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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Garcia, E.E. (2004). Rachmaninoff and Scriabin: Creativity and Suffering in Talent and Genius. Psychoanal. Rev., 91(3):423-442.

(2004). Psychoanalytic Review, 91(3):423-442

Rachmaninoff and Scriabin: Creativity and Suffering in Talent and Genius

Emanuel E. Garcia, M.D.

There is no greater question for a comprehensive psychology of the mind than that offered by what Freud once called “the problem of the creative artist,” before which, he rather humbly declared, psychoanalysis must lay down its arms. Yet despite his own articulated reservations about the ability of the science of the unconscious to penetrate meaningfully into the depths of this fundamental aspect of the human condition, Freud himself could not help but attempt to enhance our understanding of this defining mystery.

In works on Leonardo, Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, Goethe, and Michelangelo, for example, he revealed an ever-present attraction to the conundrum posed by creativity, and in these and his general psychological writings laid the foundation for further contributions, of which the most significant has been the research of K. R. Eissler (1971), whose delineation of the distinctions between talent and genius is most crucial. I should also add that Freud treated a number of talented artists (Bruno Walter, the poet H. D.) and at least one genius (Gustav Mahler), providing us with valuable sources of information about the relationship between the psychotherapeutic and the artistic processes.

Freud has been castigated for referring to female psychology as a “darkcontinent,” yet what his detractors have not realized is that the truly darkcontinent embedded in this comment is that of the mystery of creativity, for which the act of childbirth is the universal prototype.

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