• drmarawagner

Welcome to my Journal

I credit my return to a creative life to psychoanalytic training: without thinking about it, I entered a condition where I could play again.


At the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis (BGSP), I have taught a number of courses that integrate the arts and the study of unconscious dynamics - Dream Analysis, Psychoanalysis of Literature and Film, The Short Story as Clinical Hour, and Psychoanalysis and The Arts, to name a few. The study of the sources and products of creativity is a fascinating field, and I have learned many things that I think are recognizable to artists, though we may not have always had the words to describe them.


Here are two blog posts I wrote for the BGSP website that illustrate the application of psychoanalytic principles to creative products. They are analyses of the films, Birdman, and The English Patient.

https://bgsp.edu/birdman-or-the-unexpected-virtue-of-ignorance/?highlight=birdman

https://bgsp.edu/?s=the+english+patient

There is a rich literature about the unconscious underpinnings of creativity, much of which is accessible to non-analysts. For people interested in learning more about unconscious processes and creativity, it doesn't get better than Hans Sachs, The Creative Unconscious. It is out of print, but copies can be purchased at some used book shops including thriftbooks.com and of course at amazon.com:


https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/the-creative-unconscious-studies-in-the-psychoanalysis-of-art_hanns-sachs/14264116/item/19882920/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA8ICOBhDmARIsAEGI6o3kWJp8iMqyoHCP9pX6Etv8wJRNFPc6X_3H-KJ_7drEv0yvqkZcm74aAgTGEALw_wcB#idiq=19882920&edition=15128754


https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Unconscious-Studies-Psychoanalysis-Art/dp/1258928698

I highly recommend the blog, formerly called Brainpickings, now The Marginalian. It is beautiful, touching, and gorgeously illustrated much of the time: https://www.themarginalian.org/


And I can recommend The War of Art by Steven Pressfield for a useful and light reflection on resistance to doing creative work.

For films that integrate psychoanalysis and art (without mentioning it), see:

Never Look Away

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

The Piano, and

Birdman


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