By Hans Prinzhorn

Not anyone is extra aware of the faults of this paintings than the writer. consequently a few self -criticism might be woven into this foreward. There are attainable methodologically natural ideas to this book's subject matter: a de­scriptive catalog of the images couched within the language of ordinary technological know-how and accom­panied by means of a medical and psychopathological description of the sufferers, or a totally metaphysically established research of the method of pictorial composition. in response to the latter, those strange works, defined psychologically, and the phenomenal circum­stances on which they're dependent will be built-in as a playful edition of human expression right into a overall photo of the ego lower than the idea that of an inborn inventive urge, at the back of which we might then merely need to find a common want for expression as an instinctive origin. in short, such an research could stay within the realm of phenomenologically saw existential kinds, thoroughly autonomous of psychiatry and aesthetics. The compromise among those natural suggestions needs to inevitably be piecework and needs to always guard itself opposed to the risks of fragmentation. we're at risk of being happy with natural description, the novelistic enlargement of info and questions of precept; pitfalls will be really easy to prevent if we had using a basically defined procedure. however the difficulties of a brand new, or at the least by no means heavily labored, box defy the method of each confirmed topic.

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Additional info for Artistry of the Mentally Ill: A Contribution to the Psychology and Psychopathology of Configuration

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Many primitives also possess such skills. And a cultivated city dweller even published a whole collection of such carved roots: Strauch, Wurzelplastik. Esslingen, 1920. 17 Then we are astonished and hardly trust the eyes: Now the power of our own creation bravely asserts itself, Which forms the indefinable into the definite; Here a lion threatens, there an elephant moves. A camel's neck, changed into a dragon, A host advances, but it triumphs not As its power breaks on the steep rock; The most faithful cloud courier hirnself disperses.

In it we see the simplest indication of animal vitality. Without considering the play of animals and the theories about the 15 meaning of their games we turn immediately to the playful activity of men. We know it as a specific mark of the life of the child. e. subordinates his actions to purpose. But we are concerned here only with the question about the role assumed by the playful attitude generally in creative processes of all kinds. It need hardly be said again that we do not have in mind the distinction between play and seriousness, but rather that between aimless activity, in which nevertheless the whole personality resonates sympathetically and which in any case passes over into intuition, and purposeful activity.

Without taking into account the chronological sequence of the various types we nevertheless have to distinguish between the main variations: ( 1) The idol is itself a demon. It is personified, in other words, and considered to be in possession of all magic powers; a rock, perhaps resembling a person, a tree, or a carved figure amount to the same thing. This tangible dernon is conceived of in such a personal way as to be subject to abuse if he does not perform according to his owner's expectations.

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