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JesseBC
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW and childbirth

And I'm not saying that's wrong.

It's just such an inarguable party line that I figured it didn't need any boosting. It's what virtually everyone already believes on the subject.





IlanaSimons wrote:


JesseBC wrote:
That opening scene is a powerful one.

I didn't see clinical depression in it so much as a family utterly dependent on denial to service the myth that Everything Is OK -- a feature of middle-class families that's often parodied, except Woolf seems totally, painfully serious.

Since we're on the subject of depression, here's an interesting take on it from Barbara Ehrenreich's new book where she argues that depression is a feature of modernism: http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,,2048204,00.html




On the other hand of the equation, there's the argument made by writers like Peter Kramer (Listening to Prozac) that depression cramps us more than it frees us--with a burden of low self-worth and sensitivity to criticism. He writes that when we're depressed, we sometimes cling to what we know, but people can actually discover more energy and even creativity when helped by antidepressants.



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JesseBC
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW and childbirth

But that's just the thing -- Woolf's bipolar isn't well-documented. It was diagnosed posthumously based on our current framework for categorizing certain types of behavior (which, in the case of bipolar, only dates back to the 1960s).

The reason I keep beating what is probably a horse with a death rattle is that stamping Woolf with a uniquely modern label forces an imperialist understanding of her life and her writing that effectively silences her.

Ehrenreich is somewhat guilty of the same thing since she's imposing a post-industrial paradigm onto rural 17th century life, but at least she's taking a unique approach to the question and she's doing something that's often done in medical research -- examine the circumstances under which the symptoms of a new illness first became apparent to see if you can find clues as to its origin. (Ehrenreich's a biologist and sometimes it shows.)

But what you're saying is that the difference between "normal" and "illness" is simply a matter of degree. Someone who's just a little sad is healthy, while someone who's too sad to get out of bed is sick. But depression isn't even approached that way clinically.

Most of mental health is extremely inexact. Few diagnoses can be made with any kind of testing and the DSM is constantly being revised. This stuff has taken on a cultural magnitude like it's the law of gravity when many of the field's most basic assumptions are unconfirmed and still being tested and debated.

It's not a question of whether depression is "real." Everyone knows it's real. Humans have known it was real since...well...the 17th century. The theory that it's caused by biochemistry is the part that's only been around for about 50 years and is still experimental. There's much more consensus on the "chemical imbalance" theory among laypeople than there is within the field.





Choisya wrote:
I think VW's bi-polar disorder is well documented enough to be believed as a real illness but it is important not to think of 'blues' as true depression and I think the article is dealing more with that than true clinical depression. As someone who was hospitalised on and off for over five years with clinical depression, I can vouch for it being a real and totally debilitating illness, which no amount of dancing and jollity, communal or otherwise, could relieve.




JesseBC wrote:
That opening scene is a powerful one.

I didn't see clinical depression in it so much as a family utterly dependent on denial to service the myth that Everything Is OK -- a feature of middle-class families that's often parodied, except Woolf seems totally, painfully serious.

Since we're on the subject of depression, here's an interesting take on it from Barbara Ehrenreich's new book where she argues that depression is a feature of modernism: http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,,2048204,00.html





piihonua wrote:
I'm not sure where to post this message as it straddles the " The Windows" thread as well as this one but I wanted to mention the sense of entrapment,isolation,or claustrophobia as being a possible theme/themes in this novel.
Choisya's comment on severe depression seems to be inviting me to reply on this thread though. I think she's found an underlying as well as important message from Virginia which keeps surfacing in at least every other paragraph in "The Windows".
The novel opens in the drawing room with a scene of presumed "domestic bliss" only to have the high hopes of a six-year-old dashed by the gloating remark of his interfering father whom he(James) would have murdered with an axe if it were within reach.
How much darker can this scene get?How is Ramsay going to redeem himself after such an introduction? He's clearly not the author's hero. Mrs. Ramsay interjects with an"...I expect it will be fine...". I imagine it as a repeated reassurance of Virginia's mother,but I think it's packed with a pretty forceful punch albeit comforting comment she would make throughout her childhood and remained indelibly etched in her memory, long after the death of her mother.

