Obsession : a history / Lennard J. Davis.
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0829/2008014361-t.html - Table of contents only
- 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.
0 current holds with 1 total copy.
- ISBN: 9780226137827 (cloth : alk. paper)
- ISBN: 0226137821 (cloth : alk. paper)
- Physical Description: v, 290 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
- Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2008.
|Bibliography, etc. Note:||
Includes bibliographical references (p. 247-276) ... Read More
|Formatted Contents Note:||
Origins of obsession -- The emergence of obsession ... Read More
From the Publisher: We live in an age of ... Read More
Search for related items by subject
|Subject:||Obsessive-compulsive disorder > History.
Compulsive behavior > History.
Obsessive Behavior > history.
Compulsive Behavior > history.
History, Modern 1601-.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder > history.
Library Journal Review
Obsession : A History
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Modern society both needs and fears obsessiveness. Olympian athletes, concert soloists, and novelists have to be obsessed, yet the admired qualities that undergird their excellence also cause suffering and can lead to psychiatric diagnosis. Davis (English, disability & human development, & medical education, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago; My Sense of Silence: Memoirs of a Childhood with Deafness) begins with a gripping story of his own boyhood compulsions. Taking examples from literature, history, art, and medicine, he shows how society both aggravates and aggrandizes obsessiveness, notably in sex education, science, and psychoanalysis. Francis Galton, Charles Dickens, Sigmund Freud, Marie Stopes, and others populate a "biocultural narrative" that Davis introduces to penetrate walls of isolation between historical context and the latest fads and between categorical disease and the experience of illness. Profound, brilliant, and engaging, the book deplores the separation of medicine and psychology from their historical and social contexts. Demonstrating a narrative approach, Davis breaks the quarantine that isolates the obsessive person from obsessive society and rightly recommends a good dose of interdisciplinary medical history. Highly recommended; essential for most libraries.--E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Obsession : A History
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Distracting obsessive-compulsive behaviors are bad, but a lover's or artist's obsession is revered in contemporary society. How did we achieve this split in our review of obsession? In this sometimes humorous but often pedantic survey, Davis (My Sense of Silence: Memoirs of a Childhood with Deafness) explores how, in the mid-18th century, obsession went from being seen as possession by demons to a nervous disorder, an increasingly medicalized view. By the late-20th century, researchers used brain scans and other medical technology in an attempt to discover why one in every 10 persons is diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Davis contends that obsession arises from a constellation of biological and cultural forces. Throughout his study, he offers compelling examples of his thesis through close readings of novels such as William Godwin's Caleb Williams, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Emile Zola's The Masterpiece, among others, as the fictional expressions of their authors' obsessions with certain cultural ideas. Davis acknowledges but dismisses the charge that he uses the word "obsession" loosely, and his academic approach limits the book's audience. 17 b&w illus. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Obsession : A History
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Davis (English, disability and human development, and medical education, Univ. of Chicago) successfully argues that one cannot "understand a disease like OCD without a thoroughgoing knowledge of the social, cultural, historical, anthropological, and political view" of it. And indeed he provides a comprehensive account of the evolution of the construct called "obsession," from its etymological roots--which refer to a city-state under siege ("obsessed" but not yet "possessed" by invaders)--to the current conception (or misconception) of obsessive-compulsive disorder as a distinct disease category that has always afflicted large numbers of humans. Pointing out that OCD is actually a cultural construct, Davis argues that pharmaceutical companies have misled society into believing that drugs effectively treat OCD. The current psychiatric, pharmaceutical, neural chemical, "brain disease" conceptualization of OCD is properly analyzed and summarized in the final chapters. Those familiar with the current OCD disease conceptualization will benefit from the discussion of the social, cultural, historical, and political conceptualizations of "obsession" presented in earlier chapters. Far from being simply a villainous, life-stealing disease, obsession has benefited literature, science, visual art, and other cultural pursuits, Davis argues. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers. S. R. Flora Youngstown State Universtiy