Russian 38 - Midterm Paper

Russian 38 - Midterm Paper - Russian 38 Midterm Paper Prof....

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Russian 38 Alexandra Scott Midterm Paper Due: 5/05/07 Prof. Nazyrova So often when we read literature we seek to find commonalities and similarities among works. It is likely that this human propensity for overgeneralization results in the generation of the many literary theories that abound. Sigmund Freud describes one such theory in his essay “The Creative Writer and Daydreaming” (1908). However, Freud’s theory is not universally applicable, or even widely applicable, as it fails to consider a variety of aspects and goals of creative writing. Some of Anton Chekhov’s short stories can be used to illuminate the deficiencies of Freud’s theory. One of Freud’s main criticisms of the creative writer is that he “acts no differently from the child at play: he creates a fantasy world, which he takes very seriously; that is to say, he invests large amounts of emotion in it, while marking it off sharply from reality” (Freud 26). Freud believes that the creative writer’s goal is to completely immerse himself and his readers in a fantasy world that is entirely separated from reality. Freud not only believes that the creative writer craves fantasy but also that this “unreality of the writer’s world has important consequences for artistic technique” (Freud 26). The writer’s work, he tells us, suffers innumerable consequences directly resulting from its fantastical content and fanciful narratives.
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Chekhov’s stories are especially helpful in refuting Freud’s assertion that creative writers shun the inclusion of reality in their works. Chekhov wrote in a
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2008 for the course RUS 038 taught by Professor Rotating during the Winter '07 term at Dartmouth.

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Russian 38 - Midterm Paper - Russian 38 Midterm Paper Prof....

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