Rosenzweig Foundation for
Personality Dynamics and Creativity of St. Louis, with additional funding
from the Austrian Cultural Forum of New York, and the New York Acad-
emy of Medicine. Other institutional benefactors included the American
Psychological Association Division 26, the Association for Psychoanalytic
Medicine, and the Sigmund Freud Museum and Sigmund Freud Founda-
tion of Vienna, along with these individuals: Jules Bohnn, George S. Gold-
man, Sheila Hafter Gray, and Nathan G. Hale Jr.
Individual donors included Bernard W. Bail, Helen Beiser, Donald L
and popular culture, a vogue for mental illness persists and in
some ways has crested, as in the “outsider art” that exoticizes the creativity
of the usually untutored mentally ill and sells it for high prices. Every year,
it seems, a new Hollywood fi lm or bestselling novel or memoir explores its
protagonist’s descent into madness. But we seem to want to hear stories of
those who fall and bounce back, without thinking about why it is that only
some can bounce. Few of these popular works portray the truly desperate
situations of those lacking suffi cient
comfortable homes, vacations, and transportation. And it often confers
dignity, pride, and self- respect from realizing the American Dream.
But do these benefits translate into psychological benefits? What are the
costs of competitive success, and what effect do they have? Is careerism in
fact an American scourge, robbing people of their spirit and reducing op-
portunities: for relationships, creativity, self- expression, and self- realization?
Might the endless anxiety of the pursuit define the experience, outweighing
Men like my research participants
compounded by a psychological contradiction—to be artists in this gen-
eration is to be diseased by the very force that makes them artists in the
fi rst place. They are torn between creativity and neurosis, both of which
are the hallmarks of their time. Work, which had been the simple prov-
ince of the peasants, the thing that kept them sane, is now transmuted to
monomaniacal labor, most notably writing, which is no longer salutary
but dangerous. Most remarkably, the last line of the novel, uttered by San-
doz, whose previous diatribe against work sits
creativity. Hence, speak-
ers and writers constantly draw upon an available repertoire of expressive
resources that they integrate and shape according to their communicative
and interactive affordances. All these aspects have to be processed cogni-
tively, and if one wishes to develop a theory of language that is cognitively
realistic, then he or she must account for this complexity of linguistic struc-
ture. This is a profound theoretical and methodological issue, and for support
I shall return to a classic work on semantics written by Stephen Ullmann:
To take a
sions of analytic technique, and outlined a normal narcissism that was the
wellspring of human ambition and creativity, values and ideals, empathy
and fellow feeling. He burst onto the cultural scene in the 1970s brandish-
ing an appealingly normalized narcissism that, in the estimation of social
critics, was symptomatic of the nation’s precipitous decline. To them, both
Kohut, whom they cast as the analyst of abundance and plentitude, and
the fi gure of this new narcissist—greedy, solipsistic, entitled, grandiose—
were echt American.
Newton-Smith, W. 1973. A conceptual investigation of love. In Philosophy
and Personal Relations, ed. H. Montefiore. London: Routledge and
Nisbett, R. E., and T. Wilson. 1977. On saying more than we can know:
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in terms of A (woman’s head) creates a new mental image B (woman’s head)
materialized in clouds. Notably, the process described by Aldrich does not
appear to be very different from the principles underlying human creativity
that are accounted for in blending theory.
The identification of such a triadic meaning structure in the above-
mentioned cases clearly operates on a rather strong abstraction. Since it con-
stitutes a minimal point of convergence in existing theories, it is not only an
attractive point of departure for a critical evaluation of
that metaphor is a basic form of human creativity.
Weinrich (1976), Oksaar (1988), and Störel (1997) regard metaphor as an im-
portant device for constructing scientific models of thought. Brünner (1987),
Störel (1997), and Lakoff (2002) regard metaphors as an everyday and as a
scientific means of conceptualizing abstract domains, such as communica-
tion, music, and morality. In the same vein, Schön (1993) takes metaphor
to be a form of perspectivization of experience with consequences for social
policy; Sternberg, Tourangeau, and Nigro (1993) view metaphors as
of Psychology 18: 182–186.
Silverstein, Michael. 1985. On the pragmatic “poetry” of prose: Parallelism, repetition,
and cohesive structure in the time course of dyadic conversation. In D. Schiffrin (ed.),
Meaning, Form, and Use in Context: Linguistic Applications, pp. 181–199. Washington:
Georgetown University Press.
———. 1997. The improvisational performance of culture in realtime discursive practice.
In R. K. Sawyer (ed.), Creativity in Performance, pp. 265–312. Greenwich, CT: Ablex.
Slobin, Dan I. 1987. Thinking for speaking. In J. Aske, N. Beery, L. Michaelis