Saturday, July 11, 2020

Saturday, July 11, 2020 1:00 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:
Neo-Victorian Madness
Rediagnosing Nineteenth-Century Mental Illness in Literature and Other Media
Edited by Sarah E. Maier and Brenda Ayres
Springer, 2020

Neo-Victorian Madness: Rediagnosing Nineteenth-Century Mental Illness in Literature and Other Media investigates contemporary fiction, cinema and television shows set in the Victorian period that depict mad murderers, lunatic doctors, social dis/ease and madhouses as if many Victorians were “mad.” Such portraits demand a “rediagnosing” of mental illness that was often reduced to only female hysteria or a general malaise in nineteenth-century renditions. This collection of essays explores questions of neo-Victorian representations of moral insanity, mental illness, disturbed psyches or non-normative imaginings as well as considers the important issues of legal righteousness, social responsibility or methods of restraint and corrupt incarcerations. The chapters investigate the self-conscious re-visions, legacies and lessons of nineteenth-century discourses of madness and/or those persons presumed mad rediagnosed by present-day (neo-Victorian) representations informed by post-nineteenth-century psychological insights.
Includes the chapter:
“I Am Not an Angel”: Madness and Addiction in Neo-Victorian Appropriations of Jane Eyre
by Kate Faber Oestreich

Three neo-Victorian transformations of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre: An Autobiography (1847)—Margot Livesey’s The Flight of Gemma Hardy (2012), April Linder’s Jane (2010) and Nessa Aref and Alysson Hall’s web series Autobiography of Jane Eyre (2013–2014)—underscore how female characters who suffer from substance use disorders are understood to be mad, revealing anxieties specifically centred on women, sexuality and motherhood. These women are scapegoats, releasing the community from responsibility to protect them due to the perception that addiction is a form of insanity. This stigma runs deep enough to justify first neglecting and then murdering female characters who are addicts, whose deaths enable the romantic consummation of the heteronormative couple.


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