Since Freud invoked the Oedipus story to exemplify and verify his findings with patients and in analyzing his own dreams, psychoanalysis and literature have had a fruitful if often distrusting relationship. Literature and theory have increased enormously in range. Education no longer insists upon classics of Western literature as building blocks for understanding. Yet the tie between psychoanalysis and imaginative literature remains vital, and the two disciplines can interact vibrantly, as these selected essays of recent years from the International Journal of Psychoanalysis handsomely show. They explore overlaps of literary experience and psychoanalytic process, both of which activate our capacity to 'see feelingly', which is to say, provide occasion for a structured richness of knowing with a felt tie to truth. Both enhance consciousness, expand the emotions, undermine unconscious closures, and provoke thought; and it is those very qualities that inform their illustrative and explanatory usefulness to one another.
This book is part of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis Key Paper Series, which brings together the most important psychoanalytic papers in IJP’s 80 year history, in a series of accessible monographs. The idea behind the series is to approach the IJP’s intellectual resource from a variety of perspectives in order to highlight important domains of psychoanalytic inquiry.
– Paul Williams and Glen O. Gabbard, Joint Editors-in-Chief, 2002–7, International Journal of Psychoanalysis
Preface by Glen O. Gabbard and Paul Williams
Introduction by Paul Schwaber
1Italo Svevo and the first psychoanalytic novel by Aaron Esman
2 A father’s abdication: Lear’s retreat from “aesthetic conflict” by James V. Fisher
3 “The music of what happens” in poetry and psychoanalysis by Thomas H. Ogden
4 From symbols to flesh: the polymorphous destiny
of narration by Julia Kristeva
5 It seemed to have to do with something else ... :
Henry James’s What Maisie Knewand Bion’s theory
of thinking by Sasha Brookes
6 Some thoughts on the essence of the tragic by
7 Negation in Borges’ “The secret miracle”: Writing the Shoah by Beatriz Priel
8 Killing the angel in the house: creativity, femininity, and aggression by Rozsika Parker
About the Editors
Paul Williams PhD is a Training and Supervising Analyst of the British Psychoanalytic Society, a Member of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a Consultant Psychotherapist in the British National Health Service in Belfast. From 2001 to 2007 he was Joint Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. He is a Professor at Queens University Belfast and Visiting Professor of Psychoanalysis at Anglia Ruskin University, UK. He has written widely on the subject of personality disorders and psychosis.
Glen O. Gabbard MD is Brown Foundation Chair of Psychoanalysis, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Director of the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic at Baylor College of Medecine in Houston, Texas. He is also Training and Supervising Analyst at the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute in Houston. He is further a Joint Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis between 2001 and 2007.