"This fascinating, illuminating book provides a psychoanalytic cornucopia of observations and theories relevant to imagination. The consideration of diverse phenomena (e.g., aesthetics, fantasy, and trauma) and new concepts of memory stimulate and expand contemporary thought and inquiry. Dr. Oppenheim notes that imagination is part of the information processing function of the human mind. Her book exemplifies the pleasurable aspect of imagination which increases self-agency and self-cohesion. The inclusion of interviews of artists adds an intimate, vivid discourse at the intersection of personality and creativity. The reader will appreciate the distinguished author and scholar's exposition of the psychobiology of the brain's reward system, while being rewarded by her creative endeavors." - Harold P. Blum, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, Institute for Psychoanalytic Education
"Lois Oppenheim has written an important and inspired book that uses her broad interdisciplinary knowledge to render a linking of art, philosophy, and neuropsychoanalysis. In her previous work she has written deeply insightful studies of Paul Klee, Samuel Beckett, and Martha Graham. In her work she is advancing a theory of creativity that is not limited to applied psychoanalysis, or reductionist neuroscience. It is an unusual multi-aspectual view of imagination, fantasy and its intergenerational transfer, creativity, and artistic process. The reader will be both challenged and delighted as this book brings forth its enriched and novel point of view. The author’s case studies of the artist children of artists are fascinating, insightful and engaging. Remarkable is the elegance and clarity of her writing; she renders complex ideas lucid, understandable, and above all interesting." - David D. Olds, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst , Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research; Co-Editor, Neuropsychoanalysis
About the Author
Lois Oppenheim, Ph.D., is Distinguished Scholar, Professor of French, and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Montclair State University, where she teaches courses in both literature and applied psychoanalysis. She has published over 80 papers and authored or edited 10 previous books, the most recent being A Curious Intimacy: Art and Neuro-Psychoanalysis and The Painted Word: Samuel Beckett's Dialogue with Art. She is Scholar Associate Member of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and Honorary Member of the William Alanson White Society. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Psychiatric Institute of the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, on the Boards of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination and the UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies, and a past president of the international Samuel Beckett Society. Her interview series, "Conversations with…," at the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is a popular forum for discussions on creativity. She is co-creator of the documentary film on mental health stigma (currently in production) called The Madness Project.