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Schmukler, A.G. (1988). American Imago. XLIII, 1986: The "Invisible Presence" in the Creative Process of Virginia Woolf. Ellen Rosenman. Pp. 133-150.. Psychoanal Q., 57:474-474.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLIII, 1986: The "Invisible Presence" in the Creative Process of Virginia Woolf. Ellen Rosenman. Pp. 133-150.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 57:474-474

American Imago. XLIII, 1986: The "Invisible Presence" in the Creative Process of Virginia Woolf. Ellen Rosenman. Pp. 133-150.

Anita G. Schmukler

Woolf's struggle with regressive pulls is examined in her artistic creativity and in her early relationship with her mother, the "invisible presence" in Woolf's writing. Woolf recalled her mother as beautiful, protective, and nurturing, yet was also acutely aware of her "maternal inaccessibility" and her aloof, stern modes of relating. Re-enactment of preoedipal "modes of experience" is considered to be an essential stage in the form of creativity that results in enduring art (Ernst Kris). This re-enactment, however, may produce the specter of infantilization, passivity, and loss of boundaries. Woolf used her literary creative expression to explore vicissitudes of mother-daughter relations (represented by both males and females) and to achieve a level of "wholeness" in the face of conflict over powerful regressive impulses. Following a period of psychosis, the onset of which was punctuated by hallucination of her mother, Woolf felt that her "maternal obsession" had concluded. As might be expected, however, the conflict re-emerged in another form, and appears in Bernard's relation with (maternal) London (in The Waves). The perpetual search for the mother image and various forms of psychological restitution permit literary productivity.

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1988). American Imago. XLIII, 1986. Psychoanal. Q., 57:474-474

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