The Apprehension of Beauty: The Role of Aesthetic Conflict in Development, Art and Violence.

Kindle – Location 164 of 4373

Authors:  Donald Meltzer and Meg Harris WilliamsKarnac Books 2008. 

“It became a fundamental tenet of Melanie Klein’s views on infantile development that the accomplishment of a satisfactory splitting-and-idealization of self and object was a primary requirement for healthy development.  By means of this mechanism, in her view, it becomes possible for an idealized part of the infantile self to ally with an idealized object, in the first instance the mother’s breast, as the bulwark against persecutory anxiety and confusion.  The confusion between good and bad in self and objects is, by this means, separated in a categorical way:  exaggerated and rigid, it is true, but affording a working basis for the task of gradual reintegration of the split-off aspects in the course of development, as the values of the paranoid-schizoid position are gradually replaced by those of the depressive position, with the relinquishment of egocentricity in favour of concern for the welfare of the loved objects of psychic and external reality.  This gradual shift in values has a sweeping effect upon judgement and the estimation in which are held the various attributes of human nature.  Thus goodness, beauty, strength, and generosity replace in esteem the initial enthralment to size, power, success and sensuality.”

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