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(1967). American Imago. XXIII, 1966: Giorgio de Chirico. Henry Krystal. Pp. 210-226.. Psychoanal Q., 36:629-630.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XXIII, 1966: Giorgio de Chirico. Henry Krystal. Pp. 210-226.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:629-630

American Imago. XXIII, 1966: Giorgio de Chirico. Henry Krystal. Pp. 210-226.

This informative, illustrated study of the life and work of de Chirico reveals that prior to 1917 his paintings reflected his depression and anxiety states and evoked similar affective responses in viewers. Drafted into the Italian army in 1915 he became ill and was hospitalized with a psychiatric diagnosis. After his discharge he painted in a new style which was incoherent, enigmatic, and evoked no empathy. Correspondingly his development took a narcissistic and paranoid course.

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It is easy to follow Krystal in his understanding of the change as one in which the artist became free of painful affects through the relinquishment of internal objects. However, he sees these changes as a product of ego mastery and arrest or regression and feels that the ego has achieved a victory, albeit a pyrrhic one, in consideration of the damage to the artist's talent. We see, instead, narcissistic regression, and neither mastery nor victory.

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Article Citation

(1967). American Imago. XXIII, 1966. Psychoanal. Q., 36:629-630

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