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Weissman, P. (1964). Early Development and Endowment of the Artistic Director. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 12:59-79.

(1964). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 12:59-79

Early Development and Endowment of the Artistic Director

Philip Weissman, M.D.

SUMMARY

Specific aspects of the artistic director's early development during and after the oedipal period exert dynamic effects upon the shaping and the functioning of his career. The unconscious oedipal

wish to rear the parents' children finds expression and gratification in his directorial activities. The wish to rear the parents' children may come from either a positive or negative oedipal configuration from which then ensues an identification with the parent of the same or opposite sex respectively. Regardless of its negative or positive oedipal origin, the identification is utilized via a sublimated wish to direct the performers as children. A common parental combination for the artistic director is one in which the mother has strong aesthetic interests, usually in the performing area, and the father is involved in executive, managerial, or directorial activities. One artistic director and two nonartistic directors had mothers who had no aesthetic interests; however, all three fathers fulfilled the requirements of managerial or executive positions. The artistic director often identifies with the ego ideals of both parents which may encompass the father's love and support for the mother's aesthetic interests.

The artistic director's unconscious oedipal wish to rear his parents' children facilitates his identification with the creator whose work he treats and presents as if it were his own child. The dynamics of the psychological interplay among the creator, director, and performer have been noted. Summed up, the performer is the child in whom the parentally identified director has instilled the re-created essence of the work of the composer or the dramatist—the true parent.

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