Ceci n'est pas une these

Tara J. Palmatier (2004)

Ceci N'Est Pas Une These is an applied psychoanalysis of the twentieth century Surrealist artist, Rene Magritte. Multiple levels of analysis are incorporated in this endeavor. Biographical information, including family background and developmental history, is examined. The interior life of the artist is explored, particularly in regard to the impact of childhood trauma on his artwork during a critical period in his adulthood. A psychoanalytic perspective is implemented to enable a deeper exploration of the vast reservoir of unconscious material represented in Magritte's paintings. Two paintings, from a period in Magritte's life during which he was in considerable emotional turmoil are examined. The theoretical concepts employed to analyze these works include early parental object loss, incomplete mourning, repetition compulsion, and creativity.