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September 1958

On Not Being Able to Paint

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(3):396-397. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340090132021

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Abstract

Our knowledge and understanding of the creative process has several sources—the memories and introspections of creative persons; the analysis of creative products, with or without firsthand knowledge of the history and personality of the creator, and accounts of the psychotherapeutic or psychoanalytic experiences with (or by) persons who came for psychiatric help generally as a means of overcoming the blocks to their creativity. Furthermore, our knowledge of the creative process is generally limited to those persons who have achieved some degree of eminence. Marion Milner's book differs from previous works in this field in that it concerns itself not with eminently creative persons but with the "Sunday painter" and the problems that may inhibit his creativity. Her work also differs from others in that she combines both her knowledge of and experience in psychoanalysis (personal as well as with her own patients) with her experiences in learning how to paint.

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