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Goodman, P. (1963). The Psychological Revolution and the Writer's Life-View. Psychoanal. Rev., 50C(3):17-24.

(1963). Psychoanalytic Review, 50C(3):17-24

The Psychological Revolution and the Writer's Life-View

Paul Goodman

I am a writer, and certainly, as Lionel Abel suggests, the writer must present his own life-view, his own hypothesis of what the world is, rather than explore or impose a psychologist's theory. But it happens that my life-view, the way I do see things, and therefore the way I write, has been immensely qualified by Freud, Sullivan, Wilhelm Reich, Karl Abraham, Rank, and Groddeck. Presumably these irrelevant theories have become second nature to me; they are not theories but part of my growth in experience. So I see the psychosomatic, the fantasy, the unexpressed interpersonal act or avoidance, almost as I see red and blue. This must be not uncommon among modern writers, and my main point in this talk is to show some obvious effects on how they write.

1.

Our general theme is the relation of psychoanalysis and literature and three kinds of relation occur to me: the exploration of the “psychological meaning” of works and authors; psychologizing itself as a literary genre; and the effect of psychological learning on texture and style. The last is my theme, but let me speak a moment to the other two.

The

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