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Monomania

Monomania: The Flight From Everyday Life In Literature And Art


"This book is about the obsessive strategies people use to keep the arbitrary out of their lives; it is about the fanaticism and intolerance linked to their ideas of perfection and permanence. . . . Those readers who have brushed against the dangers of the id e fixe, who have come close to surrendering to something or someone diabolically seductive or coercive, will recognize in these characters their own encounter with a dangerously systematized world." From the introduction.Monomania explores the cultural prominence of the id e fixe in Western Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Marina van Zuylen revives the term monomania to explore the therapeutic attributes of obsession. She introduces us to artists and collectors, voyeurs and scholars, hypochondriacs and melancholics, whose lives are run by debilitating compulsions that may become powerful weapons against the tyranny of everyday life.In van Zuylen's view, there is a productive tension between disabling fixations and their curative powers; she argues that the id e fixe has acted as a corrective for the multiple disorders of modernity. The authors she studies Charles Baudelaire, Sophie Calle, Elias Canetti, George Eliot, Gustave Flaubert, and Thomas Mann among them embody or set in motion different manifestations of this monomaniacal imperative. Their protagonists or alter egos live more intensely, more meaningfully, because of the compulsive pressures they set up for themselves. Monomania shows that transforming life into art, or at least into the artful, drives out the anxiety of the void and puts in its place something so orderly and meaningful that it can take on the aura of a religion.



  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
    • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
    • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Paperback
  • Sold by: --
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Cornell Univ Pr
  • ISBN-13: 9780801489860
  • ISBN: 0801489865
  • Publication Year: 2005
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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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