I guess I'll take my comments on the theme to "The Windows" thread where it belongs.








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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

[ Edited ]
Real since the 17C?! Depression was once known as melancholia and has been described since at least the 1st century AD. Bi-polar/manic-depression was known to the Greeks as mania. Greek patients were sent to the Spas in Northern Italy where the waters are known to be rich in Lithium salts. So I don't think it is so far fetched or 'colonialist' for Ehrenreich and others to disgnose the illness of VW and others as bi-polar/manic-depression, based on a number of descriptions of her behaviour. Because we re-label something does not cxhange the condition or mean that it didn't exist in former times, nor that a lot is not known about it. It seems to me, as a sufferer from depression, that the Greeks knew these illnesses well and had a good idea how to treat them too - specifying bathing in lithium salt water and quiet rest, for instance.

http://www.risperdal.com/html/pris/bipolar_living-evolution.jsp;jsessionid=OSBCCHBIE0F1ACQPCCGTC0YKB2IIQNSC

So I do not agree that 'stamping Woolf with a uniquely modern label forces an imperialist understanding of her life and her writing that effectively silences her'. Whatever label we use to describe her condition does not alter the fact that she undoubtedly had a condition, call it what we will, which affected her personality. She was, as we say colloquially, 'up and down' and such a condition was bound to affect her writing whether we put a label on it or not.

And yes, I do think it is a matter of degree. If a condition incapacitates you and makes you unable to function in the ordinary world, it can, IMO, be called an illness. Just as if you had a broken leg and can't walk or drive a car, so you can have a 'broken' mind which prevents you, or hinders you, from doing certain things.

(If, BTW, you are taking the Laingian position that mental illness is only a response to family and/or the societial pressures etc etc I knew several people treated by him at the Tavistock Clinic, where I was also treated for a time but fortunately not by him, and to say that I have a low opinion of his work would be putting it mildly. His own very evident alcoholism and depression did not inspire confidence, nor did the number of suicides or attempted suicides by his patients.)




JesseBC wrote:
But that's just the thing -- Woolf's bipolar isn't well-documented. It was diagnosed posthumously based on our current framework for categorizing certain types of behavior (which, in the case of bipolar, only dates back to the 1960s).

The reason I keep beating what is probably a horse with a death rattle is that stamping Woolf with a uniquely modern label forces an imperialist understanding of her life and her writing that effectively silences her.

Ehrenreich is somewhat guilty of the same thing since she's imposing a post-industrial paradigm onto rural 17th century life, but at least she's taking a unique approach to the question and she's doing something that's often done in medical research -- examine the circumstances under which the symptoms of a new illness first became apparent to see if you can find clues as to its origin. (Ehrenreich's a biologist and sometimes it shows.)

But what you're saying is that the difference between "normal" and "illness" is simply a matter of degree. Someone who's just a little sad is healthy, while someone who's too sad to get out of bed is sick. But depression isn't even approached that way clinically.

Most of mental health is extremely inexact. Few diagnoses can be made with any kind of testing and the DSM is constantly being revised. This stuff has taken on a cultural magnitude like it's the law of gravity when many of the field's most basic assumptions are unconfirmed and still being tested and debated.

It's not a question of whether depression is "real." Everyone knows it's real. Humans have known it was real since...well...the 17th century. The theory that it's caused by biochemistry is the part that's only been around for about 50 years and is still experimental. There's much more consensus on the "chemical imbalance" theory among laypeople than there is within the field.





Choisya wrote:
I think VW's bi-polar disorder is well documented enough to be believed as a real illness but it is important not to think of 'blues' as true depression and I think the article is dealing more with that than true clinical depression. As someone who was hospitalised on and off for over five years with clinical depression, I can vouch for it being a real and totally debilitating illness, which no amount of dancing and jollity, communal or otherwise, could relieve.




JesseBC wrote:
That opening scene is a powerful one.

I didn't see clinical depression in it so much as a family utterly dependent on denial to service the myth that Everything Is OK -- a feature of middle-class families that's often parodied, except Woolf seems totally, painfully serious.

