Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: PEP-Web Archive subscribers can access past articles and books…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

If you are a PEP-Web Archive subscriber, you have access to all journal articles and books, except for articles published within the last three years, with a few exceptions.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Dervin, D. (1983). A Dialectical View of Creativity. Psychoanal. Rev., 70:463-491.

Welcome to PEP Web!

Viewing the full text of this document requires a subscription to PEP Web.

If you are coming in from a university from a registered IP address or secure referral page you should not need to log in. Contact your university librarian in the event of problems.

If you have a personal subscription on your own account or through a Society or Institute please put your username and password in the box below. Any difficulties should be reported to your group administrator.


Can't remember your username and/or password? If you have forgotten your username and/or password please click here and log in to the PaDS database. Once there you need to fill in your email address (this must be the email address that PEP has on record for you) and click "Send." Your username and password will be sent to this email address within a few minutes. If this does not work for you please contact your group organizer.

OpenAthens or federation user? Login here.

Not already a subscriber? Order a subscription today.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Review, 70(4):463-491

A Dialectical View of Creativity

Daniel Dervin

Freud in his early formulations about the artist was essentially correct, or at least on the right track, and his later disclaimers that the psychoanalyst must lay down his arms before the creative artist were both premature and unduly modest. That may be the primary thrust of this article; but its final justification must be seen as an attempt to extricate creative processes from other systems or models of conflict within psychoanalysis, so that these processes may more clearly and legitimately stand out in their own right and be examined accordingly.

What were Freud's early formulations? They may be readily recalled from the 1908 paper on “Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming,” the 1909 paper on “Family Romances,” and the 1911 contribution to metapsychology, “Formulations on the Two Principles of Mental Functioning.” Here are the essential steps:

1.   Unable to meet demands for instinctual renunciation, the artist turns away from reality;

2.   In fantasy, like the child at play, the neurotic, or the dreaming adult, he gives vent to his erotic and ambitious wishes;

3.   But unlike the child or neurotic as such, the artist finds his way back to reality by molding his fantasies into a new kind of reality.

Having said this much, Freud is content to back off a bit and to speak of the artist's “special gifts,” and his “innermost secret; the


* To Bryce Boyer, for his careful reading and critical suggestions, I am especially grateful.

- 463 -

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2017, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.