Literature, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

Literature, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

1st Edition - December 11, 2013
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  • Editors: Stanley Finger, François Boller, Anne Stiles
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444633873

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This well-established international series examines major areas of basic and clinical research within neuroscience, as well as emerging and promising subfields. This volume on the neurosciences, neurology, and literature vividly shows how science and the humanities can come together --- and have come together in the past. Its sections provide a new, broad look at these interactions, which have received surprisingly little attention in the past. Experts in the field cover literature as a window to neurological and scientific zeitgeists, theories of brain and mind in literature, famous authors and their suspected neurological disorders, and how neurological disorders and treatments have been described in literature. In addition, a myriad of other topics are covered, including some on famous authors whose important connections to the neurosciences have been overlooked (e.g., Roget, of Thesaurus fame), famous neuroscientists who should also be associated with literature, and some overlooked scientific and medical men who helped others produce great literary works (e,g., Bram Stoker's Dracula). There has not been a volume with this coverage in the past, and the connections it provides should prove fascinating to individuals in science, medicine, history, literature, and various other disciplines.

Key Features

  • This book looks at literature, medicine, and the brain sciences both historically and in the light of the newest scholarly discoveries and insights


Neuroscientists, psychologists, neurologists

Table of Contents

  • Series Page



    Recommended Additional Readings

    Part 1: Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders in Literature

    Chapter 1. William Shakespeare's Neurology


    1 William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    2 Neurology in Shakespeare

    3 Parkinsonisms

    4 Epilepsy

    5 Sleep Disorders

    6 Dementia

    7 Headache

    8 Prion disease

    9 Paralysis

    10 Conclusions


    Chapter 2. Locked-in: The Syndrome as Depicted in Literature


    1 Introduction: The locked-in syndrome

    2 The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: Eyes that determine

    3 Therese Raquin by Émile Zola: Eyes that Crush

    4 The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby: Eyes that tell about the Gods of literature and neurology

    5 Locked-in: To Communicate or Not to Communicate, that is the question

    6 Different Perspectives

    7 Locked-out

    8 Lessons from Locked-in and Butterflies


    Chapter 3. Meningitis, a Whirlpool of Death: Literary Reflections and Russian Cultural Beliefs


    1 Meningitis and its causes in the prebacteriological era of the nineteenth century

    2 Meningitis and Mental Distress

    3 Meningitis in fictional literature of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century

    4 Cold Temperature as a Predisposing Factor of Meningitis

    5 Meningitis and its Influence on Spiritual Convictions

    6 When Life is Stronger Than Meningitis

    7 Concluding remarks



    Chapter 4. Parkinsonism in Poets and Writers


    1 Introduction

    2 Parkinsonism in Literature

    3 Parkinsonism in Novelists, Playwrights, and Poets

    4 Conclusions


    Chapter 5. Neurosyphilitics and Madmen: The French Fin-de-siècle Fictions of Huysmans, Lermina, and Maupassant


    1 The Nerves of Genius: Baudelaire's Poe

    2 The Neurasthenic Aesthete: Huysmans' Des Esseintes

    3 Nerve Exhaustion, Automatism, and Murder: Lermina's Madmen

    4 Madness or Reason? Visual Hallucinations and Maupassant's Fantastic


    Chapter 6. Charcot, La Salpêtrière, and Hysteria as Represented in European Literature


    1 Naturalism, heredity, and degeneration

    2 Charcot and hystero-epileptic attacks

    3 France (Zola, Huysmans, the Daudets, and Maupassant)

    4 The Netherlands (Emants, Couperus, and Van Eeden)

    5 Russia (Tolstoy)

    6 England (Stoker)

    7 Scandinavian countries: Norway (Bjørnson, Kinck, Richter and Frich)

    8 Scandinavian Countries: Sweden (Strindberg and Munthe)

    9 Spain (Galdós, Pardo Bazán, and Clarín)

    10 Italy (Serao and Capuana)

    11 Germany (Hauptmann)

    12 Austria (Schnitzler, Bahr, and Hofmannsthal)

    13 More Recent References to Charcot, the Salpêtrière, and Hysteria

    14 Discussion


    Further Reading

    Chapter 7. Historical and Literary Roots of Münchhausen Syndromes: As Intriguing as the Syndromes Themselves


