The Wounded Diva

Swedish title: Den sårade divan

Category: General Non-Fiction / Essays

Pub date: 31-08-2015

Format: 368 pages

The Wounded DivaOn the Aesthetics of the Psyche

Karin Johannisson

What is madness? Or rather, what does female madness look like, what does it entail, how is it presented? We are all familiar with the likes of schizophrenia, hysteria and paranoia, but do we really know anything about how those diagnosed with these conditions can use them as masks, or as a role. In The Wounded Diva Karin Johannisson investigates the interaction between the self and wounded self, in this case the diagnosis, and the new identity that forms. Sometimes an identity the patient herself can seize power over, mold and perhaps even sometimes use to her own benefit. Can madness sometimes free you, as rules are ignored and the confines of normality are disregarded?

Agnes von Krusenstjerna, Sigrid Hjertén and Nelly Sachs were all given different psychiatric diagnoses, but how they met with their diagnoses, and how it came to affect them, differed greatly. Karin Johannisson tells us about these artistic, strong yet fragile women, about being a woman in the early 20th century, and about the different ways in which psyche, creativity and power all sometimes interact with madness.

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