Since we're on the subject of depression, here's an interesting take on it from Barbara Ehrenreich's new book where she argues that depression is a feature of modernism: http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,,2048204,00.html





piihonua wrote:
I'm not sure where to post this message as it straddles the " The Windows" thread as well as this one but I wanted to mention the sense of entrapment,isolation,or claustrophobia as being a possible theme/themes in this novel.
Choisya's comment on severe depression seems to be inviting me to reply on this thread though. I think she's found an underlying as well as important message from Virginia which keeps surfacing in at least every other paragraph in "The Windows".
The novel opens in the drawing room with a scene of presumed "domestic bliss" only to have the high hopes of a six-year-old dashed by the gloating remark of his interfering father whom he(James) would have murdered with an axe if it were within reach.
How much darker can this scene get?How is Ramsay going to redeem himself after such an introduction? He's clearly not the author's hero. Mrs. Ramsay interjects with an"...I expect it will be fine...". I imagine it as a repeated reassurance of Virginia's mother,but I think it's packed with a pretty forceful punch albeit comforting comment she would make throughout her childhood and remained indelibly etched in her memory, long after the death of her mother.

I guess I'll take my comments on the theme to "The Windows" thread where it belongs.

Message Edited by Choisya on 04-09-200711:38 AM

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JesseBC
Posts: 278
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

I’m not sure how to re-phrase this any differently, but I’ll try.

The medical model that is currently used to define and understand mental illness is just a construct, a rhetorical framework.

The idea is a form of biological determinism -- people with mental illnesses have chemical imbalances or malfunctioning brains, the result of which is that, at least some of the time, their behavior and emotions are beyond their control, distressful to themselves and others, and socially unacceptable.

The trouble is that the evidence for malfunctioning brains or chemical imbalances is, at best, tenuous and very few mental illnesses can be detected with any reliable empirical testing. But the medical model has such a grasp on the popular imagination (from which no one in the field is immune) that you really have to dig into the academic research to be reminded that the whole premise is still unproven and that, in reality, no one knows why people have emotions or behaviors that are uncontrollable, distressing, or unacceptable.

Which is entirely orthodox. No reputable professional would ever claim the medical model has been proven. That’s why virtually every organization in the field recommends therapy in conjunction with pharmaceuticals.

The medical model was supposed to reduce the stigma of mental illness, except the stigma hasn't gone away; it's just changed focus. We've done pretty well clearing up that the mentally ill aren't contagious and dangerous, but now we've made them unreliable. Since the premise is that their brains are sick, their experiences are filtered through the lens of possibly being irrational, false, or abnormal.

This is what I meant by the posthumous diagnosis silencing Virginia Woolf. She goes from being a miserable creative genius to being someone whose version of reality is suspect because her emotions are now considered uncontrollable and unacceptable and, therefore, not a response to any external forces – or at least not a reasonable response to them.

I could live with this part as a matter of education -- i.e. just because someone's emotions or behavior are unreasonable some of the time doesn't mean they are all of the time and a sufficiently educated and sensitive person ought to be able to tell the difference.

However, interpretations of human behavior are so culturally-based that the narrow range of "normal" imposed by the medical model is prima facie nonsense. It's not written anywhere that the baseline state of the human condition is contentment or that incongruous or socially unacceptable behavior is pathological.

The result of the medical model is these unsympathetic and intrinsically biased judgements as to what's "normal" (or "functional" or "appropriate") until the goal of therapy becomes simply to alleviate the most acute suffering by coaching social conformity and hoping the meds kick in.

And, no, there's nothing terribly Laingian about any of this, except maybe for an element of existentialism. I do think there’s an ineffable complexity to human nature that defies quantifying personalities in the way the medical model requires – i.e. some people are merely different and their suffering has more to do with the alienation of being different than because of anything ontological or any flimsy chemical imbalance theories.

However, I don’t believe, for example, that psychotic episodes are Shamanic journeys. Really, Laing's problem wasn't so much his theories as that he was a social determinist with a tendency to sound more unstable than his patients. A combination bound to leave anyone in despair – what Laing believed was just depressing.

