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McDougall, J. (1999). Violence and creativity. Scand. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(2):207-217.

(1999). Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Review, 22(2):207-217

Violence and creativity

Joyce McDougall, DEd.

This paper seeks to delineate certain violent aspects of the creative act. Following Freud and Winnicott, the author describes how the individual uses perceptual as well as concrete material to express his/her psychic reality. The active use of this material - similar to play - is decribed in terms of a violent act: the artist forces paint, marble, sounds or words into a configuration that is exclusively his/her own, and this is frequently experienced as a transgression. Apart from this, the creative act is often felt to be forbidden due to its libidinal roots in terms of pre-genital strivings. Accordingly, libidinal and violent emotions intertwine in the creative process and thus give us a new perspective regarding the understanding of inhibitions in creative work.

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