Balancing between sensitization and repression: The role of opium in the life and art of edgar allan poe and samuel taylor coleridge

Fruzsina Iszj, Zsolt Demetrovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The creative process contains both conscious and unconscious work. Therefore, artists have to face their unconscious processes and work with emotional material that is difficult to keep under control in the course of artistic creation. Bringing these contents of consciousness to the surface needs special sensitivity and special control functions while working with them. Considering these mechanisms, psychoactive substance can serve a double function in the case of artists. On the one hand, chemical substances may enhance the artists' sensitivity. On the other hand, they can help moderate the hypersensitivity and repress extreme emotions and burdensome contents of consciousness. The authors posit how the use of opiates could have influenced the life and creative work of Edgar Allan Poe and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1613-1618
Number of pages6
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume46
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 30 2011

Keywords

  • Art
  • Coleridge
  • Creative process
  • Dependence
  • Literature
  • Opium
  • Poe
  • Unconscious

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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