I’m probably closer in orientation to David Smail (except I’m more orthodox and less of a materialist) or to the psychic pain theorists. Suffering is part of the human condition and helping those who suffer is a moral good. Since everyone’s suffering seems reasonable to them at the time, it’s counterproductive to put too much stock in a theory that, by definition, removes the credibility of the sufferer’s own subjective experience. And the ability of a person to assert the validity of his or her own experience can be as much a sign of mental health as the more orthodox indicator of having a cause one’s society considers reasonable.

This is how I interpreted Woolf in Chapter 4: “Such she often felt herself – struggling against terrific odds to maintain her courage; to say: ‘But this is what I see; this is what I see,’ and so to clasp some miserable remnant of her vision to her breast, which a thousand forces did their best to pluck from her.”





Choisya wrote:
Real since the 17C?! Depression was once known as melancholia and has been described since at least the 1st century AD. Bi-polar/manic-depression was known to the Greeks as mania. Greek patients were sent to the Spas in Northern Italy where the waters are known to be rich in Lithium salts. So I don't think it is so far fetched or 'colonialist' for Ehrenreich and others to disgnose the illness of VW and others as bi-polar/manic-depression, based on a number of descriptions of her behaviour. Because we re-label something does not cxhange the condition or mean that it didn't exist in former times, nor that a lot is not known about it. It seems to me, as a sufferer from depression, that the Greeks knew these illnesses well and had a good idea how to treat them too - specifying bathing in lithium salt water and quiet rest, for instance.

http://www.risperdal.com/html/pris/bipolar_living-evolution.jsp;jsessionid=OSBCCHBIE0F1ACQPCCGTC0YKB2IIQNSC

So I do not agree that 'stamping Woolf with a uniquely modern label forces an imperialist understanding of her life and her writing that effectively silences her'. Whatever label we use to describe her condition does not alter the fact that she undoubtedly had a condition, call it what we will, which affected her personality. She was, as we say colloquially, 'up and down' and such a condition was bound to affect her writing whether we put a label on it or not.

And yes, I do think it is a matter of degree. If a condition incapacitates you and makes you unable to function in the ordinary world, it can, IMO, be called an illness. Just as if you had a broken leg and can't walk or drive a car, so you can have a 'broken' mind which prevents you, or hinders you, from doing certain things.

(If, BTW, you are taking the Laingian position that mental illness is only a response to family and/or the societial pressures etc etc I knew several people treated by him at the Tavistock Clinic, where I was also treated for a time but fortunately not by him, and to say that I have a low opinion of his work would be putting it mildly. His own very evident alcoholism and depression did not inspire confidence, nor did the number of suicides or attempted suicides by his patients.)




JesseBC wrote:
But that's just the thing -- Woolf's bipolar isn't well-documented. It was diagnosed posthumously based on our current framework for categorizing certain types of behavior (which, in the case of bipolar, only dates back to the 1960s).

The reason I keep beating what is probably a horse with a death rattle is that stamping Woolf with a uniquely modern label forces an imperialist understanding of her life and her writing that effectively silences her.

Ehrenreich is somewhat guilty of the same thing since she's imposing a post-industrial paradigm onto rural 17th century life, but at least she's taking a unique approach to the question and she's doing something that's often done in medical research -- examine the circumstances under which the symptoms of a new illness first became apparent to see if you can find clues as to its origin. (Ehrenreich's a biologist and sometimes it shows.)

But what you're saying is that the difference between "normal" and "illness" is simply a matter of degree. Someone who's just a little sad is healthy, while someone who's too sad to get out of bed is sick. But depression isn't even approached that way clinically.

Most of mental health is extremely inexact. Few diagnoses can be made with any kind of testing and the DSM is constantly being revised. This stuff has taken on a cultural magnitude like it's the law of gravity when many of the field's most basic assumptions are unconfirmed and still being tested and debated.

It's not a question of whether depression is "real." Everyone knows it's real. Humans have known it was real since...well...the 17th century. The theory that it's caused by biochemistry is the part that's only been around for about 50 years and is still experimental. There's much more consensus on the "chemical imbalance" theory among laypeople than there is within the field.





