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Birger, D.S. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Joseph Conrad: His Development as an Artist, 1889-1910. James W. Hamilton. Pp. 277-329.. Psychoanal Q., 52:318.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Joseph Conrad: His Development as an Artist, 1889-1910. James W. Hamilton. Pp. 277-329.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:318

The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: Joseph Conrad: His Development as an Artist, 1889-1910. James W. Hamilton. Pp. 277-329.

Daniel S. Birger

A short biography of Conrad, emphasizing the centrality of the early loss of his parents, ushers the reader into a detailed description of elements in his literary work, in which guilt and expiation are dominant themes. His first novel, Almayer's Folly, is depicted as an attempt, through a creative process, to master the trauma of the loss of his mother when he was seven. His failure to mourn her death and the death of his father four years later gave rise to a chronic depression in which themes of survivor guilt, oral incorporative wishes and fears, internalization of rage, and somatization were active components. Those themes found their recurrent, persistent expressions in his literary creations between 1895 and 1910. His fascination with the sea, both in his career as a seaman and in his writings, is viewed as longing for union with a preoedipal mother image. Conrad's psychotic episode in 1910 followed the completion of Under Western Eyes, in which patricidal conflicts are central. The decline of his artistic standards following that episode is understood to be a result of the fragility of his subsequent adaptation.

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Article Citation

Birger, D.S. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979. Psychoanal. Q., 52:318

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