The Nature of Melancholy

The Nature of Melancholy : From Aristotle to Kristeva

4.02 (38 ratings by Goodreads)
Edited by 

List price: US$65.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Spanning 24 centuries, this anthology collects over 30 selections of Western writing about melancholy and its related conditions by philosophers, doctors, religious and literary figures, and modern psychologists. As it traces Western attitudes, it reveals a conversation across centuries and continents as the authors interpret, respond, and build on each other's work. Jennifer Radden provides an extensive, in-depth introduction that draws links and parallels between the selections, and reveals the ambiguous relationship between these historical accounts of melancholy and today's psychiatric views on depression. This collection is also illustrated with depictions of melancholy from Western fine more

Product details

  • Hardback | 390 pages
  • 162.8 x 242.8 x 34.8mm | 796.24g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 13 halftones, 4 line illustrations
  • 0195129628
  • 9780195129625

About Jennifer Radden

Jennifer Radden is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at more

Table of contents

Part 1: Aristotle to Freud; 1 Aristotle (or a follower of Aristotle) - "Melancholy" from "Problems"; 2 Galen - "Diseases of the Black Bile" from "On the Affected Parts" ; 3 Cassian - "Of the Spirit of Accidie" from "The Foundations of the Cenobitic Life and the Eight Capital Sins Book X Chapters I-IV"; 4 Avicenna - "On Black Bile and Melancholia" from "Canon of Medicine"; 5 Hildegard of Bingen - "Melancholia in Men and Women" from "Holistic Healing"; 6 Ficino - "Learned People and Melancholy" from "The Three Books of Life"; 7 Weyer - "Melancholia, Witches, and Deceiving Demons" from "Of Deceiving Demons"; 8 Teresa of Avila - "Melancholy Nuns" from "The Interior Castle" and "The Foundations"; 9 Bright - "Melancholy" from "Treatise of Melancholy"; 10 Burton - "Melancholic States" from "The Anatomy of Melancholy"; 11 Butler - "A Melancholy Man" from "Characters" 12 Mather - "The Cure of Melancholy" from "The Angel of Bethesda"; 13 Finch - "Countess of Winchilsea" from "The Spleen"; 14 Boerhaave - "Chronical Diseases" from "Aphorisms Concerning the Knowledge and Cure of Diseases"; 15 Goethe - "Werther's Death" from "The Sorrows of Young Werther"; 16 Kant - "Illnesses of Cognitive Faculties" from "Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View"; 17 Pinel - "Melancholia" from "A Treatise on Insanity"; 18 Rush - "Of the Remedies for Hypochondriasis or Tristimania" from "Medical Inquiries and Observations Upon the Diseases of the Mind"; 19 Keats - "Ode on Melancholy Darkness Sonnet"; 20 Griesinger - "States of Mental Depression" from "Mental Pathology and Therapeutics"; 21 Baudelaire - "Autumn Song Spleen"; 22 Smiles - "On Green Sickness and Wertherism" from "Self Help"; 23 Maudsley - "Ideational Insanity" from "The Physiology and Pathology of the Mind"; 24 Kraepelin - "Manic Depressive Insanity" from "Textbook of Psychiatry"; 25 Freud - "Mourning and Melancholia". Part 2: After Freud; 26 Klein - "Mourning and Its Relation to Manic-Depressive States"; 27 Seligman - "The Learned Helplessness Model of Depression" from "Helplessness: On Depression, Development, and Death"; 28 Beck - "The Paradoxes of Depression" from "Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders"; 29 - Miller "Ties to Others" from "Toward a New Psychology of Women"; 30 Kristeva - "Psychoanalysis - A Counterdepressant" from "The Black Sun: Depression and Melancholy"; 31 Goodwin and Jameson - "Biomedical Models" from "Manic-Depressive Illness".show more

Review quote

"Melancholy's simultaneous links with creative energy and with idleness.The Nature of Melancholy is to be commended for its attempt to bring wide and generous frames of reference to bear upon a subject that holds interest for many readers. Its immense chronological sweep invites scholars.-- Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature "Lyrical language abounds in [this] compendium of historic and contemporary writings....Hildegard of Bingen conjectures that melancholy descends genetically from Adam, while, more recently, the post-Freudian linguist Julia Kristeva offers a modern theory that suggests an updated version of black bile."--The New Yorker"Radden's invaluable anthology...scrupulously presents the key texts.... The Nature of Melancholy does an excellent job of tracing the history of efforts to find a language capable of sheltering humanity from that storm [in the mind]."--Times Literary Supplement"With skill, Radden brings together in a single volume a marvelous collection of essays, excerpts, and writings on what is now usually called 'depression'. [Melancholy] will likely remain central to the human condition, and this book may be the best medicine for it....Radden has written a penetrating and lengthy introduction....Handsome illustrations complement this serious yet inviting work of scholarship."--Virgina Quarterly Reviewshow more

Rating details

38 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 29% (11)
4 45% (17)
3 26% (10)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X