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Baudry, F. (1977). Pour Une Psychanalyse De L'Art Et De La Creativite (Toward a Psychoanalysis of Art and Creativity): By Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel. Paris: Payot, 1971. 262 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 46:339-341.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:339-341

Pour Une Psychanalyse De L'Art Et De La Creativite (Toward a Psychoanalysis of Art and Creativity): By Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel. Paris: Payot, 1971. 262 pp.

Review by:
Francis Baudry

This book includes a series of papers written between 1962 and 1970. The foundation of Chasseguet-Smirgel's approach is Melanie Klein's formulation that creativity originates in a wish to repair the destructive urges stemming from the conflicts of the depressive position and its attendant guilt. This particular model, with its emphasis on internal objects and a structural conception of the unconscious (one made up of a combination of certain basic forms having their own grammar and relationships), leads the author to emphasize problems of form in the esthetic product. For instance, she broadens Marie Bonaparte's study on Poe by carefully examining the form of the stories along the lines "container" and "contained" and arrives at certain essential common elements which allow her to reconstruct a basic fantasy of anal introjection of the phallus, "the dangerous container enclosing a threatened content."

It is not possible in a brief review to discuss Chasseguet-Smirgel's many valuable contributions in a meaningful way. Perhaps an outline of the book's contents will stimulate those readers who may wish to study it further.

The movie, Last Year in Marienbad, is used to illustrate the potential of the cinema for translating the multiple subtle nuances of preconscious and unconscious fantasies. The latter are specifically studied from the Kleinian viewpoint on internal object relations.

A rich chapter on August Strindberg and the relation between his paranoid state and the form of his plays continues the study of the form of the creative product.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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