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date: 20 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This introduction provides an overview of the chapters in this section, which explores the role of psychoanalysis in aesthetics. More specifically, the chapters examine some psychoanalytic concepts with which to think more deeply about human creativity and aesthetic sensibility, such as wish and wish fulfilment, the depressive position, projection, containment, and mentalization. The focus is on what Sigmund Freud thinks about art, how we should understand it (the question of criticism), what makes an experience distinctively aesthetic, and how we should understand artistic creativity. One of the chapters deals with film theory, arguing against the cognitive turn in favour of the view that ‘the creation and experience of film is driven by desire and wish fulfilment and functions so as to satisfy certain psychological, protective, expressive needs of both artists and audiences’. Another chapter considers the developmental, transformative nature of art, and the particular importance of its form in this respect.

Keywords: psychoanalysis, aesthetics, wish-fulfilment, projection, containment, mentalization, Sigmund Freud, art, artistic creativity, film theory

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