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A writer retreats into isolation in order to complete his masterpiece. Through his obsession with his work he becomes oblivious to his wife and to all other worldly distractions. Cocooned in his fiction, the boundary between imagination and reality begins to blur. Two ominous characters appear who delight in tormenting the writer. They are Eros (the life instinct and pleasure principle) and Thanatos (the death instinct and reality principle) from Freud's theories of the subconscious. His wife tries desperately to halt her husband's mental decline but only succeeds in alienating him further. In pursuit of solitude, the writer flees the city for a remote countryside, where he allows himself to become completely consumed by his imagination. Eros and Thanatos return. Here, alone, the writer is most vulnerable to the will of these malicious drives.