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Cappiello, A. (2015). Women and Creativity: A Psychoanalytic Glimpse Through Art, Literature, and Social Structure. Edited by Laura Tognoli Pasquali and Frances Thomson-Salo. London: Karnac Books, 2014, xxviii + 334 pp., $ 32.71 paperback.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 63(4):843-847.

(2015). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(4):843-847

Women and Creativity: A Psychoanalytic Glimpse Through Art, Literature, and Social Structure. Edited by Laura Tognoli Pasquali and Frances Thomson-Salo. London: Karnac Books, 2014, xxviii + 334 pp., $ 32.71 paperback.

Review by:
Angela Cappiello

Dictionaries define the word create as “to bring into existence.” Creativity is the encounter (from the Latin in and contra, against) between two entities that creates something new, and the concept implies a dynamism between two poles. Despite their title, Women and Creativity, the editors, Laura Tognoli Pasquali and Frances Thomson-Salo, specify that creativity is not a prerogative of either women or men; rather, it “belongs to a couple”: “man and woman but [also] … mother and baby, … father and mother, teacher and pupil … all potentially creative couples able to produce all kinds of creative links: a shape and a thought, a word and an idea, an experience and an emotion, a colour and an image” (p. xix).

The ideas elaborated in this book were conceived at a conference held in Genoa in 2013 by psychoanalysts brought together to discuss the creative process.

The psychoanalytic literature is familiar with the concept of bisexuality and creativity (Ferraro 2003; Parker 1998). Joyce McDougall (1993) describes all creative acts as a fusion of the masculine and feminine elements in the psychic structure and believes that a lack of integration and acceptance of both poles of our psychic bisexuality may trigger creative paralysis.

So if creativity belongs to a couple, why the title Women and Creativity? the editors answer that this book is about women because often, especially in some cultures, and even in psychoanalysis, there has been a dismissive attitude toward female mental and biological creativity.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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