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Medium 9781782200048

Chapter One - At the Historic Corner Window: 17.6.1897

Molnar, Michael Karnac Books ePub

“Incidentally I have been through some kind of neurotic experience…”

(Freud to Fliess, 22.6.1897, Masson, 1985)

Earlier photographs of Freud were all carefully posed. This may be the earliest snapshot of him. In Sigmund Freud: His Life in Pictures and Words, a cropped and enlarged version of this picture is spread across two pages (E. Freud, L. Freud, & Grubrich-Simitis, 1978, Plate 143). But the original print I came across was very small (77 × 50 mm). Its dimensions contributed to an effect of great distance separating the viewer from the scene. Also, a wide white border isolates this image. I could imagine looking down into a deep well.

At the same time, while looking at myself looking at the photo, I also sensed its objective challenge. It bears an inscription and date, and the figure of Freud is seen standing against an intriguing background, a wall of pictures within the picture. All this data promises real historical information.

That first sense of an isolated man in a lost world has to be immediately modified, as soon as you take its context into consideration. Even though it shows Freud alone, it has to be categorised as a family photo. The original print I was looking at forms part of a collection of family pictures that had been mounted together in a single frame like a collage, and hung for many years on the wall in the living room at Berggasse (Engelman, 1976, Plate 50).

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Medium 9781782201113

Chapter One - Malignant Prejudice: Its Development and Prevention

Karnac Books ePub

Henri Parens

A model of prejudice

This model of prejudice evolved in sequence through a series of research projects that started with my study on the development of aggression in early childhood (Parens, 1973, 1979[2008]). This prejudice model addresses:

I should note that the thrust to my considering the notion or feasibility of preventing, or at least reducing, occurrences of malignant prejudice came from the findings that emerged from our observational research on the development of aggression in early childhood: in fact, from infancy on. As I have described (Parens, 1973), the entire enterprise of this series of projects—from the development of aggression to the prevention of malignant prejudice—was launched by an adventitious finding that struck me of much consequence: that infants do not behave as prescribed by the then extant psychoanalytic theory of aggression, that is, Freud's amended death-instinct-based theory of aggression (Hartmann, Kris, & Loewenstein, 1949). These findings led me to propose a revision to the psychoanalytic theory of aggression (Parens, 1979[2008]). The relevance of this revision lies in the fact that the experiences we have during the course of growing up highly determine how hostile we become as adults, and how readily we may become an advocate of malevolence towards others.

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Medium 9781855753341

CHAPTER FIVE: The other side of the wall. A psychoanalytic study of creativity in later life

Karnac Books ePub

Peter Hildebrand

I wish to address myself in this chapter to the notion of creativity in later life. I do not intend to do more than briefly summa-I rize the classical view of creativity as put forward originally by Sigmund Freud and developed by other psychoanalysts over the past eighty years. I wish instead to bring together several strands of thought arising from consideration of object-relations theory and the application of structuralist ideas to psychoanalytic thinking, together with recent interest in the developmental stages of later life. I will combine this approach with a critique of certain notions put forward by René Major in his work on Hamlet and apply the amended theory to an outstanding creative work of later life: William Shakespeare’s last complete play The Tempest.

The Tempest, although the last complete play written by Shakespeare, is accorded pride of place in the Folio of 1623. Subsequent to its presentation at Court in 1612 on the occasion of the marriage of the Winter Queen, Elizabeth of Bohemia, Shakespeare seems to have retired to Stratford, where he lived with his married daughter and her husband at New Place until his death some four years later.

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7. The setting of analysis

Fordham, Michael Karnac Books ePub

To pursue the practice of analytical psychotherapy it is necessary to create a situation in which the patient can bring complex and highly charged affects, struggle with them and find a solution better suited to himself as a whole. In this he will need to get into fluid states when he will be uncertain of what is happening and become confused or temporarily disorientated. So there is need for a stable setting. This is partly expressed in the analyst’s provision of a room that is quiet, warm and reasonably comfortable where he will be found at regular intervals. Furthermore he will maintain his analytical attitude whilst the transference neurosis is being worked on.

In part the framework is impersonal but it is full of personal but non-verbal communications that derive from the analyst having chosen and furnished his room; the furniture, pictures, decorations are arranged to suit him, to make a setting in which he feels comfortable, and which express the parts of himself that he likes to have on view. In arranging his room he will have had patients in mind and so nothing very unusual may be expected in it.

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17. Working against Dorian Gray: analysis and the old

Karnac Books ePub


The project ofZoja’s paper is far wider than its title implies. In addition, there is a salient critique of Freudian theory, in which the psychoanalytic contribution is linked with several problematic features of our culture. Then there is an analysis of the culture’s main problem: ignorance and fear of death. This, in its turn, is connected to a radical undercutting of the authentic patterns of life so that all of us, not just the old, suffer from anomie and ontological anxiety,

One other feature of the paper to which I should like to draw attention concerns Zoja’s use of puer and senex. These terms, which may be unfamiliar to some readers, refer to differing psychological and emotional outlooks (and are not intended to be restricted to males). They are not developmental concepts, though they can be employed in that veinfor even old women and men can be seen to have puer or puella characteristics; similarly, the senex can be seen in the character of babies. Clearly, each of us will have both puer and senex in her or his make-up. The puer suggests the possibility of a new beginning, revolution, renewal, and creativity generally. The senex refers us to qualities such as wisdom, balance, steadiness, generosity towards others, farsightedness. Each ‘position’ can become pathological: unmitigated puer is redolent of impatience, overspiritualization, lack of realism, naive idealism, tendencies ever to start anew, being untouched by age, and given to flights of imagination. Pure senex is excessively cautious and conservative, authoritarian, obsessional, overgrounded, melancholic, and lacking imagination. The injury that our culture has done us concerns the forcible splitting of an archetypal interplay between puer and senex.

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