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Mollod, D.S. (2008). Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique: Enriching Psychoanalytic Views of Creativity. Psychoanal Q., 77(2):433-476.

(2008). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 77(2):433-476

Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique: Enriching Psychoanalytic Views of Creativity

Daniel S. Mollod

Focusing on the eighteenth-century French composer Hector Berlioz as he is revealed in his masterpiece Symphonie Fantastique and in his Memoirs, this paper investigates a proposed intermediate area between healthy creativity and paralyzing neurosis. Artists like Berlioz use their work primarily to manage what has been variously labeled as Seel-enschmerz, narcissistic injury, and painful fluctuation of internal object representations. Their affectively unprocessed experiences are incorporated into their artwork, so that their heightened experience of Seelenschmerz has particular effects on their audience. Our consideration of these dynamics allows Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique to regain the truly harrowing impact that it evoked before it became assimilated as a tamed icon of Romanticera expressiveness.

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