Choisya wrote:
I think VW's bi-polar disorder is well documented enough to be believed as a real illness but it is important not to think of 'blues' as true depression and I think the article is dealing more with that than true clinical depression. As someone who was hospitalised on and off for over five years with clinical depression, I can vouch for it being a real and totally debilitating illness, which no amount of dancing and jollity, communal or otherwise, could relieve.




JesseBC wrote:
That opening scene is a powerful one.

I didn't see clinical depression in it so much as a family utterly dependent on denial to service the myth that Everything Is OK -- a feature of middle-class families that's often parodied, except Woolf seems totally, painfully serious.

Since we're on the subject of depression, here's an interesting take on it from Barbara Ehrenreich's new book where she argues that depression is a feature of modernism: http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,,2048204,00.html





piihonua wrote:
I'm not sure where to post this message as it straddles the " The Windows" thread as well as this one but I wanted to mention the sense of entrapment,isolation,or claustrophobia as being a possible theme/themes in this novel.
Choisya's comment on severe depression seems to be inviting me to reply on this thread though. I think she's found an underlying as well as important message from Virginia which keeps surfacing in at least every other paragraph in "The Windows".
The novel opens in the drawing room with a scene of presumed "domestic bliss" only to have the high hopes of a six-year-old dashed by the gloating remark of his interfering father whom he(James) would have murdered with an axe if it were within reach.
How much darker can this scene get?How is Ramsay going to redeem himself after such an introduction? He's clearly not the author's hero. Mrs. Ramsay interjects with an"...I expect it will be fine...". I imagine it as a repeated reassurance of Virginia's mother,but I think it's packed with a pretty forceful punch albeit comforting comment she would make throughout her childhood and remained indelibly etched in her memory, long after the death of her mother.

I guess I'll take my comments on the theme to "The Windows" thread where it belongs.

Message Edited by Choisya on 04-09-200711:38 AM




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JesseBC
Posts: 278
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

BTW, I'm not adding in those little winky-faces that make it look like I'm punctuating everything with a silly giggle. It's just that, for some reason, everytime I type a quotation mark followed by a close-parenthesis, the software thinks I want to wink.

If I want to wink, I'll wink ;-)
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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

Thanks for this full and insightful reply JesseBC. However, these things are much to 'close to the bone' for me to continue discussing them so I will back out of this particular discussion about mental health.




JesseBC wrote:
I’m not sure how to re-phrase this any differently, but I’ll try.

The medical model that is currently used to define and understand mental illness is just a construct, a rhetorical framework.

The idea is a form of biological determinism -- people with mental illnesses have chemical imbalances or malfunctioning brains, the result of which is that, at least some of the time, their behavior and emotions are beyond their control, distressful to themselves and others, and socially unacceptable.

The trouble is that the evidence for malfunctioning brains or chemical imbalances is, at best, tenuous and very few mental illnesses can be detected with any reliable empirical testing. But the medical model has such a grasp on the popular imagination (from which no one in the field is immune) that you really have to dig into the academic research to be reminded that the whole premise is still unproven and that, in reality, no one knows why people have emotions or behaviors that are uncontrollable, distressing, or unacceptable.

Which is entirely orthodox. No reputable professional would ever claim the medical model has been proven. That’s why virtually every organization in the field recommends therapy in conjunction with pharmaceuticals.

The medical model was supposed to reduce the stigma of mental illness, except the stigma hasn't gone away; it's just changed focus. We've done pretty well clearing up that the mentally ill aren't contagious and dangerous, but now we've made them unreliable. Since the premise is that their brains are sick, their experiences are filtered through the lens of possibly being irrational, false, or abnormal.

This is what I meant by the posthumous diagnosis silencing Virginia Woolf. She goes from being a miserable creative genius to being someone whose version of reality is suspect because her emotions are now considered uncontrollable and unacceptable and, therefore, not a response to any external forces – or at least not a reasonable response to them.

I could live with this part as a matter of education -- i.e. just because someone's emotions or behavior are unreasonable some of the time doesn't mean they are all of the time and a sufficiently educated and sensitive person ought to be able to tell the difference.

