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Acquainted with the Night. Psychoanalysis and the Poetic by Hamish Canham, Carole Satyamurti

By Hamish Canham, Carole Satyamurti

A part of the Tavistock medical institution sequence. This ebook explores the various ways that an figuring out of poetry, and the poetic impulse, could be fruitfully knowledgeable by means of psychoanalytic rules. it may be argued that there's a specific affinity among poetry and psychoanalysis, in that either pay shut recognition to definitely the right meanings of linguistic expression, and either, even though in several methods, are centrally eager about subconscious procedures. The individuals to this quantity, the vast majority of them clinicians with a powerful curiosity in literature, discover this connection in quite a few methods, concentrating on the paintings of specific poets, from the prophet Ezekiel to Seamus Heaney.

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32] … what the language of an achieved poem does is to transform experience, not merely provide a verbal equivalent of it … the making of the poem is … just as much “life itself” as life itself … The form—the language—is, in part, the content, [p. 36] Barfield (1928) stated that “meaning can never be conveyed from one person to another; words are not bottles; every individual must intuit meaning for himself, and the function of the poetic is to mediate such intuition by suitable suggestion” (p.

The papers in Acquainted With The Night, each in its instructively thoughtful, scholarly, and subtle way, elaborate various contemporary perspectives on the relationship between psychoanalysis and poetry. As the editors make clear, the aim is not to psychoanalyse poets, but rather to examine the ways in which each medium, whether clinical or literary, explores and expresses the symbolic process as a means of understanding psychic reality. Both generally and specifically in relation to individual poets, the authors illuminate the role of some central psychoanalytic concerns—those of containment and reparation, for example, and of mourning and loss—in furthering reflection on the psychic determinants of the nature of imaginative life and of creativity.

CHAPTER ONE The vale of soul-making Margot Waddell There are many affinities between the poetic process and the psychoanalytic process. The value of engaging with inner and outer experience and their meeting ground, and of finding some way of communicating that experience is the stuff of each. I shall constantly be drawing on the one to illuminate the other, while not wishing to blur distinctiveness nor to oversimplify similarity. But I have a specific focus: that it is this very engagement with experience, the capacity to suffer it and to think about it, that is essential to the growth of the mind.

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