Death in life and life in death: melancholy and the enlightenment.

Ingram, Allan (2006) Death in life and life in death: melancholy and the enlightenment. Gesnerus, 63 (1-2). pp. 90-102. ISSN 0016-9161

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This article, which deals with the 17th and 18th centuries, is concerned with the presence of death in the melancholiac's life as revealed in both the accounts written by sufferers themselves and medical works. It shows the exceptional place which melancholiacs consider themselves to occupy, compared to the rest of the living, as they inhabit the no-man's-land between life and death. The privileged status echoes the classical theme of the melancholic genius (Problem XXX). Although some, like George Cheyne or Samuel Johnson, denied the link, this cliché is nevertheless very present in the self-description of the melancholy. Suffering, which is always physical, is a sign of moral superiority.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: melancholy, George Cheyne (1671?–1743), English malady, depression, suicide, Thomas Gray (1716–1771), accounts of melancholy
Subjects: Q300 English studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
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Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2015 12:03
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:22

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