By Lewis A. Lawson
The thesis of A Gorgon’s masks: the mummy in Thomas Mann’s Fiction will depend on 3 psychoanalytic strategies: Freud’s early paintings at the courting among the newborn and its mom and at the psychology of inventive production, Annie Reich’s research of the grotesque-comic sublimation, and Edmund Bergler’s research of writer’s block. Mann’s quandary of sexual anxiousness in past due early life is gifted because the defining second for his complete inventive existence. within the throes of that main issue he integrated a comic strip of a feminine as Gorgon in a publication that will now not break out his mother’s discover. yet to shield himself from being conquer through the Gorgon-mother’s stare he hired the grotesque-comic sublimation, hiding the mum 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 can be. during this demeanour he might deny to himself that the mum 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 artistic author who recognizes his oral dependency will unavoidably succumb to writer’s block. Mann’s overdue paintings unearths that his protection opposed to the Gorgon is crumbling. In surgeon 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 unconventional, regardless of critical actual disorder and mental misery, demonstrates that he himself was once nonetheless protecting writer’s block at bay. In Confessions of Felix Krull: self belief guy, a story that he had deserted 40 years sooner than, Mann used to be ultimately compelled to recognize that he used to be depleted of artistic energy, yet now not of his means for irony, brilliantly couching the triumphant go back of the repressed in ambiguity. This research may be of curiosity to common readers who take pleasure in Mann’s narrative artwork, to scholars of Mann’s paintings, in particular its mental and mythological features, 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)
You should see him at such times—correct, stalwart, chivalrous, forty years old and splendidly preserved, a brilliant officer! They’ve been married for four years. My dear... ) Frau von Rinnlingen’s appearance in the street-scene arouses Herr Friedemann’s “theatophilia”: She wore a very light-colored wide jacket, and her skirt was also of a light hue. From under a small, round straw hat with a leather band, her reddish-blond hair, which was combed over her ears, welled out and fell deep down the nape of her neck, into a thick knot.
In a sense, Mann’s creation of “Mvtter Natvr”--or Mother’s nature--in the artwork of his twentieth year, is his lifting of the Gorgon mask to defend himself against the “remarkably beautiful” but “cold and cruel” mother who always lurked in his memory. What could be more “cold and cruel” to a person attempting to reconstruct his past than the denial of the maternal breast, whether actual or only imagined? The “remarkably beautiful” mother will continue to force her way into his Early Works 43 fiction, but his ironic treatment of her will always indicate that he is still holding up the Gorgoneion against her hidden Gorgon nature.
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. in Heilbut 1996: 33). By 17 February 1896, he had burned “all his diaries and some of his stories”.
A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12) by Lewis A. Lawson