Monday, October 22, 2012
Freud on Creative Writing and Daydreaming
"Writing is a little door," Susan Sontag wrote in her diary. "Some fantasies, like big pieces of furniture, won’t come through."
Sigmund Freud – key figure in the making of consumer culture, deft architect of his own myth, modern plaything – spent a fair amount of his career exploring the psychology of dreams. In 1908, he turned to the intersection of fantasies and creativity, and penned a short essay titled "Creative Writers and Day-Dreaming," eventually republished in the anthology The Freud Reader (public library).
Though his theories have been the subject of much controversy and subsequent revision, they remain a fascinating formative framework for much of the modern understanding of the psyche.
Predictably, Freud begins by tracing the subject matter to its roots in childhood, stressing, as Anaïs Nin eloquently did – herself trained in psychoanalysis – the importance of emotional investment in creative writing: