Description : Greek tragedy and models of madness -- Greco-Roman comedy and folly -- Jealousy the green-eyed monster and madness in Shakespeare -- Ibsen and the domestication of madness -- Tennessee Williams and the theatre of the mind -- Soyinka's theatre of the shadowlands -- Sarah Kane: the self in fission
Description : Derek Russell Davis argues that mental health professionals working in a hospital or clinic setting can learn much from playwrights about the psychological processes in mental illness. Looking at such diverse characters as Orestes, Hamlet, Lear, Ophelia, Peer Gynt, Oswald Alving and Blanche Dubois, Dr Davis shows how madness in plays is put into the context of the crucial experiences in an individual's history and current relationships, and demonstrates that these stories can be a new and exciting source of insight into mental illness.
Description : by Bianca Benjamin ISBN 13: 978-1-905610-49-5 Published: 2006 Pages: 100 Description This is the story of an actual encounter with deep, dark and largely unexplained forces. Not a nice comfortable story with a happy ending but rather a raw, emotional journey littered with the sort of trials and challenges most of us will be fortunate enough never to have to face. Bianca is a schizophrenic, she has spent much of her life in hospital, battling her illness. This is her unique story. About the Author Bianca Benjamin's first mental breakdown in her early fifties, her subsequent psychosis left her isolated from her family. She became a figure of humiliation and embarrassment amongst her friends and eventually ended up sectioned in North London hospital under the mental health act. She was diagnosed as schizophrenic and has spent the rest of her life battling not just her mental illness but also the prejudices and ignorance of friends and family. As she herself says; "No psychiatrist ever made a jot of difference to my mental recovery. The only thing that has helped me has been the love and support I have received from other mentally ill people and sympathetic friends. Book Extract In 1981 I joined the Rosicrucian Order based in California. They sent out monthly monographs which I read and studied avidly as did Leon. They were essentially metaphysical teachings showing how to open the psychic centres. I practised the exercises and in 1982 I had my first out of body experience. I awoke and felt as if I was having a heart attack. My astral or dreaming body was struggling to get out of the physical and managed to do this. My astral body reached the door of my room, opened it, and there was the ghostly body of a little child on the other side. I was so afraid I slammed straight back into my body on the bed. From then on astral projection became an habitual occurrence in my life. I also taught myself how to read the tarot and became very immersed in the archetypal images of this great mystery. However I was depressed. I put this down to the fact that I had no money. I had tried to go back to teaching Economics and accepted a post at Barnet College. However when faced with the students and the blackboard my knowledge dried up and I found I could not remember my economics . The students liked me but I had to leave, that part of my life was over. I had taught Economics for twenty years very successfully both in Sierra Leone and in London. This was now over. When I reached home Adrian had decorated my room and all was harmonious. Leon brought me magic mushrooms - the first time I had taken mind expanding drugs. I played Oxygene and Gregorian chant on tape while I tripped. The trip was incredible. I saw God as everlasting truth infinitely revealed and I saw him as a dealer of cards. In November 1982 I had an anaphylactic shock, a combination of pain killers and alcohol. The painkillers were subsequently withdrawn from the market. I was in a lot of pain and decided to go to Newcastle to visit Muriel Hedman my Rosicrucian friend. She proved a great source of comfort and inspiration to me and by the sea I experienced a healing process. Muriel and I visited one another on a fairly regular basis for a few years and our friendship lasted until I became chronically mentally ill when it ceased. I had a few friends visiting at "Prescott" though I had already embarked on what was to become an increasingly solitary path. My creativity had been activated in Montreal 1980/81 and I did most of my writing in this period not all of it metaphysical. I did start a text book in "A" level economics which I never finished.
