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(1962). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VIII, 1960: Rivalry With the Product: A Specific Type of Inhibition in Creative Activity. Nathaniel Ross. Pp. 450-463.. Psychoanal Q., 31:127-127.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VIII, 1960: Rivalry With the Product: A Specific Type of Inhibition in Creative Activity. Nathaniel Ross. Pp. 450-463.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:127-127

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VIII, 1960: Rivalry With the Product: A Specific Type of Inhibition in Creative Activity. Nathaniel Ross. Pp. 450-463.

The case of a young woman who suffered from a creative writing inhibition of many years' standing after a period of successful authorship in her late teens is described. Intensely narcissistic and burdened with pregenital conflicts centering around extreme fears of object loss, she attempted to restore her lost objects (men who rejected her) by identification, frantic oral-anal regression, homosexual fantasies, and, most reparatively, by striving to create her men for herself in the form of stories. This creative activity could not be allowed to succeed for it meant the acquisition of the penis, forbidden by guilt associated with her intense sadism felt toward men. In addition, the equation: feces=penis=child=brain led her to a serious competitive conflict with her creative effort, a 'rivalry with the product'. She equated her writing with the boy baby she herself had wanted to be, as well as with a fecal penis; for overwhelming historical reasons—a mother extraordinarily concerned with the patient's feces and a deserting father who valued the girl's youthful creative writing but not the girl herself—the patient dreaded that her product and not herself would be the object of love and admiration while she would again be ignored and abandoned. Related to this was a reaction of loss, depression, and of being let down when one of her stories appeared in print. The fear of the rival product appears to be related to the fear of the persecutor as an anal projection in paranoia. It is possible that rivalry with the product may represent an intermediate stage in regression toward a paranoid delusional formation, and may be involved in cases where an apparently successful sublimation is followed by a paranoid breakdown. Because the success is attributed to a rival, what should constitute a triumph for the ego may be a defeat.

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Article Citation

(1962). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VIII, 1960. Psychoanal. Q., 31:127-127

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