Madness and Civilization. Chapter 1 Stultifera Navis. Challenge to historiography Did such ships exist? Significance to argument of text?. Bosch - The Ship of Fools. Chapter 2: The Great Confinement. Classical Period Begins. Meaning of madness, treatment of mad shifts.
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Bosch - The Ship of Fools
Classical Period Begins
Madness, logic, and language.
Shift towards more humane, scientific approach to treatment.
Marquis De Sade
Early 19th century, calls for reforms.
Goya – “The Sleep of Reason
The relationship between art and madness
Goya – “The Madhouse”
Exploring the boundaries of conventional notions of morality and truth.
- Examples in literature:
Bataille, Genet, Artaud, etc.
- Resonates with Foucault:
Foucault writes: “madness has become mans possibility for abolishing both man and the world….it is the last recourse: the end and beginning of everything…it is the ambiguity of chaos and the apocalypse” (F 281).
- Foucault’s thoughts on madness as ‘the end and beginning of everything’ resonate with Artaud’s writing, particularly his essay, “No More Masterpieces,” in which Artaud declares:
- Reverence for the past works of art serves to imprison the art of today and the art to come.
- The phenomena of masterpieces alienates art from the public via its ‘superstitious’ reverence for texts.
- If the public finds a given masterpiece irrelevant and incomprehensible, it is not the fault of the public, but the fault of the work itself and system in which such works are defied.
Both Foucault and Artaud see the dislocating experience of madness as potentially productive, capable of yielding unique insights. Artaud seeks an art which mirrors the experience of madness.
- Artaud proposes a theater which confronts its audience in visceral and disorientating way, a theater which he likens to lava in a volcanic explosion.
- Alberti’s description of the writing process
- Alberti discusses ways in which his mental state dictated his writing style and process
Eviction madness as potentially productive, capable of yielding unique insights. Artaud seeks an art which mirrors the experience of madness.
Evil or good angels,
I don’t know which,
hurled you into my soul.
without furniture or sleeping space,
Intrepidly, the wind wounds
the finest panes of glass.
Dampness. Chains. Cries.
I ask you:
when you leave the house,
which evil, which cruel angels
will want to rent it again?
From “Concerning the Angels,” by Rafael Alberti.
Concluding Thoughts madness as potentially productive, capable of yielding unique insights. Artaud seeks an art which mirrors the experience of madness.
How does Foucault’s Madness and Civilization
apply to Library Science?
The potential for cultural perspective and/or cultural bias to inform the ways in which knowledge or information is classified, structured, limited, and interacted with.