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Art and Artist: Creative Urge and Personality Development

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Along with Adler and Jung, Otto Rank was one of the intellectual giants in the inner circle around Sigmund Freud. Art and Artist, his major statement on the relationship of art to the individual and society, pursues in a broader cultural context Freud's ideas on art and neurosis and has had an important influence on many twentieth-century writers and thinkers, beginning wi ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published September 17th 1989 by W. W. Norton Company (first published January 1st 1975)
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Linda Robinson
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'd not heard of this psychoanalyst, inner-circle colleague of Freud's, until following a trail regarding art, artistry and personality. Dr. Rank committed heresy by writing that maybe Freud's beliefs might be a little...well, narrowly focused. Oops! Drummed out of the corps., Dr. Rank continued to write prolifically on the new "science" of psychoanalysis, with a refreshing perception as an artist/playwright. I started taking notes during the introduction, and on and on, until it dawned on me th ...more
Dec 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Read this because of how much Ernest talks about it in Denial of Death, hoping to see a more detailed and elaborate version of what he summarizes from it.

I was in for a surprise that I found this quite unreadable, it felt like trying to read Heidegger all over again. I could understand parts of what he was trying to say sometimes, but I'm sad to say on a whole, most of this went quite over my head, which is rare for me (I'm not that stupid I hope).

I might reread this after also rereading denial
M. Sarki
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very difficult book to get through but nonetheless an important one to read.
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Art and Artist is an extensive and exhaustive work. I found Otto Rank to be very exacting in his descriptions of the Artist problem. His vast knowledge of historical art, and mythologies, was helpful to the understanding of how the artist ideology is influenced. Although this book contains older ideas on the psychology of the arstist mind, I found most of the work to be applicable to present time artists. I was referenced to this book while reading Ernest Beckers book "Denial of Death". The corr ...more
Isla McKetta
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Five stars for the chapters that made me feel seen as an artist - the understanding that play is part of what I must do, that separating myself into workaday and artistic endeavors causes deep pain. Three stars for the art history rehashes (even if they did inspire a poem and help me see something that's happening today in a new light). I bought this book when I still thought Anais Nin was everything. I resisted reading it when my opinion of her changed. Now I find I've needed it for a long time ...more
Apr 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
I can't give a thorough review to this book for I haven't finished it yet. I think, however, that this is the type of book that will require multiple readings for me. So far, I think this book is intellectually stimulating, so if anyone is interested in puzzling into his or her own brain, this is the book to read. I first heard of Otto Rank through Ernest Becker's great book Denial of Death. Okay, let me get back to reading this oh, so difficult book. ...more
Katy Budget Books
Apr 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Richard says: A psychologist examines the artistic impulse and makes some shocking discoveries concerning the structure of the human mind itself. I would definitely recommend this book.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: completed

Amazing, fascinating & rich. This far reaching text traces art from primitive to classical to contemporary. Touches on myth, religion, gaming & aesthetics. Primarily it dwells on the psychology of the artist, unconscious motivations and consequences.
Requires several reading to absorb.
Paloma Etienne
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: creativity
How can you make it without Otto??
Peter LaCombe
Oct 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in art and psychoanalysis
Not yet finished
Peter Houlihan
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
currently reading this love myth and illusion de bunkers already l have found it solace i continue to be enriched by reading this volume
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Born in Vienna as Otto Rosenfeld, he was one of Sigmund Freud's closest colleagues for 20 years, a prolific writer on psychoanalytic themes, an editor of the two most important analytic journals, managing director of Freud's publishing house and a creative theorist and therapist. In 1926, Otto Rank left Vienna for Paris. For the remaining 14 years of his life, Rank had a successful career as a lec ...more

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73 likes · 21 comments
“The struggle of the artist against the art-ideology, against the creative impulse and even against his own work also shows itself in his attitude towards success and fame; these two phenomena are but an extension, socially, of the process which began subjectively with the vocation and creation of the personal ego to be an artist. In this entire creative process, which begins with self-nomination as artist and ends in the fame of posterity, two fundamental tendencies — one might almost say, two personalities of the individual — are in continual conflict throughout: one wants to eternalize itself in artistic creation, the other in ordinary life — in brief, immortal man vs. the immortal soul of man.” 31 likes
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