This article addresses the life-span development of artistic creativity, anchored in the notion of a core dilemma. Such a dilemma, which incorporates and defines a range of conflicts, undergoes a series of transformations in the course of an artist’s career. In the works of the playwright Pierre Corneille, analyzed here, the core dilemma (of love vs. duty) evolves from the stage of articulation (problem finding) in early adulthood, to dilemma resolution in mid-life, and finally to dilemma fragmentation in old age. It is argued that the dialectical tensions underlying creativity are essentially unresolvable – hence, the ultimate fragmentation of the dilemma in the artist’s last works.

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