chapter  1
17 Pages

A beholder’s share

This chapter suggests imaginative elaboration involved in perception is not the same as believing that so-called "reality" is nothing but a feature of fancy. From a psychoanalytic point of view, reality doesn't go away just because people stop believing in it. Imagined reality, on the other hand, potentially becomes consensual reality—something most everyone believes in. The iconic American photographer Ansel Adams testifies to the presence of the beholder's share even in the flash of capturing a fleeting image. Winnicott's counterintuitive claim—that imagination is vital for contact with reality to feel real—might readily be dismissed as what he called "absurd illogic". For Freud, imagination, like play, is "the opposite of… what is real". Or, in Freud's psychoanalytic imagination, that is how it appears. Drawing upon memory and imagination, one can forecast what one can believe the object of the attention is most likely to be.