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Altman, L.L. (1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: Can the Writer 'Resign' from His Calling? Edmund Bergler. Pp. 40-42.. Psychoanal Q., 23:609-610.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: Can the Writer 'Resign' from His Calling? Edmund Bergler. Pp. 40-42.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:609-610

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953: Can the Writer 'Resign' from His Calling? Edmund Bergler. Pp. 40-42.

Leon L. Altman

Dr. Bergler answers 'No'. In his experience, no writer earnestly seeks relief for the guilt and depression accompanying the writing 'block', but instead asks for the restoration of his ability to write because he cannot live without it. The author then asks why writers cling to what one of them called a 'bloody profession'.

Writing is a defense, unique according to Bergler, which denies a masochistic attachment to the preoedipal mother and also asserts the infantile megalomanic self ('autarchic image'). The elation and pleasure in writing is a denial of depression; the superego tortures the unproductive writer by inflicting punishment for the pleasure obtained in masochistic gluttony.

- 609 -

All writers are neurotic and achieve a sublimation in writing (not neurotic in itself) which is unique and peculiar to the writer in being temporary and unstable and alternating with depression and guilt. Writing is their only solution and they must continue to write.

- 610 -

Article Citation

Altman, L.L. (1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIV, 1953. Psychoanal. Q., 23:609-610

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