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Garcia, E.E. (2000). Gustav Mahler's Choice: A Note on Adolescence, Genius, and Psychosomatics. Psychoanal. St. Child, 55:87-110.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 55:87-110

Gustav Mahler's Choice: A Note on Adolescence, Genius, and Psychosomatics

Emanuel E. Garcia, M.D.

At a time of crisis in his marital life, Gustav Mahler met with Freud. After the meeting with Freud, Mahler's spirits and sexual potency were restored, and his attitude toward his wife changed remarkably. However, these changes were accompanied by an apparent loss of the ability to compose: there is no evidence that Mahler wrote any new music between the summer of 1910, when he saw Freud, and May of 1911, when he died from complications of streptococcal endocarditis. Mahler in effect had chosen human love over artistic creativity. An analysis of the encounter and its effects on the composer's artistic capabilities raises questions about the psychology of genius, adolescent trauma, and psychosomatics.

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