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Extra info for Imagination and Reality: Psychoanalytical Essays 1951-1961
Unlike the true (hypo-) manic, whose sense of being at one with his superego makes him pathologically independent 'of external objects, my patient needed the support ofidealized 'good' objects in the outer world to compensate for his inner feeling of being disapproved of by his superego. Since the most dangerous and thr~atening part of his superego was an internalized phallic and castrating mother, these external 'good' objects had to be either actually or symbolically masculine. This was probably the most important reason for his latent passive homosexuality.
In his early fragment, 'The Terror by Night' (an actual dream-poem), he envisages, perhaps, the condition of a world where this light has been suddenly extinguished; and in his latest poem, 'The Setting 31 IMAGINATION AND REALITY of the Moon', which was actually written on his death-bed, the same theme is handled for the last time. That Leopardi's extreme pessimism sprang from a deep temperamental melancholy there can be no doubt, and his life offers many features which would interest a psycho-analyst.
For instance, he made himself dea~ while his entreaties for drugs indicated a positive part-object transference. The need for his narcissistic withdrawal arose from the fact that the only (whole) object relationship he could envisage was one similar to that prevailing between his ego and superego. The fear that I might be as cruel as his superego led him to conceive ofme as the exact opposite of his mother. She had been a masculine woman whom, since he was the youngest of a large family, he had only known when middle-aged.