Sanity, Madness, Transformation: The Psyche in Romanticism

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University of Toronto Press, 2005 M01 1 - 278 pages

In Sanity, Madness, Transformation, Ross Woodman offers an extended reflection on the relationship between sanity and madness in Romantic literature. Woodman is one of the field's most distinguished authorities on psychoanalysis and romanticism. Engaging with the works of Northrop Frye, Jacques Derrida, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung, he argues that madness is essential to the writings of William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Percy Shelley, and that it has been likewise fundamental to the emergence of the modern subject in psychoanalysis and literary theory. For Frye, madness threatens humanism, whereas for Derrida its relationship is more complex, and more productive. Both approaches are informed by Freudian and Jungian responses to the psyche, which, in turn, are drawn from an earlier Romantic ambivalence about madness.

This work, which began as a collection of Woodman's essays assembled by colleague Joel Faflak, quickly evolved into a new book that approached Romanticism from an original psychoanalytic perspective by returning madness to its proper place in the creative psyche. Sanity, Madness, Transformation is a provocative hybrid of theory, literary criticism, and autobiography and is yet another decisive step in a distinguished academic career.

 

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Contents

Jung and Romanticism The Fate of the Mythopoeic Imagination
23
Fryes Blake The Site of Opposition
47
Blakes Fourfold Body
86
Wordsworths Crazed Bedouin The Prelude and the Fate of Madness
110
Shelley and the Romantic Labyrinth
148
The Sanity of Madness Byron and Shelley
178
Conclusion
197
Ross Woodmans Romanticism
210
NOTES
237
BIBLIOGRAPHY
259
INDEX
267
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Joel Faflak is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Western Ontario. Ross Woodman is a professor emeritus in the Department of English at the University of Western Ontario.

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