Affective Disorder and the Writing Life: The Melancholic by S. Stone Horton

By S. Stone Horton

Affective ailment and the Writing existence interrogates the mythos of the 'mad author' via lived adventure, literary research, writerly mirrored image and modern neuroscience. It explores how affective problems color, force and infrequently silence the writing brain – and the way affective distinction has consistently educated the literary mind's eye.

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1057/9781137381668  Nancer Ballard Marion Milner discovered that line when she tried to recreate the color she’d seen at the edge of a field on a summer holiday: I recalled the colour of the grass-edge between stubble field and sea-shore, the mixed pale green and creamy yellow of sun bleached August grass; and as I watched the memory of the colour it seemed to change and grow in vividness. This feeling of colour as something moving and alive in its own right, not fixed and flat and bound like the colouring of a map, grew gradually stronger ...

She has folded them back into her body as petals Of a rose close when the garden Stiffens and odors bleed ... (273, ll. /Her blacks crackle and drag” (273, ll. 18–21). “These poems stun me”, said Anne Sexton, Plath’s friend and fellow death junkie. ” In “Elm”, Plath’s embodied tree is “scathed” by soft moonlight. Despite its “great taproot”, it neither enjoys nor produces greenness or shade. Rather, it suffers the “atrocity of sunsets/scorched to the root” (192, ll. 16–18). “I know the bottom”, says the tree.

Their names signify essential elements of creative expression – discipline and practice; memory and imagination; and the transfer of understanding made possible by combining the rhythmic cadences of the heartbeat, breath, and human voice, with knowledge of the world. As conservators of all knowledge, the ancient poets were often called upon to recite for many hours. They apparently managed this feat by entering trance-like states in which they extemporized on well-known tales while relying on a deep familiarity with meter.

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