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Birger, D.S. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: On the Problem of Inference in Applied Psychoanalysis: Flaubert's "Madame Bovary." Francis D. Baudry. Pp. 331-358.. Psychoanal Q., 52:318.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: On the Problem of Inference in Applied Psychoanalysis: Flaubert's "Madame Bovary." Francis D. Baudry. Pp. 331-358.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:318

The Psychoanalytic Study of Society, VIII. 1979: On the Problem of Inference in Applied Psychoanalysis: Flaubert's "Madame Bovary." Francis D. Baudry. Pp. 331-358.

Daniel S. Birger

Baudry addresses himself to the dilemma of the application of psychoanalysis, basically a clinical explorative science, to the study of literary work, a creative production of imagination as distinct from free association in the clinical setting. He offers an approach designed to enrich the understanding of the complex relation between the work of art and its creator, using psychoanalytic concepts and observations. A brief passage from Madame Bovary is used as an illustrative sample for his methodological approach. A sudden and incongruous outburst of sentimental tenderness experienced by Emma Bovary toward her young daughter and the emotional context in which it occurs are explored. The author concludes that a full understanding of that episode cannot be obtained without including certain known facts and some reasonable assumptions about the author's life and psychic functioning. If those elements are added, it is possible to develop a deeper comprehension and sense of certainty regarding the motivation and behavior of the fictional characters as they resonate with elements of the inner life of the author. This article represents a serious and scholarly attempt to resolve the formidable problems in the field of applied psychoanalysis.

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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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