Psychiatry

Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic by Kay Redfield Jamison

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By Kay Redfield Jamison

The anguished and unstable depth linked to the inventive temperament was considered a symptom of genius or eccentricity strange to artists, writers and musicians. Kay Jamison's paintings, in keeping with her learn as a medical psychologist and researcher in temper problems, finds that many artists topic to exalted highs and despairing lows have been actually engaged in a fight with clinically identifiable manic-depressive disease. Jamison provides facts of the organic foundations of this affliction and applies what's recognized in regards to the sickness to the lives and works of a few of the world's maximum artists together with Byron, Van Gogh, Schumann and Woolf.

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Extra info for Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament

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And this profaning gesture of throwing mud, refuse, and excrement over the carriages, silk, and ermine of the great, well, King George III, having been its victim, knew full well what it meant. So there is a total reversal of the sovereign function here, since the king takes up the insurrectional gesture not just of the poor, but even of the poorest of the poor. When the peasants revolted, they used the tools available to them as weapons: scythes, staves, and suchlike. Artisans also made use of the tools of their trade.

At this level of the cure, of this event, the psychiatric scene and procedure are, I believe, from that moment, absolutely irreducible to what was taking place in medicine in the same period. It is this heterogeneity then that will mark the history of psychiatry at the very moment at which it is founded within a system of institutions that nevertheless connect it to medicine. For all of this, this stag ing, the organization of the asylum space, the activating and unfolding of these scenes, are only possible, accepted and institutionalized within establishments that are being given a medical status at this time, and by people who are medically qualified.

Pp. 5 0 9 511; ibid. pp. 253 255. Foucault is alluding here to the analyses of Louis Althusser who introduced the concept of "State apparatus" in his article "Ideologic et appareils ideologiques d'Etat. Notes pour une recherche," La Pensee. Revue du rationalisme moderne, no. 51, June 1970, pp. 3 3 8 ; reprinted in Positions (1964-1975) (Paris: Editions Sociales, 1976) pp. 65 125; English translation, "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatusses" in L. Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy, trans. (London: New Left Books, 1971).

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