This book is an attempt to look at creativity from a female perspective. It is an exploration of what these specific difficulties for women might be and how we might think about them and try and find a way through them. The author is aware that men also experience difficulties with their creative selves, but she believes the problems are significantly different from the ones addressed here. The author does however address the fact that we all suffer, men and women, if women feel cut off from important aspects of their internal creative lives. If aspects of the creative feminine appear inaccessible to women, then they are also not available to men and this is a double tragedy.
Although the book is written from the perspective of a Jungian Analyst, primarily interested in the life of the psyche, the author also examines some of the historical, cultural and social reasons why women may have specific issues relating to their creativity. Together, she suggests, these all add up to a multi-layered and conflicted mixture of barriers and fears for women who wish to express themselves. The book explores women’s subjective experiences of their creative selves as writers, singers, mothers, therapists and artists and argue that these subjective experiences are marginalized by the symbolism and language that is available to express and explore the creative feminine. It is a thesis of this book that one of the problems about writing or speaking about female creativity is that the language of a patriarchal world is restricted to speaking about women and not for them.
--- from the publisher
“Juliet Miller’s book makes a vital contribution to the important but neglected area of the female creative process. She explores with strength and sensitivity those issues and taboos that often challenge or frustrate women’s creativity within relationships, motherhood, infertility, the workplace, therapeutic and psychoanalytic communities and the wider artistic world. By examining the ways in which female creative drives and their repressed emotions of aggression and destructiveness transform matter – that most feminine material – into images and works of art that are subversive and spiritual, Miller provides new insight into the art of leading female artists Louise Bourgeois and Cornelia Parker. A must for readers interested in the creative feminine.”
-- Diane Finiello Zervas, Jungian Analyst & Art Historian
”This passionate yet lucid account includes critical insights into the ways feminine creativity is under attack in the arts, motherhood and the shadow side of the psychoanalytic enterprise. Miller holds up a looking glass to the latter which reflects the pathological face of psychoanalysis where it is contaminated by unconscious power drives. The book is recommended reading for all those seeking to realise their creative potential.”
-- Ann Casement, Licensed Psychoanalyst & Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Acknowledgements; About the Author; Introduction; PART I: CREATIVITY AND FEAR 1) The Search for a Voice; 2) Using a Voice; PART II: CREATIVITY AND PROCREATIVITY 3) The Dilemma of Motherhood; 4) The Problem of Infertility; PART IIIl CREATIVITY AND PSYCHOTHERAPY 5) History, Gender and Relating; 6) Patriarchy and Hate in Training Institutes; PART IV: CREATIVITY AND ART 7) Power and Vulnerability in the Work of Louise Bourgeois; 8) Creative Destruction in the Work of Cornelia Parker; Conclusion; References; Index.
About the Author:
Juliet Miller is a Jungian Analyst with a private practice in London. Prior to training as an analyst she worked as a documentary film maker on environmental, social and women's issues. She is especially interested in creative expression and the interface between the arts and psychotherapy.