The Relationship of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology to 20th Century Art, Literature and Philosophy

Issue: 
Publication Date: 
12/1993
Page Count: 
19
Starting Page: 
129
Price: $10.00
Abstract: 

Observations in the field of psychotherapy give us every reason to believe that experiences before and during birth remain present in our awareness of our own bodies and in our inner states of experience as a constant background of experience. During external and internal crises and conflict situations, this background experience can be activated in the form of fantasies and emotional states and can then influence images and ideas about ourselves and the world. Cultural development is determined by various forms of expression between primary experience and how the world is later experienced. In mythical philosophies of life, primary experience is projected outwards and is experienced as external reality, for instance in the symbols of water and the tree of life. The cultural change that has taken place in the twentieth century is determined by the fact that primary experience is increasingly felt to belong to our own life-histories and personal development. This is expressed in the concepts of prenatal psychology, but also in the symbolism of modern literature, art and philosophy. Some artists, such as Dali and Beckett, have directly regarded experiences before and during birth as a source of their art.

References: 

Bächtold-Stäubli H, Ed. (1987) Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens. Band 6. De Gruyter Berlin.

Bair D (1978) Samuel Beckett. London: Jonathan Cape.

Beckett HS (1976) Warten aufGodot. Werke 1,1. Suhrkamp Frankfurt.

Brus G (1986) Gunter Brus-Der Überblick. Residenz Salzburg.

Dali S (1984) Dos geheime Leben des Salvador Dali. München: Schirmer/Morel.

Dali S (1988) So wird man Dali. Moewig Rastatt.

DeMause L (1982) Foundations of Psychohistory. Creative Books New York.

Deschurnes R (1984) Dali Dumont Köln.

Dowling TW (1988) The psychological significance of the placenta. In: G Schusser, W Hatzmann (Hrsg.) Dos Leben vor und während der Geburt Universitätsdruck Osnabruck.

Dowling TW (1990) The Roots of the collective Unconscious. In: L Janus (ed.) Die Seelenleben des Ungeborenen-eine Wurzel unseres Unbewußten, Centaurus Pfaffenweiler.

Eliade M (1986) Kosmos und Geschichte, Insel Frankfurt.

Fabricius J (1991) Pränatale und perinatale Motive in der Malerei. In: L Janus (ed.) Die kulturelle Verarbeitung pränatalen und perinatalen Erlebens. Textstudio Gross, Peterstalerstraße 196, 69118 Heidelberg.

Gaßner H, Kersten W (1991) Physikalisches Weltbild und abstrakte Bildwelten bei Wassily Kandinsky. In: M Wagner (ed.) Moderne Kunst Rowohlt Hamburg.

Golther W (1987) Handbuch der germanischen Mythologie. Magnus, Kettwig.

Heidegger M (1986) Sein und Zeit Niemeyer Tubingen.

Hoberg A (1990) Alfred Kubin. Edition Spangenberg München. Irving MC (1990) Natalism as Pre- and Perinatal Metaphor. Pre- and Peri-Natal Psychology 4, p 83-110.

Janov A (1984) Frühe Prägungen. Fischer Frankfurt.

Janus L (1990) Zur Verarbeitung prä-und perinataler Erlebnisvorgänge im Märchen. In: L Janus (ed.) Das Seelenleben des Ungeborenen-eine Wurzel unseres Unbewußten. Centaurus Pfaffenweiler.

Janus L (1991) The Expression of Pre- and Perinatal Experience in Cultural Phenomena. Pre- and Peri-Natal Psychology 5, p. 203-220.

Janus L (1991) Wie die Seele entsteht. Hoffmann und Campe, Hamburg.

Kantorowicz EH (1990) Die zwei Körper des König. dtv München.

Kraft H (1991) Die Rituale der Initiation in den Performances von Joseph Beuys und Peter Gilles. In: L Janus (ed.)Die kulturelle Verarbeitung pränatalen und perinatalen Erlebens. Textstudio Gross, Peterstalerstraße 195, 69118 Heidelberg.

Kubin A (1909) Die andere Seite. Ellermann München 1975.

Macho T (1989) Heideggers Todesbegriff. Manuskripte 104, p. 37-47.

Maur K (1989) Dali Hatje Stuttgart.

Mureck C (1990) Die Hölle ist da, feiern wir das wärmende Feuer". In: C Gehrke: Konkursbuch 25. Konkursbuchverlag Tübingen.

Orban P (1980) Disco. Kindheit 2: 1-16.

Overy P (1989) Kandinsky. Phaidon Köln.

Ringborn S (1970) The Sounding Cosmos. ABO Akademie Vol. 38, Helsingfors.

Roebling J (1990) Über prä- und perinatale Phantasien in der neuzeitlichen bürgerlichen Literatur. In: L Janus (ed.) Das Seelenleben des Ungeborenen-eine Wurzel unseres Unbeweßten. Centaurus Pfaffenweiler.

Roters E, & Gollek R (1990) Der Blaue Reiter. In GC Argan (ed.) Die Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts. Prophyläen Berlin.

Sartre JP (1990a) Das Sein und das Nichts. Rowohlt Hamburg.

Sartre JP (1990b) Der EkeL Rowohlt Hamburg.

Simon A (1988) Beckett. Suhrkamp Frankfurt.

Sloterdijk P (1989) Eurotaoismus. Suhrkamp Frankfurt.

Stachelhaus H (1987) Joseph Beuys. Claassen Düsseldorf.

Süskind P (1985) Das Parfum. Diogenes Zürich.

Sydow-Zirkwitz H (1975) Franz RingeL Sydow-Zirkwitz Frankfurt.

Tisdall C (1976) Joseph Beuys. Coyote. Schirmer Mosel München.

Vogt P u.a. (1987) Edvard Munch. Benteli Bern.

Ludwig Janus, Ph.D.

Ludwig Janus studied in Munich, Essen, and Gottingen and trained as a psychoanalyst in Gottingen and Heidelberg. He was employed as a psychotherapist at the Fachkrankenhaus fur Psychogene Erkrankungen in Tiefenbrunn near Gottingen from 1969-1971 and at Psychosomatische Klinik in Heidelberg from 1971-1975. He has since been working as a psychoanalyst in his own practice and as a lecturer and supervision analyst at the Institut fur Psychotherapie and Psychoanalyse in Heidelberg, having been director of this institute from 1981-1987. He has written many scientific articles on neurotic and psychosomatic illnesses, the analysis of discordance in twins, psychophysiological measurements during therapy, the history of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical treatment techniques, and prenatal and perinatal psychology.

He is a member of the executive committee of the International Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPP), and may be reached at Köpfelweg 52, 69118 Heidelberg-Ziegelhausen, Germany. The author wishes to acknowledge the help of Terence Dowling in translating this text from the German.