Tip: To save articles in ePub format for your eBook reader…
PEP-Web Tip of the Day
To save an article in ePub format, look for the ePub reader icon above all articles for logged in users, and click it to quickly save the article, which is automatically downloaded to your computer or device. (There may be times when due to font sizes and other original formatting, the page may overflow onto a second page.).
You can also easily save to PDF format, a journal like printed format.
For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.
Collingbourne, R. (1994). The Chamber of Maiden Thought. By Meg Harris Williams & Margot Waddell. London: Tavistock/Routledge. Pp. 217. £12.99.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 8(1):87-88.
(1994). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 8(1):87-88
The Chamber of Maiden Thought. By Meg Harris Williams & Margot Waddell. London: Tavistock/Routledge. Pp. 217. £12.99.
Review by: Rachel Collingbourne
The book takes its title from Keats's metaphor for the inner world of psychic reality. What occurs within the Chamber represents the life of the mind, the developmental shifts in the internal drama from a narcissistic organisation to true object-relationships. On first entering, writes Keats, we are
intoxicated with the life and atmosphere, we see nothing but pleasant wonders, and think of delaying there for ever in delight.
On penetrating further, the Chamber
becomes gradually darkened … We see not the balance of good and evil. We are in a Mist … We feel ‘the burden of the Mystery’.
I quote this metaphor at some length because it is in the matter of ‘mystery’ that a book on this subject succeeds or fails. How to preserve the mystery of artistic creation and the reader's response to it, while attempting to lay bare its bones? The authors argue that psychoanalysis is the true child of literature by illustrating some literary origins of the psychoanalytic model of mind. This literary-historical perspective is contrasted with the more familiar medico-scientific one. The stated intention is not reductionist in the sense of providing psychoanalytic interpretations of literary works, but rather to put the post-Kleinian model of mind back in touch with its roots.
Seminal poetic and literary thinkers are discussed in the first eight chapters, beginning with Shakespeare, and moving on to Milton, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Keats. The novel is represented by Emily Brontë and George Eliot.
[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]