Abstract

This paper addresses a gap in the critical literature regarding the psychoanalytic writings of Charles Rycroft. It argues that Rycroft's theoretical work is underpinned by Romantic ideas, most notably primal sympathy, the fusion of contraries, and creative agency. Based on an appraisal of key texts, the author reconstructs these ideas as principles of creativity, each of which is discussed in light of the object the infant needed to find. From the genetic principle of reciprocity, the synthetic principle of unity, and the productive principle of self-expression, Rycroft derives a coherent theoretical framework for psychoanalysis that in many respects contradicts Freud's hypotheses. The paper locates this alternative framework within the Romantic tradition and offers a detailed discussion of Wordsworth and Coleridge in support of this reading of Rycroft.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-7931
Print ISSN
0065-860X
Pages
pp. 457-483
Launched on MUSE
2008-02-18
Open Access
No
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