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Bing, J.F. (1985). The Annual of Psychoanalysis. X, 1982: The Mourning-Liberation Process and Creativity: The Case of Käthe Kollwitz. George H. Pollock. Pp. 333-353.. Psychoanal Q., 54:510-511.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Annual of Psychoanalysis. X, 1982: The Mourning-Liberation Process and Creativity: The Case of Käthe Kollwitz. George H. Pollock. Pp. 333-353.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 54:510-511

The Annual of Psychoanalysis. X, 1982: The Mourning-Liberation Process and Creativity: The Case of Käthe Kollwitz. George H. Pollock. Pp. 333-353.

James F. Bing

This article is particularly dedicated to Joan Fleming, as she did pioneer research at the Chicago Institute on the effect of parent loss in childhood. It is an expansion of Pollock's previous work on the relationship of psychopathology and the creative process. His observations on the life of the well-known artist, Käthe Kollwitz, further expand our psychoanalytic understanding of creativity. He shows that the intense tragedies of both her life and her mother's life influenced her productivity. For example, two of Kollwitz's siblings died prior to her birth and one died afterward. Her mother was unable to go through a normal mourning process and could

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not provide her daughter with the care and attention she needed. This gave rise to Kollwitz's anger and guilt over her brother's death. She also lived in constant dread of losing her mother, with whom she had an understandably ambivalent relationship. Kollwitz's son was killed in World War I, and her grandson (who was named after her son) was killed in World War II. The energy that she used in partially resolving her mourning state was defensively converted into her creativity while the creativity itself helped her through her mourning process. Pollock makes the interesting observation that the artist's paintings of herself are very much like an autobiography. He sees another source of energy for her creativity in her identifying with the lost object, in this instance, her son.

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Article Citation

Bing, J.F. (1985). The Annual of Psychoanalysis. X, 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 54:510-511

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