The similarities between madness and modernism are striking: defiance of convention, nihilism, extreme relativism, distortions of time, strange transformations of self, and much more.
In this revised edition of a now classic work, Louis Sass, a clinical psychologist, offers a radically new vision of schizophrenia, comparing it with the works of such artists and writers as Kafka, Beckett, and Duchamp, and considering the ideas of philosophers including Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. Here is a highly original portrait of the world of insanity, along with a provocative commentary on modernist and postmodernist culture.
Louis Sass is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology, Rutgers University (New Jersey, U.S.A.)-where he is also associated with the Program in Comparative Literature and the Center for Cognitive Science. In addition to Madness and Modernism, he is the author of The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind, and of many articles on schizophrenia, phenomenological psychopathology, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, modernism/postmodernism, Wittgenstein, and Heidegger. Sass is a past president of the divisions for psychology and the arts and also for philosophy and psychology of the American Psychological Association. In 2010 he received the Joseph B. Gittler Award from the American Psychological Foundation for "the most scholarly contribution to the philosophical foundations of psychological knowledge."
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION; PART TWO: EARLY SIGNS AND PRECURSORS: PERCEPTION AND PERSONALITY; PART THREE: ASPECTS OF MADNESS: THOUGHT AND LANGUAGE; PART FOUR: SELF AND WORLD IN THE FULL-BLOWN PSYCHOSIS