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The Secret Artist: A Close Reading of Sigmund Freudby Lesley Chamberlain
Synopses & Reviews
Widely acclaimed for giving "an understanding of the connection between Nietzsches personal experience and his most famous ideas" (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times) in her biography of Nietzsche, Nietzsche in Turin, Chamberlain now renders a similar service to readers of Freud. In this book, part biography, part literary criticism, she takes the reader into the mind of Freud, toward a better understanding of the thinker, his work, and art itself. The very idea of the subconcious as a constant, active presence in our daily lives was Freuds greatest contribution and has allowed generations of people to experience their lives more deeply. His rigorous exploration of the dynamism and structures of the subconscious, Chamberlain argues, was in itself an important work of art. Using Freuds own writing on art and the aesthetic theories of thinkers ranging from Nietzsche to Lionel Trilling, Chamberlain examines Freuds art and shows how his imaginative creations have revolutionized not only mental health, but our thinking about art in general, by opening up the individual subconscious as a subject. In elegant, accessible prose she describes how "Freud split the aesthetic atom, releasing a vast energy for individual creativity."
"I argue that Freud is fundamentally an artist, but that the artistic expression of his desires and fears is suppressed". Beginning with this premise, Lesley Chamberlain's The Secret Artist looks at the meaning of Freud's life and work through a new lens. Part biography, part thoughtful examination of his work, this book uses Freud's own writing on art and aesthetics to show how his imaginative creations have revolutionized not only mental health but also thinking about art — by opening up the individual subconscious as a subject.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
About the Author
The topics of LESLEY CHAMBERLAINS numerous books range from food to philosophy. Chamberlain is a regular contributor to newspapers and journals in Britain and the United States, including The Times and The Times Literary Supplement (both of London). She is the author of Nietzsche in Turin.
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