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Literature and Psychoanalysis$
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Jeremy Tambling

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086731

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086731.001.0001

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Klein and ‘object-relations’: the mother and creativity

Klein and ‘object-relations’: the mother and creativity

(p.65) 5 Klein and ‘object-relations’: the mother and creativity
Literature and Psychoanalysis

Jeremy Tambling

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses one of Freud's most exciting followers, Melanie Klein, and object-relations theory, focusing on the role of the mother in psychoanalysis. It also shows Freud's discussion of the Fort! Da! game in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, and presents an account of what Klein's work means and its significance for producing thought about creativity, writing, and art. The chapter argues Klein's view that the child's desires are conflictual and ambivalent, and that the physical mother cannot symbolise them, either in her literality or because thinking depends on ambivalence. Meanwhile, Julia Kristeva contends that, in childbirth, women identify with their mothers, and, in that sense, privileges the role of the woman as mother over other forms of feminism which have been used to attempt to challenge that codification.

Keywords:   Melanie Klein, object-relations theory, creativity, Freud, Fort Da, mother and child, Julia Kristeva

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