The Art of Personality is a diverse selection of talks and papers on psychoanalysis and literature given by the author over the past ten years. They elaborate on the goal expressed by Milton as 'becoming a true poem': that is, seeing parallels between the gradual construction of the personality and the construction of a work of art, following an internal evolution on the lines of Bion's description of an 'endoskeletonous personality'. The works discussed range from classic Greek drama to Dostoevsky, Kafka, and Patrick White.
The author's thoughts on our interaction with literature stand alongside those of Adrian Stokes and Richard Wollheim on understanding paintings. She brings together a broad knowledge of ancient and modern writings with a deep understanding of the creatively imaginative mind, illuminated by post-Kleinian psychoanalysis. This book will be a source of pleasure and inspiration both to general lovers of literature and to psychoanalytic workers who value the poetic aspects of their patients and their own forms of expression.'
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements About the author Preface -- Prometheus and the mythological consciousness -- Electra complexities across three dramatists -- Women, gods and witches: Euripides and the roots of perversity -- Reversing perversion: a musical resolution to Wuthering Heights -- The wound and its transformations: some stories by Kafka -- The valley and the mountain: Ibsen's inner landscapes -- Dostoevsky and the education of -- The evolution of artistic faith in White's Riders in the Chariot -- On psychoanalytic autobiography -- The infant and the infinite: on psychoanalytic faith -- References -- Index