New PDF release: Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism

By Jonathan Flatley

ISBN-10: 0674030788

ISBN-13: 9780674030787

The fabulous declare of this e-book is that living on loss isn't really inevitably miserable. as a substitute, Jonathan Flatley argues, embracing depression could be a street again to touch with others and will lead humans to productively remap their dating to the area round them. Flatley demonstrates possible disparate set of modernist writers and thinkers confirmed how aesthetic task may give us the ability to realize 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 adverse losses and with Walter Benjamin the desire that loss itself may possibly turn into a way of connection and the foundation 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 strategy to have an interest on this planet.

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Additional resources for Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism

Example text

44 The discovery in the 1970s of the chemical that was eventually branded as Prozac in 1987 was significant not because it treated depression any more effectively than the other drugs (it did not), but because it only affected a single chemical involved in mood regulation—serotonin. It thus lacked many of the previous drugs’ side effects, and therefore became much more widely prescribed, at which point it was learned that Prozac appeared to treat a wider range of symptoms than had initially been expected, including less severe forms of depression.

And since value for Heidegger, as for Tomkins, is a question of affective attachment, this is another way of saying that it is only possible to be affected when things have been set in advance by a certain mode of attunement. In fact, “nothing like an affect would come about,” Heidegger insists, unless being-in-the world “had not already submitted itself to having entities within-the-world ‘matter’ to it in a way which its moods have outlined in advance” (BT, 177). For example, he continues, “only something which is in the state of mind of fearing (or fearlessness) can discover that what is environmentally ready-to-hand is threatening.

In order to affect his “fastidious” readers, Henry James had to first catch them, which he does by creating an object of affective attachment within the story that is visible and attractive within his public’s mode of attunement. Only once caught does the audience find itself in another world, that of the novel—which turns out to be another there. The disjuncture between one there and another allows James (and Du Bois and Platonov) to show one, as reader, one’s own mood, estranging one from oneself and one’s mood, so the mood—and what it makes possible, what it precludes, and by what historical forces is it kept tuned—as such can become apparent.

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Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism by Jonathan Flatley

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