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Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought
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Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature, and Thought

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  100 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The similarities between madness and modernism are striking: defiance of authority, nihilism, extreme relativism, distortions of time, strange transformations of self, and much more. In this book, Louis Sass, a clinical psychologist, offers a new vision of schizophrenia, comparing it with the works of such artists and writers as Kafka, Beckett, and Duchamp and philosophers ...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published July 15th 1998 by Harvard University Press (first published 1992)
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Michael Motta
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read, particularly as far as contemporary nonfiction goes. Do you ever wonder what exactly the word "culture" means and how it applies to you in a practical sense? Have you ever wanted to at least feel situated in our non-situatedness? Then have-at this rich and brilliant book! The footnotes alone are must-reads.
Lori
May 21, 2010 added it
Often critics try to diagnose artists with what disorder they have. this book mercifully puts an end to that by diagnosing the roots of modernism itself.
Blakely
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Describes my state of mind in high school disturbingly well.
Joni
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
musty. had to rest my wrists and thought-sodden brain every half an hour or so in order not to yield to psychosomatic fatigue. its great length is demonstrative and not entirely functional, wallowing in empirical detail and adding very little to the claims being made (which, in themselves, would have survived radical compression). these lingerings and delays, however, are wholly redeemed by the fantastic range of examples that accompany the supple reporting on the modernist moment, and the metic ...more
Cypress Butane
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book. Similar I'd imagine to 'Anti-Oedipus' a bit, which I intend to read soon, though this book is very even handed and consistently belabors its scientific and psychological facts without ever going over to the point of saying what it is obviously saying. But definitely very interesting reading, completely engrossing.
William Gortowski
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book, very dense, lots of footnotes (200 pages!), actually answered a lot of questions I have had for years. A shame he has not followed up on it since it was published (except for one book on Wittgenstein which I have to find.
Gerhard Beck
Very interesting work !!
Brad
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It was a tad bloated, but otherwise very very good.
Matthew
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Into the phenomenology of mental illness.
Leo
Nov 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Modern art through the fuzzy lens of schizophrenia and/or vice versa.
Derrik
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love Sass's work. His book on Schreber and Wittgenstein is also recommended.
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