Download PDF by Lewis A. Lawson: A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction

By Lewis A. Lawson

ISBN-10: 1417591196

ISBN-13: 9781417591190

ISBN-10: 9042017457

ISBN-13: 9789042017450

The thesis of A Gorgon’s masks: the mummy in Thomas Mann’s Fiction relies on 3 psychoanalytic options: Freud’s early paintings at the courting among the newborn and its mom and at the psychology of creative production, Annie Reich’s research of the grotesque-comic sublimation, and Edmund Bergler’s research of writer’s block. Mann’s obstacle of sexual nervousness in overdue early life is gifted because the defining second for his whole inventive lifestyles. within the throes of that problem he incorporated a cartoon of a feminine as Gorgon in a publication that will now not get away his mother’s detect. yet to protect himself from being triumph over via the Gorgon-mother’s stare he hired the grotesque-comic sublimation, hiding the mummy determine in the back of fictional characters bodily beautiful yet psychologically repellent, the entire whereas couching his fiction in an ironic tone that evoked humor, although missing in humor the subtext will be. during this demeanour he may deny to himself that the mum determine constantly lurked in his paintings, and via 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 unavoidably succumb to writer’s block. Mann’s past due paintings unearths that his protection opposed to the Gorgon is crumbling. In general practitioner Faustus Mann portrays Adrian Leverk?hn as, finally, the sufferer of oral regression; however the proven fact that Mann was once in a position to compete the unconventional, regardless of critical actual disease and mental misery, demonstrates that he himself was once nonetheless maintaining writer’s block at bay. In Confessions of Felix Krull: self assurance guy, a story that he had deserted 40 years earlier than, Mann was once ultimately compelled to recognize that he used to be depleted of artistic energy, yet now not of his ability for irony, brilliantly couching the effective go back of the repressed in ambiguity. This learn 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 features, and to scholars of the psychology of inventive creativity.

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Extra info for A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12)

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By religion? How am I to free myself of sexuality? By eating rice? (Winston 1981: 97) Given the context in which Mann uses the word poison, Freud’s comment about that substance should be recalled. At this point Mann breaks off the letter, perhaps hopeful that nourishment of a different sort will restore his spirits. Later, supplying a new heading–“Abends”—he resumes the letter: “Ich habe diniert und in der Galleria Umberto den Kaffee getrunken” (De Mendelssohn 1974: 80). Again he attempts a tourist’s sketch, but soon reverts to his problem: Early Works 35 Here and there, among a thousand other peddlers, are slyly hissing dealers who urge you to come along with them to allegedly “very beautiful” girls, and not only to girls.

Despite the richness of the Medusa-as-Gorgon myth, it was, if Jane Harrison is correct, a myth created to substantiate a pre-existing ritual object. In her interpretation of the Gorgon, the primitive Greek knew that there was in his ritual a horrid thing called a Gorgoneion, a grinning mask with glaring eyes and protruding beast-like tusks and a pendent tongue. How did this Gorgoneion come to be? The ritual object comes first; then the monster is begotten to account for it; then the hero is supplied to account for the slaying of the monster.

For the type of inversion that Thomas Mann experienced, a very early date of origin seems likely. When the little boy performed before his mother as Hermes, he must have identified with his mother, seen himself, as it were, through her eyes, laying the foundation for his later quest for the Hermes figure in the external world and for his autobiographical characters’ quest in his fictional world. In Confessions of Felix Krull he finally rewards himself by creating himself as the Hermes figure who excites the admiration of two mother figures, Madame Houpflé and, later, Senhora Kuckuck.

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A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12) by Lewis A. Lawson


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