By Jonathan Flatley

The astounding declare of this publication is that residing on loss isn't inevitably miserable. in its place, Jonathan Flatley argues, embracing depression could be a street again to touch with others and will lead humans to productively remap their courting to the area round them. Flatley demonstrates possible disparate set of modernist writers and thinkers confirmed how aesthetic task can provide us the potential 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 inauspicious losses and with Walter Benjamin the desire that loss itself may possibly turn into a method of connection and the root for social transformation. For Du Bois, Platonov, and James, the focal point on depression illuminates either the ancient origins of subjective emotional lifestyles and a heretofore unarticulated neighborhood of melancholics. The affective maps they produce make attainable the conversion of a depressive melancholia right into a approach to have an interest on the planet.

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

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For example, depression is a mood, not a structure of feeling; however, we might describe the particular depression of the Russian peasant in the steppe in the 1920s as a structure of feeling, or the depression of the residents of a decimated New Orleans after Katrina as a structure of feeling. Or, to return to an earlier example, we might talk about the structures of feeling created by the civil rights movement and the Black Panthers, structures of feeling that were mobilized within the Stimmung that allowed the 1967 rebellion against the police in Detroit to happen.

Frequently and dramatically enough to raise [a] series of existential questions,”49 he found that his patients were more likely to have the confidence to be nonconformist—to leave abusive relationships or change professions, for example—when they had been able to successfully keep depressive episodes at bay. Kramer’s confidence in the positive effects of antidepressive medication has only been bolstered in the years since the publication of Listening to Prozac, as a number of studies have shown fairly conclusively that depression causes real physiological damage, especially to the brain, and that the more one is depressed, the more one is likely to be depressed in the future.

44 • Modernism and Melancholia If libidinal attachment in Freud’s view is something like a set of sticky strings attaching us to the object, then mourning involves the laborious process of disattaching and carefully repairing “each one of the memories and expectations in which the libido is bound to the object” so that the strands of attachment can be used again. As this work of disattachment is carried out, “the existence of the lost object is psychically prolonged” (245). In this task of meeting reality’s “demands,” however, the work of detachment requires a temporary hallucination (a “hallucinatory wishful psychosis”).

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