Unconscious - The Literary Unconscious

Author: Henry Maudsley

Title: The Physiology of mind (1876): Memory and Imagination


Pages: Introduction |  1  |  2  |  3  |  


Henry Maudsley, besides his professional interest in psychiatry and psychology, theorised about the nature of literary genius and imagination – though from a psychological perspective. An early essay on Edgar Allen Poe for the Journal of Mental Science concentrates on the question of degeneracy in the Poe family. Here in The Physiology of Mind he shows knowledge of Coleridge’s and Schelling’s theories of the imagination and appears to subscribe to the Romantic notion of unconscious genius, in harmony with the workings of nature as a whole: ‘The brightest flashes of genius come unconsciously’.

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