculation. The material produced from O'Neill's personal psychic conflicts appears to have been inextricably bound up with his great creative talent.

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Article Citation

(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. V, 1957. Psychoanal. Q., 29:284

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