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Psychoanalysis and Creativity in Everyday Life: Ordinary Genius is an attempt to create a psychoanalytic space for the quest and questions of our everyday creativity. Official creativity is normally applauded to the point of obscuring all other types of creativity, with detrimental consequences for our psychic life. However, as Gemma Corradi Fiumara demonstrates, the creative force of ordinary subjects can be as vigorous as that of our acclaimed, official accomplishments.
Corradi Fiumara focuses on the unsung creativity which emerges from relationships and the world at large. She explores how understanding the operation of creative impulses in an everyday setting can crucially inform psychoanalytic clinical work. There are three main themes:
Donald Winnicott’s Psychoanalytic Will
Melanie Klein and the Other Side of Genius
Genius: Ordinary and Extraordinary.
Psychoanalysis and Creativity in Everyday Life advocates an inclusionary view of human genius, and demonstrates that creativity and genius can be manifested in everyday life with the ordinary as its focus of attention. It will be key reading for psychoanalysts, psychoanalytic psychotherapists, philosophers and scholars in social studies.
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Gemma Corradi Fiumara is a training and supervising analyst with the Italian Psychoanalytic Society, and was formerly Professor of Philosophy at the Third University of Rome, Italy.Review:
‘Why hasn’t someone written this book before! Gemma Corradi Fiumara turns her considerable analytic and philosophical talents to look at not the Einsteins of this world, but to ‘ordinary geniuses’: those who, despite the toxins of modern society, pursue lives of creativity and growth. A wonderful, inspiring study.’ - Professor Janet Soskice, University of Cambridge, UK
‘With great ‘ingenuity’ the author has broken the exclusivity of genius in exceptional man and relocates it in the common person. The approach is revolutionary, and yet tenable and obvious. I think she touched the tip of an iceberg, one which she will continue investigating.
This well thought-out book seems naturally to follow one of the author’s recent contributions Spontaneity: A Psychoanalytic Inquiry. Spontaneity now joins creativity and imagination as the creative core of our inherent ordinary genius; put another way, we ordinary selves possess the requisite quality and quantity of neuro-hardware and psychical-software to warrant genius rating.
This is an incredible work on a long overdue subject: the democratization of genius, and also its dependence on the imaginative creativity dormant within us. It is a fascinating book.’ - James Grotstein, American Psychoanalytic Association, Los Angeles, USA
‘In the author’s perspective psychoanalysis is not only interested in distorted structures, but also in the incapacity to access the genius within. This is a ‘gifted’ book which puts together discipline and a joyful outlook on human nature. A thought-provoking text for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, philosophers, and for all in search of widening the domain of their attitudes and knowledge.’ - Antonino Ferro, Italian Psychoanalytic Society, Pavia, Italy
‘This is an extraordinary book which readers will enjoy for its successful argument in recognizing ‘ordinary genius’ in the daily lives of men and women. This is a scholarly book as well: the author supports her thesis by thoroughly integrating psychoanalytic insights with those from the fields of philosophy and literature.’ - Anna and Paul H. Ornstein, Harvard University Medical School, USA
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