While he was interned in Finsbury and Bedlam, James Carkesse wrote “Lucida Intervalla”, a collection of 53 poems, published in London in 1679. The social and historical importance of “Lucida Intervalla” lies in the fact that, in the light of available documentation, it seems to be the first literary text written while its author was detained in a madhouse. In the XVII Century, the medical treatment of madness consisted of extreme methods intended to return patients to “normality”. Carkesse vividly describes the details of those practices and his experiences of coercion: “Lucida Intervalla” thus provides precious information about XVII-Century madhouses, revealing the kind of medical practices adopted in these institutions, how far behind the times they were, and the kinds of ideas the doctors had of madness. Yet this is only one of the ways that the collection of poems can be analyzed: the idea of “madness” is illustrated through intertextual and interdiscursive webs of relationships in which literary imagery, archetypes and more recent traditions converge to define a sense of otherness which becomes part of a wider cultural and literary macrotext.
|Keywords:||Folly and Madness, Lunacy, XVII Century Institutions, Literature and Testimony, XVII Century Poetry, Bedlam and Finsbury Madhouses|
Researcher, Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Florence, Florence, Italy
There are currently no reviews of this product.Write a Review