David Macey: Frantz Fanon: A Biography (2000–)

25 April 2018, dusan

“Born in Martinique, Frantz Fanon (1925–61) trained as a psychiatrist in Lyon before taking up a post in colonial Algeria. He had already experienced racism as a volunteer in the Free French Army, in which he saw combat at the end of the Second World War. In Algeria, Fanon came into contact with the Front de Libération Nationale, whose ruthless struggle for independence was met with exceptional violence from the French forces. He identified closely with the liberation movement, and his political sympathies eventually forced him out the country, whereupon he became a propagandist and ambassador for the FLN, as well as a seminal anticolonial theorist.

David Macey’s eloquent life of Fanon provides a comprehensive account of a complex individual’s personal, intellectual and political development. It is also a richly detailed depiction of postwar French culture. Fanon is revealed as a flawed and passionate humanist deeply committed to eradicating colonialism.”

First published by Picador, 2000
Second edition published by Verso, London, 2012
ISBN 9781844677733, 1844677737
xxii+639 pages

Reviews: Megan Vaughan (London Review of Books, 2001), Peter Lennon (The Guardian, 2001), Mark Christian (Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 2002), Gareth Stanton (History Workshop Journal, 2002), Ciaran Mulholland (Socialist World, 2002), Godwin Kwadwo Osei-Nyame (Research in African Literatures, 2004), Kirkus Reviews (2001), Publishers Weekly (2001), Stephen Howe (New Humanist, 2013).

Interview with author (Theory, Culture & Society, 2011).

Publisher
WorldCat

HTML

John M. MacGregor: The Discovery of the Art of the Insane (1989)

10 February 2017, dusan

“This pioneering work, the first history of the art of the insane, scrutinizes changes in attitudes toward the art of the mentally ill from a time when it was either ignored or ridiculed, through the era when major figures in the art world discovered the extraordinary power of visual statements by psychotic artists such as Adolf Wölfli and Richard Dadd. John MacGregor draws on his dual training in art history and in psychiatry and psychoanalysis to describe not only this evolution in attitudes but also the significant influence of the art of the mentally ill on the development of modern art as a whole. His detailed narrative, with its strangely beautiful illustrations, introduces us to a fascinating group of people that includes the psychotic artists, both trained and untrained, and the psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, critics, and art historians who encountered their work.”

Publisher Princeton University Press, 1989
ISBN 0691040710, 9780691040714
xix+390 pages
via mutewar

Reviews: Aaron H. Esman (Hist Behavioral Sciences), Ellen Handler Spitz (Art Bulletin), Aaron H. Esman (JAPA).

WorldCat

PDF (24 MB)

See also Hans Prinzhorn’s Artistry of the Mentally Ill (1922–).

Eric R. Kandel: The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present (2012)

31 January 2014, dusan

“A book by Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel, The Age of Insight takes us to Vienna 1900, where leaders in science, medicine, and art began a revolution that changed forever how we think about the human mind—our conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions—and how mind and brain relate to art.

At the turn of the century, Vienna was the cultural capital of Europe. Artists and scientists met in glittering salons, where they freely exchanged ideas that led to revolutionary breakthroughs in psychology, brain science, literature, and art. Kandel takes us into the world of Vienna to trace, in rich and rewarding detail, the ideas and advances made then, and their enduring influence today.

The Vienna School of Medicine led the way with its realization that truth lies hidden beneath the surface. That principle infused Viennese culture and strongly influenced the other pioneers of Vienna 1900. Sigmund Freud shocked the world with his insights into how our everyday unconscious aggressive and erotic desires are repressed and disguised in symbols, dreams, and behavior. Arthur Schnitzler revealed women’s unconscious sexuality in his novels through his innovative use of the interior monologue. Gustav Klimt, Oscar Kokoschka, and Egon Schiele created startlingly evocative and honest portraits that expressed unconscious lust, desire, anxiety, and the fear of death.

Kandel tells the story of how these pioneers—Freud, Schnitzler, Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele—inspired by the Vienna School of Medicine, in turn influenced the founders of the Vienna School of Art History to ask pivotal questions such as What does the viewer bring to a work of art? How does the beholder respond to it? These questions prompted new and ongoing discoveries in psychology and brain biology, leading to revelations about how we see and perceive, how we think and feel, and how we respond to and create works of art. Kandel, one of the leading scientific thinkers of our time, places these five innovators in the context of today’s cutting-edge science and gives us a new understanding of the modernist art of Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele, as well as the school of thought of Freud and Schnitzler. Reinvigorating the intellectual enquiry that began in Vienna 1900, The Age of Insight is a wonderfully written, superbly researched, and beautifully illustrated book that also provides a foundation for future work in neuroscience and the humanities. It is an extraordinary book from an international leader in neuroscience and intellectual history.”

Publisher Random House, 2012
ISBN 1588369307, 9781588369307
656 pages
via quackalist

Interview with the author (NPR)
Review (Alexander C. Kafka, The Chronicle Review)
Review (Roxanne Powell, The Vienna Review)
Review (Briefly Noted, The New York Times)
Review (Peter F. Buckley, The American Journal of Psychiatry)
Review (Jonah Lehrer, Wired)

Publisher

EPUB
Charts and Images from the book