Infancy

 

 

 

This is a theory by prof Gilbert J. Rose, a clinical psychiatrist at Yale, about the artistically creative mind summarized by John Fowles. 

“In simple terms, his proposition was that some children retain a particularly rich memory of the passage from extreme infancy, when the identity of the baby is merged with that of the mother, to the arrival of the first awareness of separate identity and the simultaneous first dawn of what will become the adult sense of reality – that is, they are deeply marked by the passage from the unified magical world to a discrete “realist” one. What seemingly stamps itself indelibly on this kind of infant psyche is a pleasure in the fluid, polymorphic nature of the sensuous impression, visual, tactile, auditory and the rest, that he receives; and so profoundly that he cannot, even when the detail of this intensely auto-erotic experience has retreated into the unconscious, refrain from tampering with reality – from trying to recover, in other words, the early oneness with his mother that granted this ability to make world mysteriously and deliciously change meaning and appearance . He was once a magician with a wand; and given the right other predisposing and environmental factors, he will one day devote his life to try to regain the unity and the power by recreating adult versions of the experience: he will be an artist. Moreover, since every child goes through some variation of the same experience, this also explains one major attraction of art for the audience. The artist is simply someone who does the journey back on behalf of less conditioned and less technically endowed.”

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