Art and Daydreaming

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  Dreams and art are not merely linked because they fulfill wishes, but because both have to make use of strategies in order to overcome the resistance of consciousness: 'work' is done by the dreamer and the artist to transform their primitive desires  into culturally acceptable meanings.  In order to undermine our resistance, the artist masks his egoistic daydream and at the same time lures us with the "purely formal--that is, aesthetic yield of pleasure..."

The Artists as "Possible" Cases of Analysis

Bonarparte on Poe
the classic example of 'psychobiography.'
Poe was born in 1809.  His father disappeared when he was 18 months old; his pretty and childlike mother died of consumption about a year later.  He was brought up by foster-parents, and he was neither legally adopted nor later left any money by his foster-father.  He married his cousin Virginia when he was 26 and she was 13 and already sickening; she died of consumption some 10 years after their marriage.   Poe died at the age  of 40, after a life of poverty, debts, drink, drugs and depression, having completed a considerable mass of essays, poems and stories.

B's basic contention is that Poe was a necrophilic, someone for whom corpses have an erotic attraction (necrophilia being a pathological extension of the part played by normal mourning, when the mourner for a time refuses to accept the event).  Bonaparte argues that Poe, through a fixation on his mother, was condemned to an eternal fidelity.  He remains physically faithful to her, his first love, by marrying an ailing cousin and thus sparing himself the need to consummate the marriage.  She takes [the characters] as father-, mother- and sister- figures which have made their way from Poe's unconscious into his tales. ...she wishes to show how repressed feeling is transferred, via a displacement onto fictional action and objects.
 

"Tales of the mother": In each tale, according to B, Poe is reliving Elizabeth Poe's last agony and death.
"Tales of the father" in which male figures become the return of the repressed, the father who comes back to avenge Poe's imaginary parricide and incest.
Poe's fiction, according to B, embodies the wish to become reunited with his dead mother; since this must needs be a censored wish we should not be surprised that Poe's tales hardly read like wish-fulfillments.
She takes Poe's tales as the manifest part of the dream and believes that, by finding associations from persons and incidents in Poe's life, she is recovering the latent part.
To this extent her reading corresponds to the sign-system of the dream.  She shows how a manifest meaning is subverted by a latent meaning or meanings via an associative link.  The link is in the form of a trope, metaphorical (white is like milk) or metonymic (milk is found with breast).

Objections: "Poe's narrators should not be construed as his mouthpieces; instead they should be regarded as expressing, in 'charged' language indicative of their internal disturbances, their own peculiarly nightmarish visions.  Poe, I contend, is conscious of the abnormalities of his narrators and does not condone  their intellectual ruses through which they strive, only too earnestly, to justify themselves" (Gargona 1967).
One (B) is making dream encapsulate art, the other (G) is making art encapsulate the dream.

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