Abstract and Keywords
The public (and academic) fascination with musicians who have experienced “mental distress” (Davis 2008), more broadly designated “madness,” has unfortunately led to popular and health-professional pathologies of lives and works that draw on common cultural tropes of disability. One of the most persistent and insidious is the linking of musical genius with madness and its corollary mapping onto creative production. This problematic attitude not only inhabits popular biographies but can still inform scholarly analyses of compositional activity. Using the resources of madness studies, this essay attempts to uncover the processes at work behind the reception of “mad” musicians Robert Schumann and Hugo Wolf and to propose a more “realistic mode” (Garland-Thomson 2001) for considering their lives and compositions.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.