Freud on the Pleasure of Writing
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Our Daddy of modern Psychology certainly knew how to tangle pure Pleasure with guilt and repulsion.
Sometimes Pleasure is just what it is...Pleasure. In this snippet of his musings on the craft of creative writing, Freud equated the fore-Pleasure of it to child's play. What a guy! From foreplay to Pleasure. Hasn't every lover understood that from the beginning of time?
"How the writer accomplishes this is his innermost secret; the essential ars poetica lies in the technique of overcoming the feeling of repulsion in us which is undoubtedly connected with the barriers that rise between each single ego and the others. We can guess two of the methods used by this technique. The writer softens the character of his egoistic day-dreams by altering and disguising it, and he bribes us by the purely formal – that is, aesthetic – yield of pleasure which he offers us in the presentation of his phantasies. We give the name of an incentive bonus, or a fore-pleasure, to a yield of pleasure such as this, which is offered to us so as to make possible the release of still greater pleasure arising from deeper psychical sources. In my opinion, all the aesthetic pleasure which a creative writer affords us has the character of a fore-pleasure of this kind, and our actual enjoyment of an imaginative work proceeds from a liberation of tensions in our minds. It may even be that not a little of this effect is due to the writer's enabling us thenceforward to enjoy our own day-dreams without self-reproach or shame."
Do you write? Is it a Pleasure? Is it about Pleasure? Whose your Daddy?
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