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(1967). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. XII, 1964: Psychoanalytic Studies on Joseph Conrad. IV. The Flow and Ebb of Artistry. Bernard C. Meyer. Pp. 802-825.. Psychoanal Q., 36:469-470.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. XII, 1964: Psychoanalytic Studies on Joseph Conrad. IV. The Flow and Ebb of Artistry. Bernard C. Meyer. Pp. 802-825.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:469-470

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. XII, 1964: Psychoanalytic Studies on Joseph Conrad. IV. The Flow and Ebb of Artistry. Bernard C. Meyer. Pp. 802-825.

The relatively unrelieved mediocrity in Conrad's work during his later years is linked with his inability to deal with the subject of love. It is suggested that the devices used by him with such success earlier in his career served to maintain a distance between his personal psychosexual conflicts and his art and were not available later. Further, his creative writing suffered during domestic stress, especially his reaction to his wife's pregnancies.

Attention is paid to the shift in the psychological and moral orientation implicit in the stories of his later years. The change involves a replacement of an outer conflict (in his earlier writing) for an inner conflict later. The author believes that the profound change in Conrad's emotional makeup that affected his creative writing adversely was partially due to the development of a psychosis in 1909 precipitated by an 'infectious-toxic' process. The underlying

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conflict was attributed to a rift between Conrad and his long-time friend, Ford Maddox Hueffer who had previously been the inspirational force for his creative genius. After his recovery he defended himself against the danger of subsequent regression by pursuing a safer course of detachment. A deterioration of the quality of his fiction accompanied his psychic retrogression. His fictional characters, formerly depicted as brooding, complex personalities, were now characterized as good and bad people of two-dimensional simplicity and 'the subtle shades of dreamy impressionism gave way to pictorial images conceived in the full light of consciousness'. In order to further defend against regression Conrad's 'creative imagination became impoverished'. Frequently depressed, his self-destructive urge was only one manifestation of a 'fuzzy sense of personal identity, a sadomasochistic conception of love.'

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Article Citation

(1967). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. XII, 1964. Psychoanal. Q., 36:469-470

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