The Psychology of Artists and the Arts

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About the Book

This book offers the first comprehensive examination of the psychodynamic theories of artistic creativity and the arts. Neither oversimplifying the complexity of these theories, nor bogging down in pedantic discourse, it honors the depth and richness of the work of Freud, Adler, Kris, Reich, Jung, and several lesser-known theorists, while making their theories readily accessible to the educated reader.
After discussing the role of theory, the work offers each concept as a readily usable template for describing and understanding a work of art, whether painting, sculpture, music, dance, film, poetry, or prose. With these theories at hand, anyone interested in the arts will possess a far richer vocabulary for describing the artistic experience and a deeper understanding of the artist’s creativity.

About the Author(s)

After 18 years as a practicing psychotherapist, Edward W.L. Smith was the founding director of the clinical training for the doctor of psychology program at Georgia Southern University, where he is now professor emeritus. He is the author or editor of several books on psychotherapy.

Bibliographic Details

Edward W.L. Smith
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 199
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6813-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9055-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface       1

Introduction       3

1. Neurosis and Art—Sigmund Freud, Otto Fenichel, and Alfred Adler       15

2. Art and the Conflict-Free Sphere of the Ego—Ernst Kris      39

3. Artistic Creativity and the Participation Mystique—Carl Jung      52

4. Art versus Fascism—Wilhelm Reich      76

5. The Artist and the Will to Create—Otto Rank      106

6. Further Insights—Sabina Spielrein, Ernest Jones, W.R.D. Fairbairn, Jacques Lacan, Anton Ehrenzweig, Julia Kristeva, Lawrence Kubie, Phyllis Greenacre, Philip Weissman, and Ernest G. Schachtel      137

7. Psychodynamics in Color and Black and White—Hermann Rorschach      147

Conclusion      175

Reference      181

Index      185

Book Reviews & Awards

“offers a comprehensive psychodynamic analysis of art and the artist as interpreted by the great minds of psychotherapy”—Reference & Research Book News.