The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness

The Flight of the Mind: Virginia Woolf's Art and Manic-Depressive Illness

by Thomas C. Caramagno, Redfield Jamison
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520072804

ISBN-13: 9780520072800

Pub. Date: 07/27/1992

Publisher: University of California Press


In this major new book on Virginia Woolf, Caramagno contends psychobiography has much to gain from a closer engagement with science. Literary studies of Woolf's life have been written almost exclusively from a psychoanalytic perspective. They portray Woolf as a victim of the Freudian "family romance," reducing her art to a neurotic evasion of a traumatic childhood…  See more details below

Overview


In this major new book on Virginia Woolf, Caramagno contends psychobiography has much to gain from a closer engagement with science. Literary studies of Woolf's life have been written almost exclusively from a psychoanalytic perspective. They portray Woolf as a victim of the Freudian "family romance," reducing her art to a neurotic evasion of a traumatic childhood.

But current knowledge about manic-depressive illness—its genetic transmission, its biochemistry, and its effect on brain function—reveals a new relationship between Woolf's art and her illness. Caramagno demonstrates how Woolf used her illness intelligently and creatively in her theories of fiction, of mental functioning, and of self structure. Her novels dramatize her struggle to imagine and master psychic fragmentation. They helped her restore form and value to her own sense of self and lead her readers to an enriched appreciation of the complexity of human consciousness.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520072800
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
07/27/1992
Pages:
362
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Illustrations
Introduction1
1"I Owned to Great Egotism" : The Neurotic Model in Woolf Criticism6
2"Never Was Anyone So Tossed Up and Down by the Body As I Am": The Symptoms of Manic-Depressive Illness33
3"But What Is the Meaning of 'Explained' It? Countertransference and Modernism75
4"In Casting Accounts, Never Forget to Begin with the State of the Body": Genetics and the Stephen Family Line97
5"How Completely He Satisfied Her Is Proved by the Collapse": Emblematic Events in Family History114
6"How Immense Must Be the Force of Life": The Art of Autobiography and Woolf's Bipolar Theory of Being134
7"A Novel Devoted to Influenza": Reading without Resolution in The Voyage Out156
8"Does Anybody Know Mr. Flanders?" Bipolar Cognition and Syncretistic Vision in Jacob's Room185
9"The Sane and the Insane, Side by Side": The Object-Relations of Self-Management in Mrs. Dalloway210
10"It Is Finished": Ambivalence Resolved, Self Restored in To the Lighthouse244
11"I Do Not Know Altogether Who I Am": The Plurality of Intrasubjective Life in The Waves270
Epilogue: Science and Subjectivity296
Afterword, Kay Redfield Jamison303
Appendix: Virginia Woolf's Mood Swing Chart (1895-1941)307
Notes313
Works Cited335
Index349

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >