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Rizzuto, A. (1997). The Artist and the Emotional World. : By John E. Gedo. New York: Columbia University Press. 1996. Pp. 255.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:1249-1252.

(1997). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78:1249-1252

The Artist and the Emotional World. : By John E. Gedo. New York: Columbia University Press. 1996. Pp. 255.

Review by:
Ana-María Rizzuto

Creativity is an intriguing phenomenon for Freudian psychoanalysts committed to the notion of psychic determinism. Its ubiquitous presence in so-called normal people and the seriously disturbed confounds the analyst’s attempts to trace and understand its psychic sources and technical inventiveness. Freud believed that the motivation for artistic creativity resulted from the sublimatory transformation of aim-inhibited drives. Ernst Kris’s ego-psychological stance proposed that preconscious aspects of the ego capable of useful regression were responsible for the creative process. The motivation to create, however, remained in the id realm. Phyllis Greenacre believed in the constitutional endowment of creative people and proposed that, developmentally, the future artist had an early ‘love affair with the world’. Kurt R. Eissler’s studies focused on the creative genius and attributed to it the capacity to remain open to personality reorganisation. George Klein abandoned the link between drives and creativity and focused on the pleasure of ‘effectance’, and the satisfaction obtained from being competent in any sphere. D. W. Winnicott contributed the notion of transitional space in which play and creativity can emerge. Joseph Coltrera suggested that creativity is linked to conflict-free processes, most specifically perception and consciousness.

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