chapter  4
17 Pages

The transgenerational transmission of fantasy

Jane is the artist daughter of a well-known artist father with whom she claims to share a work-obsessed lifestyle. She describes this as stemming from “an addictive personality” and notes that her father’s grandfather, also a much-known fi gure, had “an obsessive personality” that caused him to do “things in the extreme.” If Jane likens herself to her father and to his paternal grandfather in turn, it is that she sees in the lineage genetically transferred traits. As if to illustrate the point, she notes that her great-grandfather was exceedingly preoccupied with family while her father, appearing to have no such interest at all, was defensively on the other side of the same family-intensive coin. The result, she explains, has been equivalent: “a worshipping and controlled family” that has revolved around the “‘absent him’” (Freud, 2006 ).