Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To see who cited a particular article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To see what papers cited a particular article, click on “[Who Cited This?] which can be found at the end of every article.

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

Eissler, K.R. (1967). Psychopathology and Creativity. Am. Imago, 24(1-2):35-81.

(1967). American Imago, 24(1-2):35-81

Psychopathology and Creativity

K. R. Eissler, M.D.

The first stage of Freud's research can be globally characterized as having been in those areas in which psychic processes take place against the subject's conscious wishes, or at least without the subject's being able to control them. To a certain extent, one may characterize these as areas in which the ego is defeated, or in which that part of the ego is defeated that aspires to be reasonable and sensible. In the second stage of his research, Freud turned to the study of the ego itself and of its appendage, the superego, in order to determine in detail what the structure of the controlling agency is, and under what conditions it either achieves its aim, makes compromises or fails.

Yet, relatively early, Freud was drawn toward psychological problems connected with the products of civilization—chiefly religion, literature and the visual arts. Concern with the first of these was probably forced upon him by his psychotherapeutic practice, inasmuch as religion appears so frequently as a conflict-arousing agent, as well as a consoling one, in the lives of neurotics. Literature and the visual arts, on the other hand, were drawn into the orbit of Freud's researches by his personal bent—his own almost passionate admiration for them and his consequent quest for their meaning. Like Socrates, however, with whom Freud is connected by many strands in the history of ideas, he may have felt, at the end of his life, some regret about his not having “cultivated music” (Plato).

One may be tempted to surmise that it was some constitutional deficit that kept Freud from full appreciation of that sublimest of all arts. It is my feeling, however, that what alienated Freud from music was more likely the fact that, in this cultural realm, the reasonable and sensible ego suffers irretrievable defeat, for the effect of music is to penetrate to layers of such archaic intimacy that any attempt to translate it into a rational syntax is bound to fail.

[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 © 2021, 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.