22.3.10

Ballard: 'Freud was a born storyteller'

J. G. Ballard on psychoanalysis and the creative imagination
Sigmund Freud sitting at his couch
Despite its long application to a legion of neurotic victims, especially in America, psychoanalysis has had only a modest therapeutic success, and some psychiatrists see it as a complete failure. Yet the power of Sigmund Freud's presence and imagination endures. Perhaps he should be seen primarily as a novelist, with a great imaginative writer's ability to explore the human heart through the unfolding drama of a strong confrontational narrative. Freud was a born storyteller, not only in the hundreds of case histories he deployed, but in the master narratives that he devsed to underpin all human behaviour—the Oedipus complex, the struggle against the tyrannical father and the quest for the lost union with the mother. It may be that Freud is the great novelist of the 20th Century.

J. G. Ballard: Quotes
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Edited by V. Vale and Mike Ryan
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