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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 hospital sequence. This publication explores many of the ways that an knowing of poetry, and the poetic impulse, might be fruitfully educated via psychoanalytic principles. it can be argued that there's a specific affinity among poetry and psychoanalysis, in that either pay shut consciousness to the correct meanings of linguistic expression, and either, although in several methods, are centrally interested by subconscious tactics. The members to this quantity, the majority of them clinicians with a robust curiosity in literature, discover this connection in numerous methods, targeting the paintings of specific poets, from the prophet Ezekiel to Seamus Heaney.

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Extra resources for Acquainted with the Night. Psychoanalysis and the Poetic Imagination

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This oddly invigorating relationship between psychic reality and aesthetic pleasure is, I think, the underlying theme of this book. CONTRIBUTORS Kate Barrows is a child psychotherapist, trained at the Tavistock Clinic, and a training psychoanalyst for the British Psychoanalytical Society. She lives and works in Bristol. She has a background in the study of literature, and writes and lectures on a variety of psychoanalytic and literary topics. Ronald Britton is a training analyst and currently President of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

True criticism, the kind practised by masters like Coleridge and Eliot, comes without theoretical baggage and with nothing to prove. In order to find out what is going on in a work of art, the critic must let go of his own sensibility and immerse himself in that of the artist, without theories and without preconceptions. All that is required of him is attention and detachment—listening, thinking, and giving himself up all at the same time. And that, I assume, is much the same as the “evenly suspended attention” with which, said Freud, the therapist listens to a patient.

Anne Stevenson’s much more spare and suggestive lines capture the simultaneous excitement, and also the guilt, expectation, and disappointment of this point of transition, a stark representation of all such points to come; the mixed blessing of each “new experience” which both holds out so much to the novice but which may also ultimately offer so little; the external conditions which, too readily, contribute to the shut-down of the personality, to the fracturing or dispersing of the crucial links with internal objects in favour of belonging, belonging to the system and reducing the power of those early experiences which provide, as George Eliot put it, “the mother tongue of our imagination” (The Mill on the Floss, 1860, Ch.

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