plagiarizing seminal texts of German philosophy that it is perhaps time to return the favor, and to contend that a book written some one hundred years after the second part of Christabel was composedâDaniel Paul Schreberâs Memoirs of My Nervous Illnessâis merely an extended prose footnote to Coleridgeâs poem.1 Or rather, I should say, it might be annexed to Christabel in fulï¬llment of Coleridgeâs own intention to publish the poem ââwith two Essays annexed to it, on the Praeternaturalâand on Metre.ââ 2 Think of those ââpreternaturalââ issues and themes that have drawn critical attention in commentary on The South Atlantic Quarterly ï±ï°ï²:ï±, Winter ï²ï°ï°ï³. Copyright Â© ï²ï°ï°ï³ by Duke University Press. Celeste Langan Christabelâsounds and visions of dubious origin, spiritual possession, a family curse, and, of course, a scene of transgender or homosexual seductionâand we may ï¬nd their equivalent in Schreberâs Memoirs.3 Schreber, a distinguished German judge whose descent into psychosis is ï¬rst marked by a feelingâambiguous product of a dream or waking thoughtâthat ââit really must be rather pleasant to be a woman succumbing to intercourseââ (ï´ï¶), develops the auditory and visual hallucinations of a paranoid schizophrenic. He conjectures that his ââcommunication with supernatural powers,ââ which began
South Atlantic Quarterly – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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