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(1964). Book Notices. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 12:259-261.

(1964). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 12:259-261

Book Notices

THE QUEST FOR THE FATHER. A STUDY OF THE DARWIN-BUTLER CONTROVERSY, AS A CONTRIBUTION TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE CREATIVE INDIVIDUAL. The Freud Anniversary Lectures, The New York Psychoanalytic Institute. By Phyllis Greenacre. New York: International Universities Press, 1963, 128 pp., $3.00.

An introduction presents a general discussion of the rationale and methodology of the application of psychoanalysis to the study of creative individuals, referring to the stimulating as well as the obstructive effect neurosis may have upon them. The specific study here taken up centers about the controversy between Samuel Butler, who first embraced and then violently attacked Darwin's theories, and the scientist. Similarities and likenesses between the personalities of these outstanding men, in terms of their backgrounds and personalities, are elaborated around the very strong ambivalence in their relationships to their fathers and grandfathers, as furnishing the central clue to an understanding of the struggle between them into which, it is clear, they possessed no insight. Butler's desperate and unavailing search for an omnipotent, loving father, unsatisfactorily acted out in adopting mediocre protégés who could never realize his desires for him, was at first channeled into an extravagant espousal of Darwin, to be followed after a number of years by bitter, rancorous attacks upon the latter, who, bewildered by their fury, did not reply to them. The author believes that "the eternal search for the father" is "an integral part of [the] oedipal problems" of many artists.

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