However, interpretations of human behavior are so culturally-based that the narrow range of "normal" imposed by the medical model is prima facie nonsense. It's not written anywhere that the baseline state of the human condition is contentment or that incongruous or socially unacceptable behavior is pathological.

The result of the medical model is these unsympathetic and intrinsically biased judgements as to what's "normal" (or "functional" or "appropriate") until the goal of therapy becomes simply to alleviate the most acute suffering by coaching social conformity and hoping the meds kick in.

And, no, there's nothing terribly Laingian about any of this, except maybe for an element of existentialism. I do think there’s an ineffable complexity to human nature that defies quantifying personalities in the way the medical model requires – i.e. some people are merely different and their suffering has more to do with the alienation of being different than because of anything ontological or any flimsy chemical imbalance theories.

However, I don’t believe, for example, that psychotic episodes are Shamanic journeys. Really, Laing's problem wasn't so much his theories as that he was a social determinist with a tendency to sound more unstable than his patients. A combination bound to leave anyone in despair – what Laing believed was just depressing.

I’m probably closer in orientation to David Smail (except I’m more orthodox and less of a materialist) or to the psychic pain theorists. Suffering is part of the human condition and helping those who suffer is a moral good. Since everyone’s suffering seems reasonable to them at the time, it’s counterproductive to put too much stock in a theory that, by definition, removes the credibility of the sufferer’s own subjective experience. And the ability of a person to assert the validity of his or her own experience can be as much a sign of mental health as the more orthodox indicator of having a cause one’s society considers reasonable.

This is how I interpreted Woolf in Chapter 4: “Such she often felt herself – struggling against terrific odds to maintain her courage; to say: ‘But this is what I see; this is what I see,’ and so to clasp some miserable remnant of her vision to her breast, which a thousand forces did their best to pluck from her.
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JesseBC
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

Hey, that's cool, I understand (as we say in the US). Want to go back to talking about socialism? *evil laugh*

Though I suppose we couldn't justify that as remotely on-topic. I'm not sure I'm ever going to make it out of this folder at the rate I'm going.

Not only is Part 1 the longest, but I'm so infatuated with Woolf's prose that I catch myself reading page after page, soaking up the feel of the words, only to find that I have no idea what I just read. So then I have to go back and re-read the whole section again.



-----Choisya wrote:
Thanks for this full and insightful reply JesseBC. However, these things are much to 'close to the bone' for me to continue discussing them so I will back out of this particular discussion about mental health.----
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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

LOL. No - once bitten twice shy!




JesseBC wrote:
Hey, that's cool, I understand (as we say in the US). Want to go back to talking about socialism? *evil laugh*

Though I suppose we couldn't justify that as remotely on-topic. I'm not sure I'm ever going to make it out of this folder at the rate I'm going.

Not only is Part 1 the longest, but I'm so infatuated with Woolf's prose that I catch myself reading page after page, soaking up the feel of the words, only to find that I have no idea what I just read. So then I have to go back and re-read the whole section again.



-----Choisya wrote:
Thanks for this full and insightful reply JesseBC. However, these things are much to 'close to the bone' for me to continue discussing them so I will back out of this particular discussion about mental health.----


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IlanaSimons
Posts: 2,223
Registered: ‎10-20-2006
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

Nice comment. I like the section in Part 1 in which Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay are reading books side by side, and Mrs. Ramsay is really just reading for the music of the poem--not its sense or lesson. Woolf says the music is often enough.




JesseBC wrote:
Hey, that's cool, I understand (as we say in the US). Want to go back to talking about socialism? *evil laugh*

Though I suppose we couldn't justify that as remotely on-topic. I'm not sure I'm ever going to make it out of this folder at the rate I'm going.

Not only is Part 1 the longest, but I'm so infatuated with Woolf's prose that I catch myself reading page after page, soaking up the feel of the words, only to find that I have no idea what I just read. So then I have to go back and re-read the whole section again.



