By Lewis A. Lawson
The thesis of A Gorgon’s masks: the mummy in Thomas Mann’s Fiction is dependent upon 3 psychoanalytic ideas: Freud’s early paintings at the courting 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 obstacle of sexual nervousness in overdue youth is gifted because the defining second for his whole inventive lifestyles. within the throes of that problem he integrated a cartoon of a feminine as Gorgon in a ebook that will no longer get away his mother’s observe. yet to guard himself from being triumph over through the Gorgon-mother’s stare he hired the grotesque-comic sublimation, hiding the mummy determine at the back of fictional characters bodily appealing yet psychologically repellent, the entire whereas couching his fiction in an ironic tone that evoked humor, in spite of the fact that missing in humor the subtext will be. during this demeanour he may perhaps deny to himself that the mummy determine regularly lurked in his paintings, and by way of that denial deny that he was once a sufferer of oral regression. For, as Edmund Bergler argues, the artistic author who recognizes his oral dependency will unavoidably succumb to writer’s block. Mann’s overdue paintings unearths that his security opposed to the Gorgon is crumbling. In health professional Faustus Mann portrays Adrian Leverk?hn as, eventually, the sufferer of oral regression; however the indisputable fact that Mann used to be capable of compete the unconventional, regardless of critical actual disorder and mental misery, demonstrates that he himself used to be nonetheless keeping writer’s block at bay. In Confessions of Felix Krull: self assurance guy, a story that he had deserted 40 years prior to, Mann used to be ultimately compelled to recognize that he used to be depleted of inventive power, yet now not of his means for irony, brilliantly couching the successful go back of the repressed in ambiguity. This examine may be of curiosity to common readers who get pleasure from Mann’s narrative paintings, to scholars of Mann’s paintings, in particular its mental and mythological elements, and to scholars of the psychology of creative creativity.
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Extra info for A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12)
But he does not declare his feeling to her: “[h]e felt a strange anxiety in her presence, and he was deeply saddened by the selfconscious and artificial courtesy with which she, too, treated him” (Neugroschel 1998: 26). While on a solitary walk, he inadvertently spies the girl necking with “a tall, redheaded boy”, a phallic fellow. As he steals away, “a sharp, urgent pain shot from his chest into his throat”—the adolescent pain of the heart reawakens the infantile pain of the unsatisfied throat.
270) Sleep is the Good Mother, the mother who, swallowed, causes the eyes to grow “blessedly dim”; sleeplessness is the Bad Mother, the swallowing mother whose stare turns the “eyes like grey stones in their sockets”. When the child Mann discovered Medusa, he found a name Early Works 41 for the mother whose look of disapproval could deprive him of easy sleep. Bilderbuch für artige Kinder Mann soon used the Gorgoneion to express himself. When he rejoined his brother Heinrich in Rome at the end of November, they collaborated on Bilderbuch für artige Kinder, a “Picture Book for Well-Behaved Children”.
In Heilbut 1996: 33). By 17 February 1896, he had burned “all his diaries and some of his stories”. Writing to his friend Grautoff, Mann became rhetorical about his action: Early Works 31 Why? You think it is a pity? You would be well advised to make a similar purge. It has done me a lot of good. One is literally liberated from the past to live light-heartedly and harmlessly in the present and the future. (qtd. ) That he burned some of his stories, as well as his diary, argues that he was already drawn to his past for material, an act that he would never abandon.
A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12) by Lewis A. Lawson