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Gordon, R. (1973). ANTHONY STORR: The dynamics of creation. London, Secker & Warburg, 1972. pp. 248. £2.50. ANTHONY STORR: Jung. London, Collins (Fontana Paperback) 1973. pp. 122. 40p.. J. Anal. Psychol., 18(2):176-177.

(1973). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 18(2):176-177

ANTHONY STORR: The dynamics of creation. London, Secker & Warburg, 1972. pp. 248. £2.50. ANTHONY STORR: Jung. London, Collins (Fontana Paperback) 1973. pp. 122. 40p.

Review by:
Rosemary Gordon

The creative impulse is one of the most complex, mysterious and universal in man. It seems to be based on a need which Jung regarded as one of the five primary and irreducible ones; and it lies at the root of those activities that are most specifically and characteristically human, such as discovery, invention and art. It is thus not surprising that for the student of man—whether of man as an individual or of man in groups—the exploration of creativity should be one of the most seductive temptations and also one of the most hazardous risks. For here is an area where feelings run high, and where the proponents of any one theory of explanation and those who want to defend the ‘sanctity’ of art and creation against all inquisitive intrusion will join forces in order to fend off any possible newcomers. Consequently any new book on this subject is likely to provoke a great deal of more or less acrimonious criticism.

Anthony Storr seems to have been willing to take the risk. His book does not pretend to dazzle with revolutionary new discoveries. Instead it sets out to provide a comprehensive account of the work and thought and understanding which have been achieved up to now, sifted, as they inevitably are, through his own clinical experience, personal sensibilities, and perceptive reflections. But there is here also, on the part of Storr, the more specific intention to examine critically Freud's theory of art, imagination and phantasy, to expose his ambivalent attitude to art, to discuss some of the later psychoanalytic formulations and then to differentiate his own more predominantly Jungian approach.

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