R. Gray
German 390/Comp. Lit. 396/Engl 363/CHID 498/JSIS 488/Lit 298
Freud and the Literary Imagination

Freud on the relationship of creative writers to science and knowledge

From: "Delusions and Dreams in Jensen's Gradiva" (1906-07):

"[Poets and Novelists] know a whole host of things between heaven and earth of which our philosophy has not yet let us dream. In their knowledge of the mind they are far in advance of us everyday people, for they draw upon sources which we have not yet opened up for science"

"The description of the human mind [provided by the creative writer] is indeed the domain which is most his own; he has from time immemorial been the precursor of science, and so too of scientific psychology. [. . .] The creative writer cannot evade the psychiatrist nor the psychiatrist the creative writer, and the poetic treatment of a psychiatric theme can turn out to be correct without any sacrifice of its beauty."

From Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1915):

"An artist is once more in rudiments an introvert, not far removed from neurosis. He is oppressed by excessively powerful instinctual needs. He desires to own honour, power, wealth, fame and the love of women, but he lacks the means for achieving these satisfactions. Consequently, like any other unsatisfied man, he turns away from reality and transfers all his interest, and his libido too, to the wishful construction of his life of phantasy, whence the path might lead to neurosis."