About the work …
In our excerpt from Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis, Freud briefly touches on the role of the unconscious in artistic creation. He writes, "[O]ur entire psychical activity is bent upon procuring pleasure and avoiding pain, that it is automatically regulated by the PLEASURE-PRINCIPLE." Freud notes that as "the Ego learns that it must inevitably go without immediate satisfaction [and] postpone gratification … the Ego becomes 'reasonable' [and] follows the REALITY-PRINCIPLE." In this short reading selection, Freud explains how the repressed desires of the libido of an artist are sublimated into a socially recognizable artistic product which fulfills the unconscious wishes of the spectators. Art, then, for Freud, seems to be the transformation of common neuroses into a kind of socially admired, shared fantasy.
According to Freud, what are the roles of pleasure and wish-fulfillment in fantasy?
What does Freud mean by a "reservation" from the encroachments of the reality principle?
Explain what Freud means by "introversion." Clarify whether Freud is committed to the view that at one stage of the creative process the artist cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality.
Describe Freud's concept of "the true artist."
Sigmund Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis; A Course of Twenty-Eight Lectures Delivered at the University of Vienna. Translated by Joan Riviere. London: George Allen and Unwin. 1922. 311-315.