    1 The So-Called Spelling Puzzle

    2 Baron Münchhausen: The Man

    3 Baron Münchhausen: His tales

    4 Rudolph Erich Raspe: The compiler of Münchhausen's Tales

    5 Gottfried August Bürger's Involvement in Münchhausen's Tales

    6 Richard Asher and the birth of the first “Münchhausen syndrome”

    7 Roy Meadow and the birth of the second “Münchhausen syndrome”

    8 The Labyrinth of Synonyms and/or Clinical Types

    9 Conclusions



    Chapter 8. The Alice in Wonderland Syndrome


    1 Introduction

    2 The Etiology of the Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AIWS)

    3 Alice's Odd Sensations of Body Image and Surroundings

    4 Physiology of Migraines May Explain Alice's Metamorphopsias and Confusional State

    5 Confusional States Associated with Migraine or Epilepsy

    6 Infections that Induce AIWS

    7 Intoxications that Cause AIWS

    8 The Outcome of AIWS

    9 The Physiology of AIWS

    10 Why Did Lewis Carroll Write About Bizarre Sensory Phenomena?

    11 The Matter of the Mad Hatter

    12 Why the Dormouse Fell Asleep so Often

    13 Conclusions


    Chapter 9. Tomas Tranströmer's Stroke of Genius: Language but No Words


    1 Introduction

    2 Music-Based Poetry

    3 Methods

    4 Prestroke Poetry

    5 Stroke and Nonfluent Aphasia: The Contiguity Disorder

    6 Poststroke poetry: The Great Enigma

    7 Two Parts of a Whole

    8 A Medical sensation: Language but no words

    9 Presentations



    Part 2: Treating Neurological Disorders in the Media and Literature

    Chapter 10. The Cruelty and Failings of Therapies for Neurological Diseases in French Literature


    1 Vibration Therapy and Tremor

    2 Epic Treatments of Apoplexy

    3 Treatment of Tabes by Stretching and “Suspension” (Daudet's Translations by Julian Barnes (2002))

    4 Cerebrum's Juice Treatment and Neurasthenia

    5 Curing Hysteria by Painful Electrotherapy: “Torpillage”

    6 Conclusion


    Chapter 11. Portrayals of Lobotomy in American and Swedish Media


    1 Portrayals of lobotomy in American and Swedish media

    2 Lobotomy diffusion

    3 Do You Want to See Some History Made?

    4 Transforming wild animals into gentle creatures

    5 The Prehistory of Turning the Mind Inside Out

    6 A Nervous Wreck Restored to Normal Life

    7 Lobotomy with political implications?

    8 Lobotomy a Topic in Many Media Genres

    9 Handshaking with the Swedish psychiatrist

    10 A Wonderful Relief

    11 Schizophrenia cured, and Rose is grateful to her doctors

    12 Lobotomy in editorials

    13 An alternative treatment to lobotomy is topectomy

    14 Mortality Reports of Lobotomy in the United States and Sweden

    15 Commentary


    Chapter 12. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) in Literature: Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar


    1 The Bell Jar

    2 First, Unmodified ECT in The Bell Jar

    3 Second, modified ECT in The Bell Jar

    4 Later Life

    5 ECT in modern psychiatric medicine



    Volume in Series

Product details

  • No. of pages: 252
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2013
  • Published: December 11, 2013
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444633873
  • About the Serial Volume Editors

    Stanley Finger

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA

    François Boller

    François Boller

    François Boller, M.D., Ph.D. has been co-Series Editor of the Handbook of Clinical Neurology since 2002. a board-certified neurologist currently Professor of Neurology at the George Washington University Medical School (GW) in Washington, DC. He was born in Switzerland and educated in Italy where he obtained a Medical Degree at the University of Pisa. After specializing in Neurology at the University of Milan, Dr. Boller spent several years at the Boston VA and Boston University Medical School, including a fellowship under the direction of Dr. Norman Geschwind. He obtained a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where he was in charge of Neuroscience teaching at the Medical School and was nominated Teacher of the Year. In 1983, Dr. Boller became Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh where he founded and directed one of the first NIH funded Alzheimer Disease Research Centers in the country. In 1989, he was put in charge of a Paris-based INSERM Unit dedicated to the neuropsychology and neurobiology of cerebral aging. He returned to the United States and joined the NIH in 2005, before coming to GW in July 2014.

    Dr. Boller’s initial area of interest was aphasia and related disorders; he later became primarily interested in cognitive disorders and dementia with emphasis on the correlates of cognitive disorders with pathology, neurophysiology and imaging. He was one of the first to study the relation between Parkinson and Alzheimer disease, two processes that were thought to be unrelated. His current area of interest is Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders with emphasis on the early and late stages of the disease. He is also interested in the history of Neurosciences and is Past President of the International Society for the History of Neurosciences. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Neurology, the official Journal of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (now European Academy of Neurology). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and a member of the American Neurological Association. In addition, he has chaired Committees within the International Neuropsychological Society, the International Neuropsychology Symposium, and the World Federation of Neurology (WFN). He has authored over 200 papers and books including the Handbook of Neuropsychology (Elsevier).

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Professor of Neurology, George Washington University Medical School, Washington, DC, USA

    Anne Stiles

    Affiliations and Expertise

    St. Louis University, USA