By Lewis A. Lawson
The thesis of A Gorgon’s masks: the mummy in Thomas Mann’s Fiction will depend on 3 psychoanalytic thoughts: Freud’s early paintings at the dating among the child and its mom and at the psychology of creative construction, Annie Reich’s research of the grotesque-comic sublimation, and Edmund Bergler’s research of writer’s block. Mann’s concern of sexual nervousness in overdue youth is gifted because the defining second for his complete inventive lifestyles. within the throes of that problem he integrated a comic strip of a feminine as Gorgon in a e-book that may now not get away his mother’s become aware of. yet to protect 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, even if missing in humor the subtext will be. during this demeanour he may deny to himself that the mummy determine continually lurked in his paintings, and through that denial deny that he used to be a sufferer of oral regression. For, as Edmund Bergler argues, the inventive author who recognizes his oral dependency will necessarily succumb to writer’s block. Mann’s past due paintings finds that his safety opposed to the Gorgon is crumbling. In health professional Faustus Mann portrays Adrian Leverk?hn as, finally, the sufferer of oral regression; however the indisputable fact that Mann used to be in a position to compete the radical, regardless of critical actual sickness and mental misery, demonstrates that he himself was once nonetheless retaining writer’s block at bay. In Confessions of Felix Krull: self belief guy, a story that he had deserted 40 years ahead of, Mann was once eventually compelled to recognize that he used to be depleted of inventive energy, yet now not of his potential for irony, brilliantly couching the effective go back of the repressed in ambiguity. This examine could be of curiosity to basic readers who get pleasure from Mann’s narrative artwork, to scholars of Mann’s paintings, specially its mental and mythological points, and to scholars of the psychology of creative creativity.
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Additional info for A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12)
Only now do I feel that I am really in the southland; that’s because of the audible note of the Orient that forms part of the medley. It is very amusing”. ]. The tongues of the Neapolitans are the most active part about them, and they consider an hour lost during which they are silent. (Murray 1892: 26) But Mann’s professed jauntiness is suspect. He may have thought himself distant from the cause of his ancient problem, mother, but the cause of his present problem, his genital, was undeniably near, and his long letter to Grautoff, on 8 November, slowly approaches that problem.
If he was more familiar with his model he was frequently unable to give up the name even, that is to say he invented names which were like those of the people he was using because it seemed to him that person and name were inwardly connected. (1965: 8) Hence, Thomas Mann becomes “Friedemann”, the man who yearns for peace. A letter of 23 May 1896 to his friend Otto Grautoff reveals Mann’s assessment of his manuscript-in-progress: “completely psychopathic” (qtd. in Hayman 1995: 117, 622 ch2n9). The period during which Mann worked on “Little Herr Friedemann” was a time of great stress, a period that he later described as “a late and violent outbreak of sexuality (I am speaking of my twentieth year)” (qtd.
I’m done with it. Never again”. At seventeen Herr Friedemann leaves school to begin a career in business. The supreme ambition of his life is now to reach the goal of peacefulness—his surname indicates his self-conception (and it recalls the 1896 letters of a Mann seeking peace). Thus Friedemann practices ingratiation and industry. The death of his mother, when he is twenty-one, does not really affect him, either with sadness or with Early Works 48 jubilation, for he had, by repressing the memory of his trauma, always defended himself against the physical presence which had caused it.
A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12) by Lewis A. Lawson