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Loewenstein, R.M. (1944). The Creative Unconscious: Studies in the Psycho-Analysis of Art: By Hans Sachs. (Sci-Art Publishers, Cambridge, Mass., 1942. Pp. 240. Price, $2.75.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 25:93-94.

(1944). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 25:93-94

The Creative Unconscious: Studies in the Psycho-Analysis of Art: By Hans Sachs. (Sci-Art Publishers, Cambridge, Mass., 1942. Pp. 240. Price, $2.75.)

Review by:
Rudolph M. Loewenstein

The three parts of Hans Sachs's book, The Creative Unconscious, contain ten articles which were published separately over a period of twenty-five years. Although each article has its own value and interest, nevertheless together they form an entity; the chief connecting link is the study of the creative activities of the unconscious.

The first chapter, 'The Community of Day-dreams', deals with the primordial importance of day-dreams and phantasy in poetic creation, an importance which Sachs emphasizes. Day-dreams have æsthetic and emotional value only for the dreamer. It is the technique of the poet which gives to the personal day-dream a social and æsthetic significance. In studying a rare clinical form, the day-dream à deux, Sachs, in a penetrating and subtle analysis, shows that this type of phantasy is based on a common feeling of guilt. This is also true of works of art, which are the common day-dreams of humanity. Their social function is the expression of common guilty drives and dreams, the universality of which assuages individual guilt. Sachs presents an interesting exposition of the transforming of the day-dream into a work of art, a process in which the poet rises above the fortuitous and the accidental, the individual, to the universal, to something which is common to all mankind. Only after this transformation can the audience identify themselves with the characters and emotions depicted in the production. The work is thus given its social function.

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