-----Choisya wrote:
Thanks for this full and insightful reply JesseBC. However, these things are much to 'close to the bone' for me to continue discussing them so I will back out of this particular discussion about mental health.----





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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JesseBC
Posts: 278
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

I guess it would be enough if I didn't mind missing the story while I'm at it. Lovely words, but I do want to follow the story too.

I wish people hung around the boards even after the initial discussion month was over. But it seems the boards empty on the last day of the month and I'm always only halfway through the book with no one around to discuss the ending with me :-(

We need to recruit some more Brits, Choisya. I'm American myself, but this place is...like...Yank overload.






IlanaSimons wrote:
Nice comment. I like the section in Part 1 in which Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay are reading books side by side, and Mrs. Ramsay is really just reading for the music of the poem--not its sense or lesson. Woolf says the music is often enough.




JesseBC wrote:
Hey, that's cool, I understand (as we say in the US). Want to go back to talking about socialism? *evil laugh*

Though I suppose we couldn't justify that as remotely on-topic. I'm not sure I'm ever going to make it out of this folder at the rate I'm going.

Not only is Part 1 the longest, but I'm so infatuated with Woolf's prose that I catch myself reading page after page, soaking up the feel of the words, only to find that I have no idea what I just read. So then I have to go back and re-read the whole section again.



-----Choisya wrote:
Thanks for this full and insightful reply JesseBC. However, these things are much to 'close to the bone' for me to continue discussing them so I will back out of this particular discussion about mental health.----





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piihonua
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎03-13-2007
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

How do you know there aren't any Brits taking part in this discussion? Are you checking our passports as we enter the discussion room? There are more of us here than you might know....
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Choisya
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

[ Edited ]
I have been the only Brit here for 3 years JesseBC, unless others choose not to identify themselves. I feel like an alien at times:smileyhappy:.




JesseBC wrote:
I guess it would be enough if I didn't mind missing the story while I'm at it. Lovely words, but I do want to follow the story too.

I wish people hung around the boards even after the initial discussion month was over. But it seems the boards empty on the last day of the month and I'm always only halfway through the book with no one around to discuss the ending with me :-(

We need to recruit some more Brits, Choisya. I'm American myself, but this place is...like...Yank overload.






IlanaSimons wrote:
Nice comment. I like the section in Part 1 in which Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay are reading books side by side, and Mrs. Ramsay is really just reading for the music of the poem--not its sense or lesson. Woolf says the music is often enough.




JesseBC wrote:
Hey, that's cool, I understand (as we say in the US). Want to go back to talking about socialism? *evil laugh*

Though I suppose we couldn't justify that as remotely on-topic. I'm not sure I'm ever going to make it out of this folder at the rate I'm going.

Not only is Part 1 the longest, but I'm so infatuated with Woolf's prose that I catch myself reading page after page, soaking up the feel of the words, only to find that I have no idea what I just read. So then I have to go back and re-read the whole section again.



-----Choisya wrote:
Thanks for this full and insightful reply JesseBC. However, these things are much to 'close to the bone' for me to continue discussing them so I will back out of this particular discussion about mental health.----







Message Edited by Choisya on 04-13-200704:14 AM

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Choisya
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

If you are a Brit piihonua, Hi from a compatriot! I think it is helpful to know folks nationality here because it can affect their point of view. The Introduction section on the boards is useful for letting us know the backgrounds of people, their age, occupation, nationality, region etc.




piihonua wrote:
How do you know there aren't any Brits taking part in this discussion? Are you checking our passports as we enter the discussion room? There are more of us here than you might know....


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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW and childbirth



JesseBC wrote:
I was approaching it more from a "quit-blaming-Mom" perspective.

Moms take the rap for everything -- she's overprotective/she's underprotective; she's too smothering/she's too aloof; she goes to work/she stays at home; she wanted kids too much/she didn't want them enough; she's too permissive/she's too strict; she's divorced/she stayed in a bad marriage; and on and on and on.

Considering mothers can never do anything right and are held almost exclusively responsible for who their children become, it's really a wonder they aren't all depressed and neurotic.







I see, thanks for the clarification.

ziki
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suicide?

