INSPIRATION: A PSYCHOANALYTIC AND AESTHETIC CONCEPT

Authors

  • Meg Harris Williams

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    1. MEG HARRIS WILLIAMS is a writer and artist with a lifelong psychoanalytic education. Her recent work includes Five Tales from Shakespeare (Clunie Press, 1996) for children (illustrated by the author), and A Trial of Faith: Horatio's Story (Karnac, 1997), a psychoanalytic novel based on Shakespeare's Hamlet.
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Abstract

ABSTRACT The intention of this paper is to focus attention on the nature and value of inspiration as a function of particular importance in all aesthetic work, including psychoanalysis; and to indicate its analogous importance in personality development. Following the poets - the most expressive analysts of inspiration - inspiration is described as a mental process rather than a quality. This paper does not rely solely on mere statements about inspiration. Rather, features of the concept of inspiration are drawn from the aesthetic language of several poets: in particular, Dante, Keats, Milton, Emily Bronte, Plato. Finally, some more explicit links are made to the context of current psychoanalytic theory.

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