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Call For Papers

Discourses of Madness / Discours de la Folie

Deadline: 10/01/2015

[Contributions in English, French, German, Italian]
Special Volume of
(Vol. 43, 2016)

Guest Editor
R.-L. Etienne Barnett

Contributions on any aspect of madness in (of, and) textuality are welcome for consideration. Possible areas of focus, among a plethora of other options:  literary representations of the alienated mind; mad protagonists or mad writers; madness as a vehicle of exile, as a form of marginalization, of dissipation, of disintegration, of revelation or self-revelation; interpretations of madness as a manifestation of structure, style, rhetoric, narrative;  madness as a reflection of cultural assumptions, values, prohibitions;  madness, as prophetic, dionysiac, poetic or other; the esthetics of madness; philosophical, ethical, ontological, epistemological, hermeneutic and esthetic implications of the discourse/narrative of madness.
From an alternative vantage point, one might question: how does the deviant mind-set of authorial figures and/or fictional characters determine the organization of time, space and plot in the narrative? How does the representation of delusional worlds differ from the representation of other “non-mad” mental acts (dreams, fantasies, aspirations) and from other fictional worlds (magic, imaginings, phantoms) -- if it does?  Contributors are welcome to address these and other questions in a specific work, in a group of works, or in a more general/theoretical reflection, in and across any national tradition(s), literary movement(s) or ?uvre(s).  


Do not mistake for wisdom these fantasies /Of your sick mind.  (W. Soyinka)

I could spend my whole life prying loose the secrets of the insane.  (A. Breton) 

When we remember that we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.  (M. Twain)

If we lose our sanity/We can but howl the lugubrious howl of idiots/The howl of the utterly lost/Howling their nowhere-ness.  (D. H. Lawrence)

When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?  (Cervantes)

There is always some reason in madness.  (Nietzsche)

No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness. (Aristotle)

Behind their dark glass, the mad own nothing.  (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

The madman will no longer be the exiled one, the one relegated to the margins of our cities, but rather he who becomes a stranger to the self, impugned for being who he is.  (M. Foucault)

So long as man is protected by madness, he functions and flourishes.  (E. Cioran)

Culture is perishing, as are we ? in an avalanche of words, in sheer madness.   (M. Kundera)

The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.  (A. Gide)

Books have led some to learning and others to madness.  (Petrarch)

What is life? A madness. What is life? An illusion, a shadow, a story. And the greatest good is yet minimal; for all life is a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams.  (Calderón de la Barca)

Where am I, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you’ll never know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.  (S. Beckett)

Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy, and moon-struck madness.  (J. Milton)



Theoretical or applied contributions focused upon “discourses of madness” in the literary “arena”
are invited and will be accorded full and serious consideration.

Manuscripts in English, French German or Italian -- not to exceed twenty (25) double-spaced pages, including notes, bibliography and appendices, where applicable -- are welcome.
Contributions written in any but one’s first (or native) language must be scrupulously reviewed, edited and proofed by a “native” specialist prior to submission. 

Format and submission requirements: Papers must prepared in strict accordance with APA (not MLA) guidelines and are to be accompanied by an abstract and 6-8 key words or expressions in English. (A second abstract and set of key words in the language of the article, if not in English, is strongly recommended.)

Submit via email in the form of a WORD document (attachment) to:  R.-L. Etienne Barnett (Guest-Editor) at:  (primary submission address) with a second copy to (secondary submission address).


Find further details on Neohelicon.

Download the pdf information document for sharing and posting.


OCTOBER 1, 2015

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