Friday, February 08, 2013

Imagination, Art, and Psychoanalysis

I have started a new book, ``Imagination: From Fantasy to Delusion,'' by Lois Oppenheim. The introduction appears fascinating and full of new references. Here is an excerpt:

The creative endeavor ... is rooted in the neurobiology of humankind. Indeed, creativity, its identification of the self to the self and consequent augmentation of agency, depends upon the physiology of the faculty, imagination, through which it emerges. Listen to David Beres (1960): ``Without imagination, reality is only sensed and experienced; with imagination, reality becomes an object of awareness. With his imagination man participates in reality, alters it, and even to some extent controls it'' (p. 334). If creativity in art is akin to analytic treatment, it is that the analyst, as Abrams (2004) has said, is a ``servant of creative adjustment.'' As Abrams sees it, analysis is not a matter of ``resultants'' but of ``emergents,'' not a matter of exposing structures of the past but of tapping into the ``forward pull'' of the patient's creative, as reorganizational, capacity. ... And I would contend that the ``transformational potential'' of the art is not dissimilar. Art destabilizes the absolute quality of the self ....
... The objective of this inquiry into imagination is thus to be seen, on the one hand, as an exploration of the commonality between art and psychoanalysis ... and, on the other hand, as an inquiry into the transformational power of creative processs, of that process for which, in both psychoanalytic practice and the making of art, representation is pivotal: Once imagined, subjective experience is necessarily altered allowing for the unique opportunity for the blind spots of self-perception to diminish.---pp. xxv-xxvi, Imagination: From Fantasy to Delusion

Note that in this quote analysis refers to psychoanalysis, and so on.

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