I have been thinking about Freud. As one of the pioneers of psychoanalysis, he and others published case studies that anonymized, and some would say took creative liberties with, their patients. One could say that analysis as practiced, developed and publicized by Freud and others is in fact a creative process.
Artists outside clinical psychology have also enjoyed the freedom to create and play—in the best sense—in the field of psychology and analysis. There are hundreds of examples: the paintings of Dali, the movies of Hitchcock, and so many more. (In some of these, Freud himself even plays a prominent role. The novelist D. M. Thomas in 1981 published The White Hotel, an extraordinary and unforgettable melding of Freud’s analyzing a patient with the surreality of the Holocaust. As a side note, The White Hotel, which has fascinated movie producers for decades, is now considered the ultimate great novel that will never actually be filmable or filmed.)
In this vein, what if professionals and creatives both were to devise case studies—entirely veiled and pseudonymous—of someone presently powerful and famous? Might that be revealing in ways that other profiles might not? Might such studies fill in the blanks in a personal portrait that is still quite mysterious and confounding?
Above all, might these case studies be true art? As I’ve written before, in the right hands, poetry and all the other arts can indeed be insurgent.