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Meltzer, D. Williams, M.H. (1988). The Apprehension of Beauty: The Role of Aesthetic Conflict in Development, Art, and Violence. Karnac Books Ltd..

Meltzer, D. and Williams, M.H. (1988). The Apprehension of Beauty. , 1-258. Karnac Books Ltd..

The Apprehension of Beauty: The Role of Aesthetic Conflict in Development, Art, and Violence

Donald Meltzer and Meg Harris Williams

To Our Own and All Ordinary Beautiful Devoted Mothers We Dedicate This Book

And that same day, too, gazing far down from the boat's side into the same golden sea, Starbuck lowly murmured: “Loveliness unfathomable, as ever lover saw in his young bride's eyes! Tell me not of thy teeth-tiered sharks, and thy kidnapping cannibals ways. Let faith oust fact; let fancy oust memory; I love deep down and do believe.”

And Stubb, fish-like, with sparkling scales, leaped up in the same golden light: “I am Stubb, and Stubb has his history; but here Stubb takes oaths that he has always been jolly.”

Ch. CXIV-“The Gilder” in Moby Dick, by Herman Melville


Introduction xv
1 The Apprehension of Beauty (1973) 1
2 Aesthetic Conflict: Its Place in Development 7
3 On First Impressions 35
4 On Aesthetic Reciprocity 42
5 The Role of the Father in Early Development 59
6 The Problem of Violence 66
7 The Undiscovered Country: The Shape of the Aesthetic Conflict in Hamlet  
Meg Harris Williams 84
8 The Place of Aesthetic Conflict in the Analytic Process 134
9 The Retreat from Aesthetic Conflict: Cynicism, Perversity and the Vulgarization of Taste 145
10 Recovery of the Aesthetic Object 159
11 Holding the Dream: The Nature of Aesthetic Appreciation 178
Meg Harris Williams  
12 The Shadows in the Cave and the Writing on the Wall 200
ADDENDUM I: The Social Basis of Art: A Dialogue with Adrian Stokes (1963) 206
ADDENDUM II: Mindlessness-The Developmental Relation of Psychosomatics, Hyperactivity, and Hallucinosis 228
Maria Rhode  


The authors would like to thank the fellow contributors to this book; these are the psychoanalytic colleagues who have presented their intimate experiences to teaching seminars in the form of clinical material: Giuliana Fortunato of Milan, Romana Negri of Bergamo, Marja Schulman of Helsinki, Sveien Haugsjerd of Oslo; Giuditta Alberio of Novara, and the staff of Pietro Pfanner from the University of Pisa (Calambrone).

[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.]

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