Document Detail

In the shadow of death.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8545507     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Death dogged Vincent's footsteps throughout his life, and formed a core component of his unconscious fantasy system. It cast a lugubrious shadow over all of his undertakings--he found little joy and less love in life. It found its way onto his canvases, both directly--the grinning death's head--and indirectly. It found expression in his portrayals of sowers and reapers, in his representations of trees--especially the highly symbolic treatments of cypresses--in the menacing crows hovering over storm-darkened fields of wheat, and finally in the images of Christ, suffering and dead, held in the embrace of a loving and grieving mother. If death was a bottomless pit that haunted him with its terrors, it was also a siren song that drew him ever closer to his destiny, ever closer to the edge of the pit. The power of that attraction lies in his identification with the dead Vincent whose place he had taken and whose name he bore. It was through that identification, and through the passageway of suffering and death that he would surcease in the arms of a loving and accepting mother whose warm embrace he had sought throughout his odyssey, but in vain. It was to be gained only in and through death. It was only through death that he would find rest from his pain and would gain the heavenly reward of his suffering in eternal love and bliss.
W W Meissner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychoanalytic review     Volume:  82     ISSN:  0033-2836     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychoanal Rev     Publication Date:  1995 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-02-14     Completed Date:  1996-02-14     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401156     Medline TA:  Psychoanal Rev     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  535-57     Citation Subset:  IM    
Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02167, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Attitude to Death*
Psychoanalytic Interpretation*
Religion and Psychology
Suicide / psychology
Unconscious (Psychology)

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