Separation and Creativity: Refinding the Lost Language of Childhood

Separation and Creativity: Refinding the Lost Language of Childhood

Separation and Creativity: Refinding the Lost Language of Childhood

Separation and Creativity: Refinding the Lost Language of Childhood

Synopsis

Integrating both the work of Winnicott and the American tradition of child analysis with her own Lacanian theoretical model, noted French analyst Maud Mannoni highlights the relationship between the childhood traumas of creative artists and their adult work. How can the horror, the distress experienced in childhood, constitute the very material of a work of art? This is the leitmotif of this book. It takes us through the anguish and poetry of Poe, the ghost stories of Wharton, the films of Hitchcock and Bergman to the struggles of survivors of contemporary man-made disastersthe Chowchilla kidnapping, the Holocaust, the disappeared of Argentina. This book, through its transitions from one set of vivid images to the next, makes the reader expect its very substance. Dori Laubrien

Excerpt

Before Prozac arrived to alter the moods of millions, Maud Mannoni thought to delve with her emotionally disturbed and learning-impaired young patients into the meaning of the sadness and terror in their existence. The play, art, and talk of therapy were a means for these children to express themselves from the place of their distress and fear. Before schools started dispensing Ritalin daily so that children, many of whom live in households beleaguered by poverty, emotional chaos, violence, or alcohol, will pay attention to the teacher, Mannoni dared to undertake psychoanalysis with backward children and their parents, exploring the links between learning disorders and the child's history within his or her family. How, she asked, does the child's speech disorder, reading and math problems, or disorientation in space and time connect to his . . .

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