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'Written by the author of three collections of poetry, this paper contests the enduring stereotype of the ‘mad’ poet, present in Romantic, psychoanalytic and psychological theories of creativity. Mobilising theories of embodied cognition, it offers a demystified and de-pathologised vision of poiesis and poetry. The paper focuses on three traits typically associated with the ‘mad’ poet in popular representations and theoretical understandings of that figure: extreme emotionality; divergent thinking; and a tortured unconscious. Using findings in the cognitive sciences, the essay demonstrates how emotional experience, divergent thinking, and the unconscious are integral parts of brain functioning, rather than traits exclusive to psychopathology. Poiesis is not informed, in any essential way, by madness but rather by the normal conditions of embodied cognition.' (Publication abstract)

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Last amended 12 Nov 2015 13:01:48
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