Publication details [#14484]

Voltolin, Adriano. 2019. "Per via di levare" (arts that work 'by removing'): A note on psychoanalysis and poetry. Enthymema. International Journal of Literary Criticism, Literary Theory, and Philosophy of Literature XXIV : 528–537. 10 pp.
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In this contribution, the author draws a parallel between psychoanalysis and poetry as 'forms of art' that work 'by removing' ("levare"). Freud suggested that psychoanalysis is closer to sculpture than to painting, since the painter works by adding details, while the sculptor works by removing material in order to arrive at the final representation. By the same token, Michelangelo used to say that a block of marble already contained the statue he had in mind; this would be revealed after removing the unnecessary. Lacan would later reinforce Freud's metaphor, speaking of psychoanalysis as a form of art, and of psychoanalytic theory as discourse without words. The author argues that, as several poets such as Quasimodo and Verlaine show, poetry is itself a form of art that works 'by removing', since its very essence lies in revealing what cannot be said using words.