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Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIV, 1980: Feminine Figures in the Work of Gérard de Nerval: Tentative Reconstruction of the Maternal Image. Janine Cophignon. Pp. 15-46.. Psychoanal Q., 53:641.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIV, 1980: Feminine Figures in the Work of Gérard de Nerval: Tentative Reconstruction of the Maternal Image. Janine Cophignon. Pp. 15-46.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:641

Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIV, 1980: Feminine Figures in the Work of Gérard de Nerval: Tentative Reconstruction of the Maternal Image. Janine Cophignon. Pp. 15-46.

Emmett Wilson, Jr.

The author believes we can learn something about Nerval, the genesis of his work, and his tragic end by relying on the writings of Freud, Abraham, and Klein on the psychopathological mechanism of manic-depressive psychosis. The sublimatory mechanism which worked so well at some times in his life did not suffice at other periods. Cophignon views Nerval as a manic-depressive with a rhythm to his illness which was partially determined by biographical circumstances. All through his work was a vain search to recreate the lost object, his mother, from real, imaginary, and literary figures. His biography shows an early and massive affective deficit, linked to the absence of his mother from the eighth month of his life and her death when he was two. He never saw his mother, nor any portrait of her. His mother died in Germany, and Nerval was long fascinated with the German language and culture. The author provides a rich and detailed psychobiographical study of Nerval, tracing the relationship between the creative phases in his life and the real events he experienced. For Nerval, external events always seemed to add to internal conflict, leading to further decompensation, and ultimately, to suicide.

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Article Citation

Wilson, E., Jr. (1984). Revue Française De Psychanalyse. XLIV, 1980. Psychoanal. Q., 53:641

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