As a creative, sensitive person one might have a different approach to the world, see it differently and therefore not easily fit within the existing frame. In an artistic interpretation often the existing values are questioned.

The artist can feel like an outsider, being driven by the need to express (verify one's perception of reality), even to become somebody important= be heard, acknowledged and thereby also able to strenghten the ability to trust one's own judgement.

Women often competed with men on an uneven market. An artist can feel rather vulnerable and yet need a will of steel to make it to the Parnasos.

At the beginning of the career you might have all the determination but after some time, when life is naked and tested and seen many times as impossible taking the short way out might feel like a soothing possibility. The hopelessness can't be held captive in the safe corner anymore...and the end is approaching fast anyhow, you see you can't escape death and death becomes an inscape instead.

ziki
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mental illness and art



Librarian wrote:
It has been said in other sources (can't remember any specific ones offhand) that some people are creative because of their mental illness. In another state of mind, they would not be able to create their novels, their paintings,their musical compositions, etc. This does not mean that you need to be mentally ill to be creative. But some people may not have produced their creations without mental illness. Any thoughts on this, anyone?
Librarian

Message Edited by Librarian on 04-05-200705:20 PM





Well art is ordered. And mentally ill mind is disordered, confused. Recorded expression in any form can prove to be soothing to such a disturbed mind (even healing) but the results are not always art by definition. That is totally clear when you study such works. We use the word 'mad-crazy' rather carelessly at times. An artist can seem to be wild to a bourgeois mind but he is not crazy inteh sense of being mentally ill. To discuss this we would need to talk about the particular artist you think about, it can be very different case to case. One example is always van Gogh. There might be others. But you can't really speculate if i.e. van Gogh would not have created what he did if he didn't have his episodes. How would we ever know?

ziki
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healing depression

Interesting link, healing depression through ecstasy, dancing, music,party heheh....

ziki
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

[ Edited ]
quote: I wish people hung around the boards even after the initial discussion month was over. But it seems the boards empty on the last day of the month and I'm always only halfway through the book with no one around to discuss the ending with me :-(
-------------
-->It's a let down.....I am talking to myself on Twain...BN did away even with the moderator :smileysad: But I am not to post any critical comments. BN moderator wants to ban me for my opinions about this board!

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 04-13-200704:12 PM

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Choisya
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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality

Ziki: It is a real shame that Twin and the American Classics boards are not ongoing. Have you thought about offering to moderate it yourself, or another American classic? B&N might appreciate your help and then you couldn't criticise yourself:smileyvery-happy:.




ziki wrote:
quote: I wish people hung around the boards even after the initial discussion month was over. But it seems the boards empty on the last day of the month and I'm always only halfway through the book with no one around to discuss the ending with me :-(
-------------
-->It's a let down.....I am talking to myself on Twain...BN did away even with the moderator :smileysad: But I am not to post any critical comments. BN moderator wants to ban me for my opinions about this board!

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 04-13-200704:12 PM




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Re: Welcome from your moderator : VW's personality



Choisya wrote:
Ziki: It is a real shame that Twin and the American Classics boards are not ongoing. Have you thought about offering to moderate it yourself, or another American classic? B&N might appreciate your help and then you couldn't criticise yourself:smileyvery-happy:.






:smileyvery-happy:, LOL, don't be too sure of that, LOL. Criticism always tells you how to be better. First of all LISTEN. If you do not want to hear what people have to say, it promises no good. Any writer or successful business leader knows this. No man is an island.

What I like about the knowledgeable moderators is their "double ability": they have the literary facts under their belts but/and due to this command of the knowledge they can also keep some distance to the material at hand and provide an alternative perspective. They are therefore able to initiate an interesting level of discussion that is enlightening, critical and goes beyond the mere self-study exercise. I am in no position to provide that.

A moderator is not someone to tell somebody else what to say or not. A moderator 'creates' a worthwhile discussion out of the 'material' the participants provide. That is my take on it. If that element is missing the style of the talk is quite different. Then I can just invite aunt Agda for an afternoon tea and have a chat or read on my own. :smileyvery-happy:. Nothing wrong with that; it just depends on what you want. :smileyhappy:

ziki
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