Exhaustion: A History

Schaffner, Anna Katharina (2016) Exhaustion: A History. Columbia University Press, New York, 288 pp. ISBN 978-0-231-17230-1. E-ISBN 978-0-231-53885-5. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://cup.columbia.edu/book/exhaustion/9780231172...

Abstract

Today our fatigue feels chronic; our anxieties, amplified. Proliferating technologies command our attention. Many people complain of burnout, and economic instability and the threat of ecological catastrophe fill us with dread. We look to the past, imagining life to have once been simpler and slower, but extreme mental and physical stress is not a modern syndrome. Beginning in classical antiquity, this book demonstrates how exhaustion has always been with us and helps us evaluate more critically the narratives we tell ourselves about the phenomenon. Medical, cultural, literary, and biographical sources have cast exhaustion as a biochemical imbalance, a somatic ailment, a viral disease, and a spiritual failing. It has been linked to loss, the alignment of the planets, a perverse desire for death, and social and economic disruption. Pathologized, demonized, sexualized, and even weaponized, exhaustion unites the mind with the body and society in such a way that we attach larger questions of agency, willpower, and well-being to its symptoms. Mapping these political, ideological, and creative currents across centuries of human development, Exhaustion finds in our struggle to overcome weariness a more significant effort to master ourselves.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled keywords: Exhaustion, Burnout, Depression, Melancholia, Neurasthenia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fatigue, Nervous Weakness, Medical Humanities, Literature, Cultural History
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World
P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages (inc film, TV and radio studies)
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
P Language and Literature > PD Germanic languages
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
R Medicine
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Comparative Literature
Depositing User: Anna Katharina Schaffner
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2015 12:48 UTC
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 09:40 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/51820 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Schaffner, Anna Katharina: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7097-2145
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