Description : "Madness, Masks, and Laughter: An Essay on Comedy is an exploration of narrative and dramatic comedy as a laughter-inducing phenomenon. The theatrical metaphors of mask, appearance, and illusion are used as structural linchpins in an attempt to categorize the many and extremely varied manifestations of comedy and to find out what they may have in common with one another. As this reliance on metaphor suggests, the purpose is less to produce The Truth about comedy than to look at how it is related to our understanding of the world and to ways of understanding our understanding. Previous theories of comedy or laughter (such as those advanced by Hobbes, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Bergson, Freud, and Bakhtin) as well as more general philosophical considerations are discussed insofar as they shed light on this approach. The limitations of the metaphors themselves mean that sight is never lost of the deep-seated ambiguity that has made laughter so notoriously difficult to pin down in the past." "The first half of the volume focuses in particular on traditional comic masks and the pleasures of repetition and recognition, on the comedy of imposture, disguise, and deception, on dramatic and verbal irony, on social and theatrical role-playing and the comic possibilities of plays-within-plays and "metatheatre," as well as on the cliches, puns, witticisms, and torrents of gibberish which betray that language itself may be understood as a sort of mask. The second half of the book moves to the other side of the footlights to show how the spectators themselves, identifying with the comic spectacle, may be induced to "drop" their own roles and postures, laughter here operating as something akin to a ventilatory release from the pressures of social or cognitive performance. Here the essay examines the subversive madness inherent in comedy, its displaced anti-authoritarianism, as well as the violence, sexuality, and bodily grotesqueness it may bring to light. The structural tensions in this broadly Hobbesian or Freudian model of a social mask concealing an anti-social self are reflected in comedy's own ambivalences, and emerge especially in the ambiguous concepts of madness and folly, which may be either celebrated as festive fun or derided as sinfulness. The study concludes by considering the ways in which nonsense and the grotesque may infringe our cognitive limitations, here extending the distinction between appearance and reality to a metaphysical level which is nonetheless prey to unresolvable ambiguities." "The scope of the comic material ranges over time from Aristophanes to Martin Amis, from Boccaccio, Chaucer, Rabelais, and Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde, Joe Orton, John Barth, and Philip Roth. Alongside mainly Old Greek, Italian, French, Irish, English, and American examples, a number of relatively little-known German plays (by Grabbe, Tieck, Buchner, and others) are also taken into consideration."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Description : A bizarre true story of spiritual revelation and psychedelic horror associated with the specter of Hitler and the madness of a world on the brink of a global holocaust. This strangely foreboding testament to the inherent danger and the transcendental propensity of the psychedelic experience contains a detailed exposition of the (RNA shutter mechanism) interface between the organic matrix of the brain and the spiritual matrix of the human soul. The author's treatment of that receptor matrix "interface" includes the correlation between Jungian psychology and the correlative derivative of the Hindu Sutras that obviously provided Jung with the inspiration for the development of his principles of psychic functioning. The author's treatment of the internal dynamics and historical continuity of the psychedelic experience also includes a very important reference in the Christian Bible and is interlaced in a 30 year autobiography that includes a very long and very intense nightmare about the reincarnation of Hitler.
Description : Erika Fischer-Lichte's introduction to the discipline of Theatre and Performance Studies is a strikingly authoritative and wide ranging guide to the study of theatre in all of its forms. Its three-part structure moves from the first steps in starting to think about performance, through to the diverse and interrelated concerns required of higher-level study: Part 1 – Central Concepts for Theatre and Performance Research – introduces the language and key ideas that are used to discuss and think about theatre: concepts of performance; the emergence of meaning; and the theatrical event as an experience shared by actors and spectators. Part 1 contextualizes these concepts by tracing the history of Theatre and Performance Studies as a discipline. Part 2 – Fields, Theories and Methods – looks at how to analyse a performance and how to conduct theatre-historiographical research. This section is concerned with the 'doing' of Theatre and Performance Studies: establishing and understanding different methodological approaches; using sources effectively; and building theoretical frameworks. Part 3 – Pushing Boundaries – expands on the lessons of Parts 1 and 2 in order to engage with theatre and performance in a global context. Part 3 introduces the concept of 'interweaving performance cultures'; explores the interrelation of theatre with the other arts; and develops a transformative aesthetics of performance. Case studies throughout the book root its theoretical discussion in theatrical practice. Focused accounts of plays, practitioners and performances map the development of Theatre and Performance Studies as an academic discipline, and of the theatre itself as an art form. This is the most comprehensive and sophisticated introduction to the field available, written by one of its foremost scholars.
Description : The Theatre of the Dream is a profound study of our dream world and its place in everyday life. The author grounds his ideas in Freud and psychoanalysis authors such as Klein, Bion, Rosenfeld and Matte Blanco, but also draws on the approach to dream phenomena in the work of philosophers, artists and poets. He argues that dreams are indeed, as the ancients held, messages. The dream is a theatrical re-recreation of certain unconscious experiences, which are both subjective and objective at the same time. It expresses not only desire but a complex working over of a problematic situation that is not quite resolved. In waking the dream is a new elaboration of everyday experience and one which creates the seeds of oracular awareness. Resnik develops his thesis with ample and enlightening examples of dreams and their significance from his own patients. The author's achievement is a new psychoanalytic reading of dreams one which does justice to Freud's momentous discovery but which broadens it and places it within the wider context of subsequent developments in psychoanalysis, semiotics and social and cultural anthropology. The book will be of great value to the professional psychotherapist or psychoanalyst as well as to students of literature, the arts and linguistics and the wider public interested in the ongoing relationship between dream reality and what is commonly called external reality. As has been remarked, each era can be defined on the basis of relations between dream and life.
Description : How is madness experienced, treated, and represented? How might art think around – and beyond – psychiatric definitions of illness and wellbeing? Madness, Art, and Society engages with artistic practices from theatre and live art to graphic fiction, charting a multiplicity of ways of thinking critically with, rather than about, non-normative psychological experience. It is organised into two parts: ‘Structures: psychiatrists, institutions, treatments’, illuminates the environments, figures and primary models of psychiatric care, reconsidering their history and contemporary manifestations through case studies including David Edgar’s Mary Barnes and Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. ‘Experiences: realities, bodies, moods’, promblematises diagnostic categories and proposes more radically open models of thinking in relation to experiences of madness, touching upon works such as Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko and Duncan Macmillan’s People, Places, and Things. Reading its case studies as a counter-discourse to orthodox psychiatry, Madness, Art, and Society seeks a more nuanced understanding of the plurality of madness in society, and in so doing, offers an outstanding resource for students and scholars alike.