By Lewis A. Lawson
The thesis of A Gorgon’s masks: the mummy in Thomas Mann’s Fiction depends on 3 psychoanalytic suggestions: Freud’s early paintings at the courting among the baby and its mom and at the psychology of inventive construction, Annie Reich’s research of the grotesque-comic sublimation, and Edmund Bergler’s research of writer’s block. Mann’s main issue of sexual anxiousness in overdue formative years is gifted because the defining second for his whole inventive lifestyles. within the throes of that trouble he incorporated a caricature of a feminine as Gorgon in a publication that might now not get away his mother’s discover. yet to protect himself from being triumph over 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, all of the whereas couching his fiction in an ironic tone that evoked humor, despite the fact that missing in humor the subtext may be. during this demeanour he may possibly deny to himself that the mum determine regularly 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 past due paintings unearths that his security opposed to the Gorgon is crumbling. In physician Faustus Mann portrays Adrian Leverk?hn as, eventually, the sufferer of oral regression; however the indisputable fact that Mann was once capable of compete the unconventional, regardless of serious actual disorder and mental misery, demonstrates that he himself was once nonetheless maintaining writer’s block at bay. In Confessions of Felix Krull: self assurance guy, a story that he had deserted 40 years earlier than, Mann was once eventually compelled to recognize that he was once depleted of artistic power, yet no longer of his ability for irony, brilliantly couching the effective go back of the repressed in ambiguity. This research can be of curiosity to basic readers who take pleasure in Mann’s narrative artwork, to scholars of Mann’s paintings, specially its mental and mythological points, and to scholars of the psychology of creative creativity.
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Additional resources for A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12)
This is not to say, however, that Gerda is simply Medusa modernized, for she gives no evidence that she sees herself as Medusa. If she displays mannerisms that evoke Medusa, those same mannerisms can also be interpreted as revealing, instead, that she is simply a young woman who feels deprived of physical and psychic satisfaction. Herr Friedemann, given the particularities of his development, sees her first as the beautiful goddess, only to discover at the end that her mask hides the lollytongued Gorgon.
In June 1896 Mann spent three weeks in Vienna, made possible by a small bequest for which he was eligible upon reaching his majority. Of his recent biographers, only Winston is curious about the visit. He doubts that Mann went looking for romance, notes that Mann spoke only of staying at the Hotel Klomser and seeing a “semioriental deputation” that was to be received by the Emperor (qtd. in Winston 198: 96). ]we do not know” . Mann’s comments above and following suggest that he was suffering from a psychological condition then known as hysteria—as common in Europe then as depression now is in the United States.
15 In the first sentence of “Tonio Kröger” Mann creates the “breast universe”—“The winter sun, poor ghost of itself, hung milky and wan behind layers of cloud above the huddled roofs of the town”—only, as the first sentence anticipates, the second sentence reveals that it is the “lost breast universe”—In the gabled streets 28 Introduction it was wet and windy and there came in gusts a sort of soft hail, not ice, not snow” (85). 16 The following summary by Brenner supports the thesis that has been followed in Chapter 1: Freud outlined a series of typical situations which may be expected to occur in sequence in the child’s life.
A Gorgon's Mask: The Mother in Thomas Mann's Fiction (Psychoanalysis and Culture, 12) by Lewis A. Lawson