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Slochower, H. (1971). Phyllis Greenacre: Studies on Creativity: Greenacre, Phyllis: Emotional Growth. Psychoanalytic Studies of the Gifted and a Great Variety of Other Individuals. Two Volumes. New York: International Universities Press, 1971, 863 pp.. Am. Imago, 28(2):191-192.
(1971). American Imago, 28(2):191-192
Reviews of Current Books
Phyllis Greenacre: Studies on Creativity: Greenacre, Phyllis: Emotional Growth. Psychoanalytic Studies of the Gifted and a Great Variety of Other Individuals. Two Volumes. New York: International Universities Press, 1971, 863 pp.
Review by: Harry Slochower
The publication of these papers by Phyllis Greenacre is a welcome service to the psychoanalytic public. Many of them have been referred to again and again, as they appeared in various psychoanalytic journals over the past twenty years. To have them assembled now in these two volumes enables us to appreciate the pioneering contributions Greenacre has made to psychoanalytic theory and its application to literature and art.
Of particular import to readers of this journal are the papers in Volume 2, entitled “Studies in Creativity.” These include Greenacre's studies on Swift, Gulliver's Travels and Lewis Carroll, the short but precious papers on “The Childhood of the Artist,” “The Family Romance of the Artist,” and “The Woman as Artist” which bring us Greenacre's concept of “collective alternates” and the artist's “collective love affair” with the world which have become something like “household” property in psychoanalytic writings about art and creativity, even as they have not been wholly acceptable to some critics.
Some of the essays in Volume I have at least indirect bearing on the same problem, especially the five papers on various aspects of Fetishism, the essay on the “Nature of Inspiration” and “The Nature of Treason and the Character of Traitors” (which first appeared in American Imago).
These studies disclose a sensitive and superior mind and an independent thinker. Greenacre's manner is to present her own standpoint which she does with modesty, clarity, avoiding technical pretensiveness and polemical confrontation.
Yet, one might hope that Dr.
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