Show Summary Details

p. 918. Art and literaturelocked

  • Anthony Storr


‘Art and literature’ explores Freud's attitudes to art and artists. Freud believed that art stemmed from the sublimation of unsatisfied libido. If an individual did not repress their impulses, it could manifest in either perversion or artistic expression. Freud applied the same methodology he used for dream analysis to his critiques of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Dostoevsky. Freud believed that as all art and literature was the product of unsatisfied impulses, if these impulses could be dealt with there would be no need for the creative arts. Freud's view of art and phantasy as escapist has been debunked by modern ethologists, who see them as having adaptive uses.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.