Revels in Madness: Insanity in Medicine and Literature
"Fascinating and important . . . a work of prodigious scholarship, covering the entire history of Western thought and treating both literary and medical discourses with subtlety and verve."
---Louis Sass, author of Madness and Modernism
"The scope of this book is daunting, ranging from madness in the ancient Greco-Roman world, to Christianized concepts of medieval folly, through the writings of early modern authors such as Shakespeare, Cervantes, and Descartes, and on to German Romantic philosophy, fin de siè cle French poetry, and Freud . . . Artaud, Duras, and Plath."
"This provocative and closely argued work will reward many readers."
In Revels in Madness, Allen Thiher surveys a remarkable range of writers as he shows how conceptions of madness in literature have reflected the cultural assumptions of their era. Thiher underscores the transition from classical to modern theories of madness-a transition that began at the end of the Enlightenment and culminates in recent women's writing that challenges the postmodern understanding of madness as a fall from language or as a dysfunction of culture.
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Part 1 Madness from Hippocrates to Hölderlin
Chapter 1 Discourses on Madness in the GrecoRoman World
Chapter 2 Continuities and Ruptures in Medieval Folly
Chapter 3 Madness and Early Modernity in Shakespeare Cervantes and Descartes
Chapter 4 The latroMechanical Era and the Madness of Machines
Chapter 5 Neoclassicism the Rise of Singularity and Moral Treatment
Part 2 The Modernity of Madness
Chapter 6 The German Romantics and the Invention of Psychiatry
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alienation allegory Aristophanes Artaud belief body brain Breton causality century Cervantes comedy comic concept consciousness contemporary context culture cybernetic defined dementia dementia praecox Descartes described desire deviance dialectic Diderot disease doctor doctrine Don Quixote double bind dream Enlightenment etiology example exist explain exterior fantasy fibers Freud Freudian Galen Garzoni Greek Griesinger Heinroth hermeneutics Hippocrates Hippocratic human imagination inner insanity interpretation irony irrational Kraepelin Lacan language games literary literature logos machine madness materialist meaning mechanical medicine medieval mental illness metaphor mind modern modernist narrator nature neoclassical neoclassicism notion Paracelsus passions pathology perhaps philosophical physiology Pinel poem poet poetic poetry positivist pre-Socratic psychiatry psychic psychoanalysis psychosis rational reality realm reason relation Renaissance revelation Rimbaud romantic Rousseau sanity schizophrenia scientific seems sense singularity soul superego surrealist Tasso texts thought understanding of madness view of madness wanted worldview writers