A narrative inquiry into autobiographical writings of Frida Kahlo
Athena Androutsopoulou | ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece
Ioannis Kalyvopoulos | ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece
Emmanuel Koukidis | ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece
Georgia Koutsavgousti | ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece
Ioanna Passa | ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece
Eleni Tarnara | ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece
Charikleia Tsatsaroni | ‘Logo Psychis’- Training and Research Institute for Systemic Psychotherapy, Athens, Greece
This psychobiography study looks into one aspect of Frida Kahlo’s life, her relationship with Diego Rivera. It attempts to solve the puzzle of how Frida managed to reconcile her dedication to Diego, whose behavior was hurtful, with her rebellious character and ideology. Adopting a narrative/dialogical theoretical lens and employing the narrative inquiry method of languages of the unsayable that analyses narrative form, we examined her essay Portrait of Diego. We triangulated findings with letters, diary and paintings. We found that Frida used languages of the unsayable as narrative strategies to manage inner conflict and reconcile dedication with character and ideology. She kept voices of anger and resentment from gaining strength, and downplayed their emotional impact in favor of voices of devotion and despair. The findings point to the importance of looking into both the form and content of autobiographical narratives. Limitations and clinical implications of the study are discussed.
- A narrative/dialogical theory lens
- Solving a psychobiography puzzle
- The present study
- Languages of the Unsayable
- Ethical and validity issues
- Narrative analysis
- The essay
- Diego’s shape
- Diego’s personality
- Frida’s role
- Their relationship
- The letters
- Letter to Ella and Bertram Wolfe (1934)
- Letter to Diego (1935)
- The diary
- The paintings
- The essay
- Clinical implications
- Reflexivity and study limitations
Published online: 22 March 2021
Androutsopoulou, A., Dima, E., Papageorgiou, S., & Papanikolaou, T.
Androutsopoulou, A., Rozou, E., Vakondiou, M.
Androutsopoulou, A., Thanopoulou, K., Economou, E., & Bafiti, T.
(1993) Frida Kahlo: A contemporary feminist reading. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 13 (3), 165–189. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3346753
Brigley Thompson, Z.
Bruner, J. S.
Feldman, G. C.
Hermans, H. J. M.
Hermans, H. J. M. & Dimaggio, G.
Hermans, H. J. M. & Gieser, T.
Lieblich, A., Tuval-Maschiach, R., & Zilber, T.
Lindauer, M. A.
McAdams, D. P., Josselson, R., & Lieblich, A.
McNamee, S., & Gergen, K. J.
Osatuke, K., Gray, M. A., Glick, M. J., Stiles, W. B., & Barkham, M.
Pérez Alonso, L.
Ponterotto, J. G.
Ponterotto, J. G. & Reynolds (Taewon Choi), J. D.
(2016) Frida Kahlo on how love amplifies beauty: Her breath-taking tribute to Diego Rivera. https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/01/22/frida-kahlo-diego-rivera-love/
Raggatt, P. T. F.
Rogers, A. G., Casey, M. E., Ekert, J., Holland, J., Nakkula, V., & Sheinberg, N.
Schultz, W. T.
Schultz, W. T., & Lawrence, S.
Schick Makaroff, K. L., Sheilds, L., Anita Molzahn, A.
The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica
(2020) Figure of speech. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/art/figure-of-speech