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(1987). Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. Psychoanal Q., 56:607-608.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:607-608

Meeting of the New York Psychoanalytic Society

DISCUSSION: Dr. Lawrence Deutsch noted that Ives's father, a charismatic bandleader, seemed to be very involved in the upbringing of his son. From about six months of age on, Charles would spend the greater part of his days with his father, listening to rehearsals in the barn, etc. His father taught him to be proficient on many instruments, and as a preadolescent, Charles composed and played drums with the band. Following the death of his father at age forty-nine, when Charles was twenty, he would feverishly compose music, within much of which one can find memorialization of his father. He continued to compose until he reached approximately the same age his father had been when he died; then Charles Ives became a recluse and his productivity ended abruptly. Dr. Deutsch disagreed with Dr. Feder about the relationship between father and son as basically positive. One has to have an overview of Ives's entire life, including the last thirty years when he was a recluse, in order to understand the full influence of his formative years. There may have been sensory overstimulation when the infant spent so much time hearing the instruments of the band. Dr. Deutsch also suggested that there might have been libidinal overstimulation in the intensity of the father-son relationship. Such over-stimulation can have a deleterious effect on ego formation and can lead to psychotic identifications. This could have eventuated in the withdrawal from object cathexis as described during the last three decades of Ives's life.

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