In Dreams and Drama Alan Roland, a highly respected psychoanalyst and an exhibiting artist and playwright, offers a fresh perspective on psychoanalytic studies of creativity. Crucial to Roland’s argument is his call for an innovative integration of psychoanalysis with art and artistic criticism that counters the prevailing reductionism of much of applied psychoanalysis.
The first part of the book draws on the author’s clinical work with career artists to examine the issues involved in embarking on an artistic career. He also explores the artistic process and the concept of the artistic self in terms of self-objects and transformational objects.
Part two explores the relationship between dreams and art, and challenges the basic assumption of applied psychoanalysis that the work of art is a dream or daydream expressed within a formal aesthetic framework. This section also includes important insights on working clinically with dreams. The final part focuses on psychoanalytic literary criticism and illustrates the benefits that can ensue from interdisciplinary collaboration.