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Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness av…
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Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness (urspr publ 1990; utgåvan 1992)

av William Styron (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3,048824,545 (3.91)69
Biography & Autobiography. Psychology. Nonfiction. A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.… (mer)
Medlem:cathy.lemann
Titel:Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
Författare:William Styron (Författare)
Info:Vintage (1992), Edition: Later Printing, 84 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

Verksinformation

Ett synligt mörker : minnen av vansinnet av William Styron (1990)

Senast inlagd av2665Lover, atraweek, moorho01, AlmaSida, fivelrothberg, Dragon235, RaulCid
Efterlämnade bibliotekGillian Rose
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A well known book in the literature of mental illness, when it came across my desk I decided to give it a read. A slim book, it is a one-sitting or one-day read. Styron, I found, does indeed give an account that will ring familiar to many people.
I felt myself entering the afternoon shadows with their encroaching anxiety and dread... my brain had begun to endure its familiar siege: panic and dislocation, and a sense that my thought processes were being engulfed by a toxic and unnameable tide that obliterated any enjoyable response to the living world.
And then later:
I had now reached that phase of the disorder where all sense of hope had vanished, along with the idea of a futurity; my brain, in thrall to its outlaw hormones, had become less an organ of thought than an instrument registering, minute by minute, varying degrees of its own suffering.
How much of this will be truly comprehensible to people who have never experienced it, I don't know, because as he states several times it seems impossible to describe it to someone without that direct experience. But it is a valiant attempt. He also emphasizes that there is no one approach to recovery that works for everyone. Unfortunately for Styron he was one of those for whom no medications, each with their 4-6 week waiting periods before an effect can be felt, worked, and he came perilously close to suicide before checking himself into a hospital, which for him proved the salvation.

The book seems useful for those in the midst of the "madness", offering proof that the veil will eventually lift, and for those who want to understand it. For those who have already passed through and emerged, it must be similar to how I imagine a recovering alcoholic might feel about reading an account of someone else's drinking problem: a personal sense of understanding, and an uncomfortable dread of slipping back there. ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Second book this year about depression - this was certainly the better one. I’d never read anything by Styron before. What you’ll find in this book is as quintessential of a nonfiction, essay style as you’ll find anywhere; this seems like the kind of book English professors would give their students as an example of exquisite prose, if it weren’t for the subject matter. That might sound like a knock, but it’s not - Styron was probably (I’m no English professor after all) instrumental in inventing the form, seeing his role in the seething cauldron of American letters in the mid-20th century.

I guess it’s hard to write a book on depression, at least when it’s set as the headline topic. Styron explicitly lays out that the disease is highly idiopathic, and that his experience should not be taken as typical, despite the many traits it had it common with medical descriptions of depression. He also highlights the struggle artists have always had in conveying what their depression feels like, how words fail at getting to the heart of the sensation. However what we have here is another attempt, and I can’t say I found it entirely successful. To confront melancholy in the modern age is to be institutionalized to a certain degree - we are plied with drugs, ads for online therapy, self-help books of every stripe. All of this has of course, gotten worse since this book was written. These kinds of treatments are anathema to the language of art and poetry, and though Styron gives it his best shot, this book is at the end of the day, a very well written testimony of treatment, and does little for me to illuminate the nature of the depressive and depression itself. I found that I think I have a different view of depression than Styron puts forth here, so concerned as he is with depression as a diagnosis - in my experience as a fellow traveler and friend and family of many more, depression can be more viewed as a facet of personality that some people are susceptible to. Styron himself points out that creative types are more prone to depression, it may just be that depressive types are more prone to creativity. The same sensitivity that pushes one to make art; or try to make the world better, or question why life is worth living, this is the same sensitivity that when turned against itself can take you far down dark paths.

My favorite part of this book is the wide reading that Styron puts on display and his perceptive observations on depression in literature. Many of the works that I count among my favorites are engaged with the same questions the depressive asks themselves, and many are mentioned in this book. ( )
  hdeanfreemanjr | Jan 29, 2024 |
In 2023, I find this book feels a bit outdated. However, I have no doubt that at the time of publishing, Darkness Visible was probably ground breaking.

As someone who studies trauma and psychology in literature, I think this book is crucial and certainly an important read for the academics.

I really enjoy the topics that Styron brings up. ( )
  annahuber13 | Jan 14, 2024 |
I’ve often considered depression a disease that inflicts an inability for people to imagine the future. Styron himself fell victim to a depression which crippled him, a writer, of his imagination to the point that he was only able to contemplate suicide. The amazing thing about this book is that he’s able to take that loss and turn it into an impactful memoir that revisits the ins and outs of his affliction so well. The anecdotes and asides do a great job at translating in layman terms what he went through. The allegories wonderfully describe the personal, societal, and physical tolls—such as calling the body aches a warmth that can’t be subdued via a breeze. He also presents information well; including the arguments concerning psychiatric and pharmaceutical solutions to depression—which still hold up even though the book was written in 1990. It’s brief, has a wonderful conversational tone, and ends with a great degree of cautious optimism. Highly recommended. ( )
  JuntaKinte1968 | Dec 6, 2023 |
I've been through this book three times over a 15 year span, divided by five year intervals. As best as I can remember, I was either going into or coming out of a deep depression. I don't think I could have read it while I was in the middle of it. Actually, I can't read anything in the midst of such a madness. And, madness, although I hate the term, is exactly what it is for me. All I know is that I loved it. Loved him for sharing this deeply, personal thing. Loved the feeling that I wasn't alone. ( )
  MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
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For the thing which
I greatly feared is come upon me,
and that which I was afraid of
Is come unto me.
I was not in safety, neither
had I rest, neither was I quiet;
yet trouble came.
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In Paris on a chilly evening late in October of 1985 I first became fully aware that the struggle with the disorder in my mind—a struggle which had engaged me for several months—might have a fatal outcome.
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Biography & Autobiography. Psychology. Nonfiction. A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

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