By Lewis A. Lawson
The thesis of A Gorgon’s masks: the mum in Thomas Mann’s Fiction depends on 3 psychoanalytic techniques: Freud’s early paintings at the dating among the baby and its mom and at the psychology of inventive production, Annie Reich’s research of the grotesque-comic sublimation, and Edmund Bergler’s research of writer’s block. Mann’s predicament of sexual anxiousness in overdue formative years is gifted because the defining second for his complete creative existence. within the throes of that concern he incorporated a caricature of a feminine as Gorgon in a ebook that will no longer get away his mother’s become aware of. yet to guard himself from being triumph over by means of the Gorgon-mother’s stare he hired the grotesque-comic sublimation, hiding the mum determine at the back of fictional characters bodily beautiful yet psychologically repellent, the entire whereas couching his fiction in an ironic tone that evoked humor, despite the fact that missing in humor the subtext can be. during this demeanour he might deny to himself that the mum determine continually lurked in his paintings, and via that denial deny that he used to be a sufferer of oral regression. For, as Edmund Bergler argues, the inventive author who recognizes his oral dependency will unavoidably succumb to writer’s block. Mann’s past due paintings finds that his protection opposed to the Gorgon is crumbling. In health professional Faustus Mann portrays Adrian Leverk?hn as, finally, the sufferer of oral regression; however the undeniable fact that Mann used to be in a position to compete the unconventional, regardless of serious actual affliction and mental misery, demonstrates that he himself was once nonetheless retaining writer’s block at bay. In Confessions of Felix Krull: self belief guy, a story that he had deserted 40 years earlier than, Mann was once ultimately compelled to recognize that he used to be depleted of inventive energy, yet now not of his ability for irony, brilliantly couching the successful go back of the repressed in ambiguity. This learn might be of curiosity to common readers who take pleasure in Mann’s narrative paintings, to scholars of Mann’s paintings, particularly its mental and mythological points, and to scholars of the psychology of inventive creativity.
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Additional resources for A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12)
Although Thomas and Heinrich had often been at odds with one another when they were younger, Thomas now enjoyed Heinrich’s company, even though the elder brother appeared successful in both his literary ambitions and his romantic pursuits (Winston 1981: 57). Mrs. Mann was having her successes, as well. She could afford an eight-room apartment which, being on the ground floor, boasted a verandah and a garden (N. Hamilton 1979: 45). Still attractive at forty-three, she quickly became a popular hostess.
Perhaps his wife Katja’s apparent imperturbability at his boy-watching resulted from her intuition that he did it with a mother’s eye. 13 Lewin developed the “dream screen” in “Sleep, the Mouth, and the Dream Screen”, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 15 (1946): 419-34; in “Inferences from the Dream Screen”, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 29(1948): 224-30; and in “Reconsideration of the Dream Screen”, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly 22(1953): 174-99. Psychoanalysts who have published elaborations of the “dream screen” include Charles Rycroft, Joseph Kepecs, Gert Heilbrunn, Mark Kanzer, Angel Garma, L.
It is necessary, before Mann’s stay in Naples is discussed, to sketch his “psychological susceptibility” at the time. Mann must have felt relieved to be away from Munich, away from the physical presence of his mother, for his ancient ambivalence toward her seems to have contributed to the late awakening of his desire for sexual contact. He felt that he had been prematurely deprived of her breast—this evidence is already obvious in “A Vision”. At the same time he felt that his deprivation resulted from her deliberate coldness.