Artistry of the Mentally Ill: A Contribution to the by Hans Prinzhorn

By Hans Prinzhorn

Nobody is extra aware of the faults of this paintings than the writer. for that reason a few self -criticism might be woven into this foreward. There are attainable methodologically natural ideas to this book's subject: a de­scriptive catalog of the photographs couched within the language of typical technological know-how and accom­panied through a medical and psychopathological description of the sufferers, or a very metaphysically dependent research of the method of pictorial composition. in keeping with the latter, those strange works, defined psychologically, and the outstanding circum­stances on which they're dependent will be built-in as a playful edition of human expression right into a overall photo of the ego lower than the idea that of an inborn inventive urge, in the back of which we might then merely need to find a common want for expression as an instinctive beginning. in short, such an research may stay within the realm of phenomenologically saw existential kinds, thoroughly self sustaining of psychiatry and aesthetics. The compromise among those natural ideas needs to inevitably be piecework and needs to continually protect itself opposed to the hazards of fragmentation. we're at risk of being happy with natural description, the novelistic growth of info and questions of precept; pitfalls will be really easy to prevent if we had using a basically defined technique. however the difficulties of a brand new, or a minimum of by no means heavily labored, box defy the technique of each tested topic.

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Extra resources for Artistry of the Mentally Ill: A Contribution to the Psychology and Psychopathology of Configuration

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We know it as a specific mark of the life of the child. e. subordinates his actions to purpose. But we are concerned here only with the question about the role assumed by the playful attitude generally in creative processes of all kinds. It need hardly be said again that we do not have in mind the distinction between play and seriousness, but rather that between aimless activity, in which nevertheless the whole personality resonates sympathetically and which in any case passes over into intuition, and purposeful activity.

Whatever they include in the way of definite ideas, whether drawn from the scene (toilet) or affectively colored experiences, is probably of secondary importance. 1t would be useless to draw distinctions, of course. Here again the transition from the playful to the communicative urge is gradual. Relatively little has been reported about the playful drawing of children because adults usually begin to pay attention only when children, following their suggestions, begin to explain their scribblings as real objects.

After we have sketched out, on the basis of scribblings, the two main facets of pictorial configuration, namely the ordering and the copying tendencies, we are introduced to much more significant, problematical, highly symbolic, and strange pictures of the greatest variety. The discussion of the material Ieads up to the 10 Schizophrenie masters, who are most important because weshall then be dealing with pictures whose relationships with their authors are clarified by extensive biographies. At that point we shall have considered the material from every important psychiatric and art historic point of view, so that the basic discussions of the third part, which follow a summation, utilize especially comparable materials as an aid to clarification, and depend entirely on known and provable facts.

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