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Birger, D.S. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Between a Hostile World and Me: Organization and Disorganization in Van Gogh's Life and Work. Anne Stiles Wylie and Arthur Valenstein. Pp. 219-250.. Psychoanal Q., 52:317.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Between a Hostile World and Me: Organization and Disorganization in Van Gogh's Life and Work. Anne Stiles Wylie and Arthur Valenstein. Pp. 219-250.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:317

The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Between a Hostile World and Me: Organization and Disorganization in Van Gogh's Life and Work. Anne Stiles Wylie and Arthur Valenstein. Pp. 219-250.

Daniel S. Birger

Vincent Van Gogh's specific form, style, and artistic creativity are viewed as direct reflections of conflicts and their resolutions in his solitary and anguished personality. His dilemma of both fearing and longing for close personal contacts found its expression in his specific and ingenious portrayal of space, distance, and perspective of objects. His experience of himself as an outsider to real life and relationships was expressed in his overdetermined use of a window-like frame employed by artists of his time. Within this frame, Van Gogh fused and flattened his objects into forms of rigid angularity of intense strength. Driven to become involved, longing to fuse himself with particular individuals, and at the same time terrified of destruction by the real world, he found a symbolical solution to his dilemma through this technique. Van Gogh's unrequited love for his cousin Kee, a central trauma in his adult life, found its denial and sublimation in his artistic work. The outlines of his angular figures can be seen as intersecting representations of the letters "V" and "K," achieving thereby in the artistic creation a union denied him in reality.

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Article Citation

Birger, D.S. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 52:317

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