The Creative Matrix

Anxiety and the Origin of Creativity

by Andrew Brink (Author)
©2000 Monographs VIII, 221 Pages
Series: The Reshaping of Psychoanalysis, Volume 10


The Creative Matrix shows how Freudian and Kleinian theories of creativity are giving way to an attachment model, owing to research on anxiety by John Bowlby and other psychobiologists. We are entering an era of rapproachment between psychoanalysis, neurobiology, and attachment theory. Theory of creativity must take into account the rapid advances toward an integrated view of human development and capacity for adaptation. The Creative Matrix offers a critical review of British Object Relations theories of creativity from Melanie Klein through Ronald Fairbairn, Marion Milner, D. W. Winnicott, and others. It studies these theories in the light of Bowlby’s challenge to psychoanalytic accounts of child development and personality formation. Creativity is seen as a necessary concomitant of anxious attachment in infants and children – as a natural adaptive resource in overcoming trauma and other deflections of normal development. Brief studies of poets Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton show how attachment theory illuminates bipolar disorder and poetic creativity.


VIII, 221
ISBN (Hardcover)
neurobiology attachment theory psychoanalysis
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., Oxford, Wien, 2000. VIII, 221 pp., 2 ill.

Biographical notes

Andrew Brink (Author)

The Author: Andrew Brink received his B.A. and his M.A. from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. from the University of London. He is a former member of the department of English and associate member of the department of psychiatry at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. He was also with the Bertrand Russell Editorial Project at McMaster University. For five years, Dr. Brink coordinated the «Humanities and Psychoanalytic Thought Program» at Trinity College, University of Toronto. His books include Loss and Symbolic Repair: A Study of Some English Poets (1977), Creativity as Repair: Bipolarity and Its Closure (1982), Bertrand Russell: A Psychobiography of a Moralist (1989), and Obsession and Culture: A Study of Sexual Obsession in Modern Fiction (1996).


Title: The Creative Matrix