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Psychiatr Hung. 2011;26(1):26-35.

"Unborn selves"--literature as self-therapy in Virginia Woolf's work.

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Eotvos Lorand University, Institutional Group on Addiction Research, Budapest, Hungary.


The connection between mental disorders and creativity in writers, poets, and other artists has been the subject of scientific interest for a long time. The aim of the present study is to examine the relationship between Virginia Woolf's bipolar disorder and her literary creativity. The authors summarize Virginia Woolf's life, family background, and the course of her illness and examine their influence on her work and creation. The authors try to present the complex process in the course of which the work of art is born with the help of the unconscious and conscious. In addition, the authors consider the effect of the development of her illness on her creativity and the way in which she integrated her experiences, anxieties, misconceptions, and hallucinations into art during decompensated depression. Based on these, the authors would like to give an insight into the writer's life and work, which can help us understand better Virginia Woolf's personality, both from artistic and psychiatric point of view.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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