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Austrian and Habsburg Studies
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Journeys Into Madness
Mapping Mental Illness in the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Edited by Gemma Blackshaw and Sabine Wieber
222 pages, 23 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-458-4 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (June 2012)
eISBN 978-0-85745-459-1 eBook
“The chapters are of consistently high quality and, when taken together, nicely illuminate what Plumley calls the “rich interdisciplinary seam of madness and artistic modernity”. They unearth interesting linkages between the different disciplines and convincingly show the centrality of madness and “mad spaces” to a wide range of cultural expressions… fascinating interrogation of the borders, boundaries, and spaces of madness and modernism at the turn of the century.” · German Studies Review
“Beyond meeting its own expectations as delineated by its editors, this volume demonstrates extremely well the range of questions that remain to be explored regarding the cultural history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This achievement is an additional reason for its inclusion in advanced undergraduate and graduate seminars.” · Austrian History Yearbook
“The essays, representing a variety of disciplines and approaches, contribute new ways to look at mental illness in the Austrian context…a valuable collection that provides insight into the way mental illness was understood and functioned at a particular time and place in history, topic that is still relevant for today and the future.” · Habsburg – H-Net Reviews
At the turn of the century, Sigmund Freud’s investigation of the mind represented a particular journey into mental illness, but it was not the only exploration of this ‘territory’ in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Sanatoriums were the new tourism destinations, psychiatrists were collecting art works produced by patients and writers were developing innovative literary techniques to convey a character’s interior life. This collection of essays uses the framework of journeys in order to highlight the diverse artistic, cultural and medical responses to a peculiarly Viennese anxiety about the madness of modern times. The travellers of these journeys vary from patients to doctors, artists to writers, architects to composers and royalty to tourists; in engaging with their histories, the contributors reveal the different ways in which madness was experienced and represented in ‘Vienna 1900’.
Gemma Blackshaw is Reader in Art History at Plymouth University. She is currently working on a Leverhulme-funded book on portraiture in Vienna circa 1900. She co-curated the exhibition Madness and Modernity: Art, Architecture and Mental Illness in Vienna 1900 (London and Vienna, 2009–10) and co-edited the exhibition catalogue.
Sabine Wieber is Lecturer in Art History at the University of Glasgow. She has published on German and Austrian design culture, German national identity and constructions of gender in Vienna circa 1900. She co-curated the exhibition Madness and Modernity: Art, Architecture and Mental Illness in Vienna 1900 (Vienna, 2010).
Subject: 20th Century History General Cultural Studies
Area: Central/Eastern Europe
Note on Contributors
Gemma Blackshaw and Sabine Wieber
Chapter 1. The Mad Objects of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Journeys, Contexts and Dislocations in the Exhibition “Madness and Modernity”
Chapter 2. Solving Riddles: Freud, Vienna and the Historiography of Madness
Chapter 3. Symphonies and Psychosis in Mahler’s Vienna
Chapter 4. Creating an Appropriate Social Milieu: Journeys to Health at a Sanatorium for Nervous Disorders
Chapter 5. Travel to the Spas: the Growth of Health Tourism in Central Europe 1850-1914
Chapter 6. Vienna’s Most Fashionable Neurasthenic: Empress Sisi and the Cult of Size Zero
Chapter 7. Peter Altenberg: Authoring Madness in Vienna circa 1900
Chapter 8. “Hell is not interesting, it is terrifying.” A Reading of the Madhouse Chapter in Robert Musil’sThe Man without Qualities
Chapter 9. Reason Dazzled: Klimt, Krakauer and Eyes of the Medusa
Chapter 10. Mapping the Sanatorium: Heinrich Obersteiner and the Art of Psychiatric Patients in Oberdöbling around 1900
Chapter 11. The Wuerttemberg Asylum of Schussenried: a Psychiatric Space and its Encounter with Literature and Culture from the Outside
Thomas Mueller and Frank Kuhn
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