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Donadeo, J. (1960). Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 29:299-301.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:299-301

Meetings of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

John Donadeo

DISCUSSION: Dr. Rudolph Loewenstein, after remarking on the difficulties in discussing creativity and especially genius, said he felt convinced of two points made in the paper: Goethe's unique position as oldest and practically only surviving son in a potentially large family, and the particular roles and attitudes of the parents. He recalled that Freud once said the development of unusual ability and achievement is encouraged in a son who reaches superiority over the father in childhood, if the father wishes and accepts it. He inquired if Dr. Eissler attributed some particular creative incentive to Goethe's long sexual abstinence.

Dr. Edward Harkavy attributed the difficulties in discussing Goethe to the richness and multiplicity of Goethe himself, and noted that one could substantiate or disprove any hypothesis regarding him by what he himself had said and written. He emphasized what had been reiterated in the paper: that genius requires an original talent which then will make use of certain events in an optimal way.

Dr. Heinz Hartmann called attention to a methodological difficulty in using what is retrospectively plausible to form a scientific statement.

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