By Flatley, Jonathan; Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt; James, Henry; Platonov, Andreĭ Platonovich

The fabulous declare of this publication is that residing on loss isn't inevitably miserable. in its place, Jonathan Flatley argues, embracing depression could be a highway again to touch with others and will lead humans to productively remap their courting to the area round them. Flatley demonstrates possible disparate set of modernist writers and thinkers confirmed how aesthetic task may give us the capacity to appreciate and alter our relation to loss.

The texts on the heart of Flatley’s analysis―Henry James’s Turn of the Screw, W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, and Andrei Platonov’s Chevengur―share with Freud an curiosity in realizing the miserable results of inauspicious losses and with Walter Benjamin the wish that loss itself may turn into a way of connection and the root for social transformation. For Du Bois, Platonov, and James, the focal point on depression illuminates either the ancient origins of subjective emotional existence and a heretofore unarticulated group of melancholics. The affective maps they produce make attainable the conversion of a depressive melancholia right into a approach to have an interest within the world.

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Affective mapping : melancholia and the politics of modernism

The striking declare of this e-book is that residing on loss isn't inevitably miserable. as an alternative, Jonathan Flatley argues, embracing depression could be a highway again to touch with others and will lead humans to productively remap their courting to the realm round them. Flatley demonstrates doubtless disparate set of modernist writers and thinkers confirmed how aesthetic job can provide us the ability to appreciate and alter our relation to loss.

Extra resources for Affective mapping : melancholia and the politics of modernism

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The knowledge we gain by way of Stimmung is authentic in the sense that it tells us what is collectively possible at that moment; it tells us Glossary • 23 what our shared situation is and what may be done within this situation. That this is historical, specific or situated knowledge makes it no less useful in a practical sense. This is why Aristotle, Heidegger notes, devoted himself to understanding the logic of affectivity in The Rhetoric. Publics, audiences, collectivities have moods, and indeed can make moods for themselves, and it is these moods that orators and politicians must orient themselves toward.

My own approach to this problem, like that of many of Freud’s critics, is to import a more nuanced understanding of affect where it is helpful. That said, in “Mourning and Melancholia,” Freud observes that the more persistent state of melancholia shares the characteristics of Modernism and Melancholia • 45 mourning but is more confusing to the observer, because the instigating loss is often unclear, even or especially to the melancholic herself or himself. Therefore, in his effort to make sense of melancholia, Freud places a great deal of weight on the one unique feature of melancholia, its self-critical, self-deriding aspect.

29 The notion of a disease of the black bile did not disappear during this period so much as the sin of acedia existed alongside it as a 36 • Modernism and Melancholia kind of spiritual disease. Occasionally acedia was viewed as something that might motivate you to find your faith and to search for the meaning of God (William Langland’s Piers Plowman might be read along such lines), and thus even here there appears to be the potential for a positively valued flip side to the depressive phenomenon.

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