Sigmund Freud: Der Dichter und das Phantasieren [Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming] (595 words)


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In this essay, first published in 1908, Freud explores the nature of literary imagination and aesthetic pleasure. It follows Delusions and Dreams in Jensen\'s “Gradiva”, his first work to deal explicitly and systematically with literature and aesthetics. In essence Freud equates the function of creative writing with the motive force of dreams: the work of art, like a dream, involves the “(disguised) fulfilment of a (suppressed or repressed) wish”. He treats the artist as an egotist shaping infantile phantasies into acceptable adult form. The creative writer resembles the child at play, who “creates a world of phantasy which he takes very seriously – that is, which he invests with large amounts of emotion – while …

Citation: Brewster, Scott. "Der Dichter und das Phantasieren". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 April 2002 [, accessed 09 July 2020.]

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